This week, the curtain will rise at the Arsht Center and a native son, Stephen Christopher Anthony, will take his place in the spotlight in the massive theater.

The New World School of the Arts and Florida State University grad has already made a splash in the theater world, leading the first national tour of “Catch Me If You Can” and then joining the Broadway cast of “The Book of Mormon.”

After the pandemic shuttered theaters across the country for more than 18 months, Anthony is back on stage, touring as Evan Hansen in the smash Broadway hit.

SFGN spoke with the young actor about being Evan Hansen, his career and advice for other young performers:

How does it feel to be returning to Miami in the lead role of “Dear Evan Hansen”? 

I saw my first-ever touring Broadway production at the Arsht Center, so it is surreal to be getting up on that stage that inspired me, especially with this incredible production. It’s also a lot of pressure. I want to give back to that next generation of a young generation of theater-lovers in Miami.

What are you enjoying most about this experience and what are the biggest challenges?

I won’t lie, the challenges are very real. Playing Evan is an Olympic event, the vocals and the emotions are acrobatic. But the greatest joy is in proving to myself again and again that I am stronger than I previously thought, and overcoming those challenges.

How is touring different from performing in New York City?

Well, you’re away from your home, your support system, your creature comforts, and the travel itself are strenuous. In New York City, Mondays are your day off. On tour, every Monday means carting a hundred pounds of luggage into an Uber, connecting flights, unpacking in a new city, figuring out where’s a grocery store, where’s a gym, how my allergies are responding here, how do I get to the theater. But, of course, it’s also a joy to bring a Broadway production to new cities who are so excited to see it for the first time — especially right now when people are less willing to travel to New York during COVID, and there’s been no live theater for almost two years.

What did you do during the lockdowns?

I got a puppy. My partner and I moved into our first apartment together in New York City. I took a fall semester of political science online at [Miami-Dade College] — literally during the 2020 election, which was a mad time to be studying poli sci. I began my yoga instructor certification. I’m making it sound incredibly productive, but there was a fair amount of idling with existential dread as well.

Where do you see yourself a few years down the road?

Just happy still. That sounds corny, but honestly, I’m trying to stay present and trust that my happiness isn’t dependent on my career moves. What will be will be. When I auditioned for “Evan Hansen,” I was getting ready to go back to school, so who knows, anything could happen. I wouldn’t be mad at a couple of Tony Awards, a solo album, a feature film [and] a stunning penthouse overlooking the park.

What advice do you have for other young performers who are about to embark on their own careers?

Your self-care is part of your work. Performance requires the use of your entire self — body, mind, heart, spirit. You have to keep that self healthy, so that you have something to give.  


Stephen Christopher Anthony stars in “Dear Evan Hansen” at the Arsht Center in Miami, Feb. 15 – 20. Tickets start at $40 at ArshtCenter.org.

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