Carroll College, Helena Montana
Carroll Theatre Students


What does Carroll have for Theatre students?

A focus on being a well-rounded individual. 

George and the DragonOur theatre program is designed in the Liberal Arts model of learning, because we believe a well-rounded person with strong skills in critical thinking, and who can view things from more than one viewpoint, is a better artist and citizen of our world. We aren't just training actors and designers, but educating contributors to our world.

Combine Theory with Practice

A philosophy that marries learning with doing, for the best effect in both. Our theatre program is a strong mix of academic coursework and skills training, married to a dynamic schedule of productions that marry knowledge to real experience. Our program has been designed to teach theatre students: analytical thinking, strong decision-making skills and means of taking effective action.

A nuturing and supportive artistic environment, that encourages growth through risk-taking


    The BA degree has a structure that allows for flexibility in scheduling and allows individual course elective choices by students. This deliberately enables double majors and transfer students, while still retaining the academic rigor of the program.
  • It allows students to choose courses based on their strengths and interests, while exploring subjects they want to explore.
  • The main focus of the program requirements is on Theatre courses, but other Performing and Visual Arts are encouraged as electives. 
  • The Production program consists of 4-5 productions every year, with at least one being directed by a student. We have two spaces available, the Carroll College Theatre, located in the Old North Performing Arts Center, and the Thomas Merton Acting Studio.

A place where the focus is student-centered

All colleges say this but at Carroll College it is highly apparent. We have a small theatre program compared to large universities. We are proud of this fact, and believe it has some advantages for students. Listed below are points to consider. While Theatre enrollments at Carroll can vary from year to year. Your class may have 5 or 20  students.  Students don’t get lost in classes of that size. The faculty, and your fellow students know you, and work with you, as a close-knit team. Now think about being in a class with 100 or 125 majors, quite a different environment.

Opportunity to get valuable experience

There are no graduate students or professional training program students to get preference for roles and assignments. Here verybody is on the same footing. A freshman can play a lead role and a junior can design a main-stage show. The opportunity to earn an important work assignment is here at Carroll, waiting for you.

"At Carroll, I’ve designed lighting for three main-stage productions and one children’s show. In larger programs, undergrads are lucky to have even one design implemented on stage. I’ve also worked as a stage manager, carpenter, painter, and costumer. Additionally I’m a member of the Improv Troupe, and have acting credits in 11 productions. Plus, I will be directing a show this fall. Carroll Theatre has afforded me the opportunity to grow in a variety of disciplines. " - David M. Gerke BA Theatre, Dec. 2007; Graduate school at University of Hawaii

Still more opportunity

There are also opportunities for you off-campus, in the vibrant  Helena Theatre community. Carroll students are welcomed at Grandstreet Theatre, The Myrna Loy Center, The Helena Theatre Company, and the Helena Civic Center. The college also partners with some of these companies for joint productions and other efforts.

Variety and richness in the repertoire

Every year we produce four to five productions, with something for every audience and performer. We perform musicals, dramas, comedies, classics and contemporary works.We offer a theatre for children series and have one act festivals. We feature student work in our showcase series. Follow the the link for the Story of Theatre at Carroll College or the Theatre Scrapbook and check out the page for our current season. We may not have everything but we don't miss much!

Successful outcomes defined by you

Some of our graduates have gone on to further studies at top graduate programs around the country.  And many of our other graduates are doing their work professionally. Other students have used their theatrical skills in other fields, such as law, education, electronics, and business, to name a few.

Involvement and inclusion:

At Carroll College being involved in the Theatre  is a choice available to everyone. We love Theatre and we understand that many students in other disciplines love it too. We welcome students who are pursuing other educational goals and just want to participate in our shows! At Carroll College the theatre is available to everybody.

But the key outcome is that our graduates hold the moral and ethical values, the vision, and the personal power, to make the world a better place. Wherever they work and whatever they do.

A Little Night Music

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10 reasons

to choose carroll college for Theatre

  1. Individualized Attention when you want it.
  2. Access to leading roles
  3. Outstanding faculty who offer attentive advising
  4. Helena Theatre companies: Grandstreet Theatre, The Myrna Loy Center, The Helena Theatre Company, and the Helena Civic Center
  5. Student  and graduates success
  6. Learn theatre by doing theatre, not just watching theatre
  7. Flex your improv muscles
  8. The opportunity to act and direct as an undergrad
  9. Musicals if you like them
  10. More than just Musicals


The best answer is another question: What do you want to do?

Over the last 15 years we have had 183 theatre majors and 23 theatre minors as graduates, and here is a short list of what they have done with their degrees.

  • Acting on Broadway
  • Acting in Hollywood and other film locations
  • Acting many other places around the country.
  • Stage combatant and choreographer.
  • Professional stage managers and production managers
  • Lawyers and Law school
  • Producers/Directors/Playwrights
  • Theatrical riggers
  • Film consultants and researchers
  • Special Events coordinators
  • Education, quite a few teachers, elementary, high school and college
  • Entertainment technology sales
  • Technical Directors and Designers
  • Scenic Artists.

Re$ources for $tudents

A) Scholarships and Stipends

Theatre Scholarships - Annual awards to theatre majors, based on this criteria: 

  • 3.0 GPA cumulative
  • Declared major in either Acting/Directing and Design/Stagecraft tracks.
  • 50 hours per semester service to the department as a performer or technical role. Apply to Chuck Driscoll, Director of Theatre.

Theatre Activity Stipends - Awards for performing specific services to the department, available to any student for these eligible activities:

  • Stage-management
  • Directing
  • Designing - Lights, Costumes or Scenery
  • Acting - an extremely large or demanding role. 

Recipients apply based on successful performance of activities, selection by theatre faculty.

Dorothy Harper Award - This is an annual award to a Theatre Major for excellence beyond expectations to the Department. Selection is made by Theatre faculty prior to March 1. Award announced at annual awards banquet in May.

B) Student part-time employment through Work-study and Regular college funds. Available to any qualified student.

Stage Technicians - 10 hours/week avg. @ 7.50/ hour - assist in the construction, lighting, painting, of all college performing arts events. Perform all stagecraft duties as required. Qualifications: Stagecraft 1 or previous stagecraft experience in high school or community theatres.

Box Office/Publicity - 10 hours/week avg. - take reservations, work box office for all productions, arrange publicity and distribute promotional materials. Qualifications: Previous customer relations experience. Computer skills in Desktop publishing, InDesign, Photoshop or other.