is humbled to serve as the eighth artistic director for TEXAS!
His history with the production began in 1999, when he was cast as the protagonist, Calvin Armstrong. He then played the role for three summers through 2001. He returned in 2002 as an acting coach following his marriage that spring to cast mate, Leigh Anne Thomas. In 2003, Stephen returned as an acting coach again for the Texas Legacies production. Afterwards, he moved away to pursue professional theatre opportunities and graduate school.
He returned to the Panhandle in 2010 after accepting an Assistant Professor position in the Theatre program at West Texas A&M University. Stephen received tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor at WT in 2016. He was again promoted to Full Professor in 2021. He recently stepped down after six years of service as the Department Head of the Art, Theatre and Dance department in 2022 in order to begin his new role as Artistic Director for TEXAS.
Stephen teaches a range of acting, voice and movement courses at WT, with specializations in voice & speech, dialects, movement, and stage combat. He holds membership with the Voice & Speech Trainers Association and the National Alliance of Acting Teachers. He is certified as a Master Teacher of the Lugering technique, as well as a Practitioner with the Lessac Training and Research Institute. Stephen received a Bachelor of Science degree in Theatre Performance from WT, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting from the University of Nevada Las Vegas.
Stephen is an accomplished director with local and regional directing credits, including seven Shakespeare productions for the TEXAS company since 2012 through the “Shakespeare in the Canyon” project started by Dave Yirak. This summer, he will direct Shakespeare’s The Tempest, in June. He has received directing commendations from the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival and is an associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.
Stephen is also a professional actor and proud member of Actors’ Equity Association. He has performed internationally at the Adelaide Fringe Festival in South Australia, and regionally with the Nevada Conservatory Theatre, Nevada Theatre Company and Broadway Sacramento's Music Circus. He has performed onstage with notable performers including Sandy Duncan, Sally Struthers, John Schuck, James Barbour, GW Bailey, and Steve Vinovich. Stephen credits his experiences at Amarillo Little Theatre and his summers performing in TEXAS as the catalysts for his career as a performer, director, and educator. He is honored to be the newest artistic leader for TEXAS and to help continue the legacy of live performance in the beautiful Palo Duro Canyon State Park.