CSU graduate debuts on award-winning Carole King Broadway musical

CSU alumnus and actor Michael Stiggers Jr. has become the university’s first-ever graduate to perform on Broadway.

“I’m playing one of the legendary singers from The Drifters in Grammy and Tony award-winning musical ‘Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,’” said Stiggers, 31. “I’ve been doing a lot of research for this part. The Drifters were smooth, cool entertainers who moved effortlessly.”

The triple-threat performer from West Point, Georgia, made his Broadway debut Thursday, Aug. 10, at Stephen Sondheim Theatre on New York’s 43rd street.

“I grew up in the South but always knew I wanted to get out and go into theatre after high school,” said the 2009 theatre education alumnus. “CSU provided me with the foundation I needed to learn about theatre and how to navigate that world. My extensive classroom training also molded me to become a drama teacher and still have something meaningful to fall back on.”

CSU has produced both off-Broadway and regionally successful performers; however, Stiggers has achieved a milestone for the Department of Theatre.

“Our department has become more visible in recent years,” said department chair Larry Dooley. “Having graduates involved in regional theatres and off-Broadway indicates the success of our students and the strengths of the department. Now with a CSU theatre graduate performing on Broadway, we are confident others will follow. We will continue to celebrate these success stories.”

Stiggers auditioned for the Broadway part twice before he actually landed the gig.

The international Broadway musical chronicles King’s comprehensive musical catalog as arguably the most celebrated and iconic singer/songwriter of all time.

Carole and then-husband Gerry Goffin wrote dozens of chart hits, including 1962 “Up On The Roof” by The Drifters.

“I’m enjoying the journey and going back in this particular time of her life,” Stiggers said. “I do want those pursuing this type of career to know I did fall into dark places and at times lost my confidence to get here. I never stopped dreaming wild through the good and bad times, though. That’s the difference.”

Visit michaelstiggers.com to learn more about this CSU alum. Visit ColumbusState.edu to learn more about Stiggers’ first-choice university.