Caitlin Preuss

Class Year



Palatine, Ill.


Music Theatre, Self-Design Directing



“My biggest piece of advice is to try everything! The minute you dive in head first, you will have more opportunities than you know what to do with.”

Caitlin Preuss, ’23

Career goal

“After college, I hope to work professionally in theatre, either in Milwaukee or Chicago. Whether I am performing, directing, choreographing, or stage managing, I am working towards building all the skills necessary to make a career in theatre.”

How have Carthage faculty had an impact on your life or Carthage career?

“The Carthage faculty are such wonderful people. It’s incredible to feel like a real part of the program, not just another number. I have been able to meet with all of my professors on a regular basis to discuss coursework, auditions, productions, and anything else I may need help with. Getting to know the faculty has provided me with more opportunities than I would have otherwise.”

Favorite class

“My favorite class I have taken is probably Acting 3. Acting 3 focuses on Greek and Shakespeare performance. I didn’t know anything about classical theatre coming into college, so it has been a joy to gain so much new information and realize how much I truly love it. Professor Marcy Kearns has created a wonderfully comprehensive course plan for the class, and I left with such a solid foundation for that style of acting.”

Campus involvement

“I was able to participate in choir for the last two years of school. The choir is incredible, and the level at which we learn music is higher than I thought I could achieve! The talent that presents itself in choir is amazing. Everyone is a true music maker and artist.”

Toughest class

“The Directing course was challenging in a really good way. We directed scenes both in and out of class, which made for a large time commitment. We worked on many different plays with many different actors who were all at different places in their acting journey. Watching the final performances of our scenes was so rewarding after all the work we had put in.”

Internships or on-campus employment

“I currently work in the Office of Performing and Visual Arts as a staff writer. This position fits in really well with my major because I am able to write about the theatre events happening on campus. I have written press releases, blog posts, and a couple of stories that all revolve around the Carthage theatre and music theatre productions!”

Opportunities at Carthage

“I have had so many wonderful opportunities at Carthage, even amid a global pandemic. I have been able to perform in three mainstage productions, two workshop productions, been on the crew for multiple shows, performed in two Christmas Festivals, and choreographed and stage-managed in workshops.

“One of my favorite things I’ve done at Carthage is going to the KCACTF Region 3 festival each January. I have been a partner and a nominee for the Irene Ryan Acting Competition at the festival, and this year I was fortunate enough to place second in the Music Theatre Intensive competition. It is such a great way to get to know other theatre students and professors in our region.”


“I was fortunate enough to receive a couple of different scholarships. I have an academic scholarship, a music theatre scholarship, a theatre scholarship, and a dance scholarship. I am so lucky to have them because I really would not be able to attend Carthage without them. It means so much that the College trusts me to make something great out of being at Carthage.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“My best memories at Carthage are normally backstage in the Wartburg Theatre or the Chapel. The community of students at Carthage is incredible, and we can have fun in any situation. One that sticks out is, during the production of ‘Fighting for Home’, in the dressing room, we would play music, tell stories, and genuinely laugh so much.”

Favorite spot on campus

“I love the outdoor classroom behind Straz. I find it so peaceful, and the view of the water is incredible. Sitting there you can’t see any other buildings on campus, so it’s all water. When I need a moment to myself, or just to breathe some air, I head there.”

Biggest surprise so far

“I’m really surprised how much fun I have living on campus! I was quite nervous about it freshman year, but my friends and I have a great time living in the dorms. There is always someone around to spend time with, and I love that. That, and the fact that I was able to take a knitting course for my math credit!”

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

“She would be amazed! I never thought I would pursue theatre. If I explained to my 8-year-old self all of the things I’m studying, I don’t think I’d believe it. Being able to perform has always been a dream of mine. That would definitely make her happy.”

Why should other students consider your major? What advice do you have for them?

“The music theatre and theatre majors at Carthage are incredibly well-rounded. We are set up to succeed by learning the basics of every skill needed to pursue theatre. My biggest piece of advice is to try everything! The minute you dive in head first, the program will provide more opportunities than you know what to do with.”

Why Carthage?

“Carthage is the only school that was able to offer me not only courses in directing but also a self-designed major that focuses on it. Normally directing can only be studied in grad school, so I was thrilled at the opportunity to work on it in an undergrad degree.”