Steven Higginbotham  is a proud native of Cleveland, Ohio, and his previous theatre credits include work as a director, choreographer, teacher, and performer on stages across the country.  Steven earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre Education from the University of Arizona (2008) and his Master of Fine Arts degree in Directing for the Theatre (2012) from Florida State University.  

Steven returned to the university to complete his degrees after working professionally as an actor and director in Cleveland, New York City, and beyond.  He has performed in plays and musicals at the Beck Center for the Cultural Arts, Huntington Playhouse, Cedar Point Amusement Park, Six Flags Worlds of Adventure, Carousel Music Theatre, Berea Summer Theatre, Pioneer Playhouse, The Cleveland MetroParks Zoo, and more.  For four years, he toured nationally and internationally as our favorite big yellow bird (and a featured tap dancer)  in Sesame Street Live! .  As a director and choreographer, his work has been staged at the Kennedy Center's American College Theatre Festival, Huntington Playhouse, Carousel Music Theatre, Brecksville Theater on the Square, the Theatre Education Program at the Beck Center for the Cultural Arts, and many colleges, universities, and schools.  

 

In 2006, Steven was accepted into the Theatre Education Program at the University of Arizona, where he studied with Dr. Laura McCammon and Dr. Bobbi McKean.  Under their guidance, he learned effective strategies for teaching theatre arts, creative drama methods, and foundational knowledge in curriculum building, lesson planning, and structuring learning.  After graduating in 2008, he was selected for enrollment in Florida State University's rigorous graduate program in Directing.  At Florida State, he participated in classes, workshops, and lectures with industry-leading directors, actors, and choreographers (including Fred Chappell, Bob Moss, Sean Daniels, Sir Ian McKellen, Dr. Kris Salata, Kate Gelabert, Tom Ossowski, Dr. Nancy Smith-Fichter, and The Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards).  Steven ​​directed and choreographed The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Leading Ladies, Recreational Living, and other smaller works at FSU, and he was awarded the Josephine Abady Award for Excellence in Directing in 2011.  He organized, directed, and produced an interdisciplinary and collaborative production of A Soldier's Tale (with music by Igor Stravinsky and text by Kurt Vonnegut) at Oppermann Music Hall, which united artists from FSU's School of Theatre, School of Dance, and College of Music.  During the summer of 2010, Steven also completed an Artistic Apprenticeship with Artistic Director, Michael Bloom, at the Cleveland Play House. 

Steven served as an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Eastern Kentucky University from 2012-2014, where he staged productions of Man of La ManchaCrimes of the Heart, and Urinetown: The Musical, in addition to teaching courses in acting, auditioning, directing, dance, movement, and musical theatre.  At EKU, he was named as a Professor Who Makes an Impact in the spring of 2013, he was honored with a Golden Apple Teaching Award in the spring of 2014, and he was chosen as the Commencement Orator for all graduation ceremonies held during the 2013-2014 academic year.  

Steven served as Drama Director at Eastern Arizona College from 2014-2019, and, because of his dedication to scholarship, research, teaching, service, and professional development, he was awarded the title of Full Professor of Theatre Arts in May of 2017.  At EAC, Steven taught courses in theatre practice and performance, he directed and choreographed mainstage musicals and plays, and eventually served as Chair of the Division of Fine Arts.  His 2014 production of Pump Boys and Dinettes was recognized by the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival as an outstanding production in Region VIII and was invited to perform at the festival in Saint George, Utah.  In 2015, Steven was chosen to participate in the Directing Intensive at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., where he collaborated in workshops with directors, Will Davis and Michael Rau, and served as an assistant director to Bridget O'Leary for the staged reading of Vessels, a new play by Matthew Capodicasa.  In 2016, Steven was selected by the Cooperative Center for Study Abroad to teach a course entitled, Contemporary London Theatre, for students abroad at King's College in London, England.  In 2019, his production of The Importance of Being Earnest, conceptualized after completing research of the original manuscript drafts of the play at the British Library in London, was invited to share a selected scene at KCACTF in Los Angeles, California 

 

Also at EAC, Steven established an award-winning ensemble of student actors and designers, known as the Repertory Acting Company.  Intended to model the structure of a professional theatre company in which members of the ensemble collaborate to devise and stage creative performance projects, the Repertory Acting Company produced original plays which examined social issues, promoted cultural awareness, explored literary masterpieces in new ways, and showcased the voices of aspiring young playwrights.  In 2018, EAC's Repertory Acting Company was invited to perform a scene from their original production of Stories Onstage: A Celebration of Traditional Folk Tales at the Kennedy Center's American College Theatre Festival.  Their work in staging the Hawaiian folk tale, The Strange Sled Race, was featured at this regional conference in Mesa, Arizona.    

From 2019 through 2022, Steven proudly served as the Dean of Arts at Pima College in Tucson, Arizona, a position which included directing and supervising academic personnel, staff members, and student workers in the varied disciplines of Visual Art, Art History, Art Education, Graphic Design, Fashion Design, Digital Arts, Game Design and Simulation, Film and Animation, Instrumental Music, Choral Music, Dance, and Theatre Arts.   In this position, he provided vision, direction, and support for district-wide programs in the fine and performing arts housed on five different campuses spread strategically across metropolitan Tucson.  In addition to overseeing the successful administration and implementation of certificate and degree programs in these varied disciplines, he  managed the artistic planning for Pima College’s Center for the Arts, which included a full season of music, theatre, dance, visual art, digital art, and fashion design events at the 420-seat Proscenium Theater, 200-seat Blackbox Theater, 90-seat Recital Hall, and a series of art gallery spaces (including the Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery, Sculpture on Campus Program, Student Art Gallery at West Campus, Northwest Campus Art Gallery, Downtown Campus Art Gallery, East Campus Art Gallery, Desert Vista Art Exhibitions, and Pima College’s Gallery at the Tucson International Airport).  As Dean of Arts, Steven also lead the planning and development of Pima College’s Center for Excellence in the Arts, a new multimillion dollar facility which will be dedicated to interdisciplinary collaboration, innovation, and creation in the
arts for the 21st century and beyond.  He was proud to have lead the Pima Arts Division through the COVID-19 pandemic, including writing and implementing all health and safety protocols to ensure that student artists and their faculty mentors could continue to create and share their artwork during this difficult time.  

 

Currently, Steven is honored to serve as Professor and Chair of the Department of Theatre at Coastal Carolina University.  Located in Conway, South Carolina, just 9 miles from the Atlantic coastal resort city of Myrtle Beach, this highly collaborative and rigorous department maintains an ambitious production season, in addition to new works and staged readings to connect students with working professionals.  He is proud to serve alongside talented CCU faculty and staff who all maintain careers in their respective disciplines and to support amazing CCU students in their pre-professional training.  

 

In addition, Steven is an Associate Member of the Society for Stage Directors and Choreographers and a member of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, American Alliance for Theatre and Education, Performing Arts Alliance, and the Theatre Communications Group, and he regularly participates in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.  Steven beams with pride for his former students – they are performing on Broadway, starring on network television, appearing in feature films, and working professionally as theatre educators, scholars, practitioners, technicians, stage managers, and directors in venues across the country.

    

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