Caroline Bowman (’10 B.F.A. Musical Theatre) is recipient of a 2014 Penn State Alumni Association Alumni Achievement Award, which honors alumni age 35 and younger. In November, she won the lead role of Elphaba in Broadway's Wicked, which she will begin Dec. 16. She recently finished performing the lead role of Eva Peron in the national tour of Evita. She previously performed on Broadway in Wicked (ensemble and understudy for Elphaba) and the new musical Kinky Boots, which won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, when she was part of the cast.
Bowman’s professional performing career took her around the world prior to graduation from Penn State. Before earning her degree, she completed a tour of Fame in China and was contracted to play Rizzo in Grease in Turkey. After Grease, she returned to the United States to play Lady of the Lake in the national tour of Spamalot, which brought her back to Penn State to perform at the Center for the Performing Arts. Upon completion of the tour, within just a few weeks of moving to New York City, she was offered her first Broadway contract, in Wicked, performing in the ensemble and understudying Elphaba.
Bowman left her ensemble role in Wicked when given the opportunity to create a role in Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein’s new musical, Kinky Boots, premiering in Chicago. She performed with Kinky Boots during its Chicago run and continued in the original Broadway production until she won the role of Eva Peron in the Evita national tour. Critics have called her performance in Evita “marvelous,” “emotionally gripping,” “charismatic,” and “breathtaking.”