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Music Theatre

Student Voices

Macee Jo Mueller ’16


Greeley, Colo.


Theatre Performance and Music Theatre


Business Administration

Favorite spot on campus

“I found this rock down by the lake that I call ‘mine’ because it’s the perfect place to hear the waves, look at the stars and the water, and breathe. Things get busy and overwhelming, but I can always find myself again and unwind there.”

If Macee Mueller ’16 was going to leave her view of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, she needed another beautiful view to replace it. At Carthage, she got just that and more.

As a double major in Theatre Performance and Music Theatre, Macee hopes to, one day, have a performance career and isn’t wasting any time going after her goal. The opportunities Carthage provides have “challenged and encouraged” her to continually learn and grow.

Macee is involved in Alpha Psi Omega, Carthage Chorale, has traveled with Carthage to the Fringe Festival in Scotland to perform a play, and is one of 60 students who have been accepted into the Open Jar Institute in New York for the summer of 2015.

“The professors make me feel like I am a priority and they have professional connections in Milwaukee, Chicago, and across the country,” Macee says. “The location of Carthage, between Chicago and Milwaukee, opens so many doors as a budding artist.”

Career goal

“I hope to have a performance career and eventually get in with a theatre to direct, run programs, and teach.”

Favorite professor

“Having Corinne Ness as a mentor and vocal professor has changed my life and trajectory as a performer. She runs our program with grace and passion and manages to take care of each of her students’ individual needs. She has helped me grow as a performer and as a human. I am forever grateful for the impact she has made on my journey here at Carthage.”

Favorite class

“Although it’s hard to choose just one class as my favorite, I would have to say that I especially enjoyed going to Music Theatre History every day. I learned more than I thought was possible about the history of my craft, the people who have built it up to be what it is today, and how to notice trends within the art form in order to begin to predict its future.”

Toughest class

“My toughest class has been Voice for the Stage. We memorized and performed a new Shakespearean sonnet in a new dialect every week of the semester. It took a ton of time and work, but I was challenged and therefore, I grew. I memorize 10 times faster than I could before taking the class, and now I have a pocket full of dialects that I can use in shows and auditions.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“I went on a two-week trip to New York City and earned two class credits from it. We saw shows, learned how to navigate the city, toured the sights, and visited many museums. I also traveled to the Fringe Festival in Scotland for two weeks to perform in the show ‘No Name’ and am one of 60 students accepted into the Open Jar Institute in New York City this summer, an audition opportunity I got from the Carthage Music Department and Corinne Ness.”

Campus involvement

“I am the current secretary of Alpha Psi Omega, the professional theatre fraternity, and was just elected president for the 2015-2016 year! I have spent four semesters in Chapel Choir, and I have been in many workshop and main stage productions. I also work a part-time, on-campus job in my spare time.”

Favorite moments at Carthage

“I proposed to direct and star in the musical “Ordinary Days” to get class credit, and the Music Department approved my proposal! I will never forget the feeling I had when the show was over and I got to look back at all the work I had done with my castmates and see what a huge success it was. It was really inspiring and it keeps propelling me forward.”

Biggest surprise so far?

“I continue to be surprised by how much I can grow and learn in short periods of time when I am challenged and encouraged.”

What would your 8-year-old self think of you now?

“My 8-year-old self would be shocked, proud, excited, and hopeful to find out that I’m a performance major. It has always been something that I’ve dreamed about, but never thought I’d actually go for. I think, more than anything, she would admire me.”

Advice for other students considering your major

“Always, always, always be a sponge. You will form a personal relationship with professors and they will always have a piece of advice or wisdom to pass off to you. Keep it.”

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2017), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • Scheduled to open in fall 2018, a new residential tower will offer suite-style housing and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about The Tower

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wins, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • 96% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit Career Services.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. 95% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • As a freshman in the highly selective Honors Program, learn how to gain expertise in anything from music to forest ecology. After that, tackle a contemporary social, economic, or political problem. If you like, you can live on an Honors-only floor of a Carthage residence hall. 

    • In 2016 and 2017, Carthage was named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our athletic and recreation center, student union, computer labs, audiovisual production suite, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 10 years. Our new science center caps it off.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from archaeology to athletic training, neuroscience to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of our students receive financial aid, a hefty chunk of which is scholarships and grants — including $1.25 million annually from the Presidential Scholarship Competition and numerous Merit Scholarships. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” says biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 30 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from 75% tuition up to full tuition, room, and board. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about the Carthage core.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 120 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Chemistry Club, to Frisbee and Latin Belly Dancing. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • Imagine presenting your original research at an international conference — as an undergraduate. Carthage is dedicated to undergraduate research. Learn more about current opportunities.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …