Junior theater major seeks challenges outside the classroom
By Logan Beck
Junior theater major and German minor Steven Harding knew he belonged on the stage from his early elementary school days.
As a member of Temple’s only male a cappella group Broad Street Line, Temple Theaters’ The Matchmaker, as well as Philadelphia Young Playwright's New Voices Festival at Temple University, as a freshman and sophomore, performing is an active part of Harding’s life.
Harding spent his summer portraying the role of Hanschen in Avenue Theater Company’s production of Spring Awakening.
“Spring Awakening was a great experience because the cast was amazingly talented and great to get to know, and because the show itself has so much depth to it,” Harding said.
According to Harding, his character was an “extreme narcissist,” which made for a unique perspective to perform. The show’s unique content was an additional challenge to his role.
“The most important thing about playing Hanschen was to get comfortable on the stage, because he does some pretty raunchy stuff in the show,” Harding said. “So I just had to be prepared for that.”
In the next ten years, Harding hopes to be making a career out of performing, or at least still pursuing acting seriously. Perhaps he’ll land one of his dream roles: Gabe in Next to Normal, John Proctor in The Crucible, or Jean Valjean in Les Miserables.
Harding doesn’t have any specific role models in his industry, because he tries to draw inspiration from just about everyone.
“A lot of people inspire me in different ways,” Harding said. “I don’t really have 'idols' or anything like that because who can live up to that?”
As for advice for other students, Harding says to explore interests and passions, even if they’re not in a specific field of study.
“Find a club dedicated to something you enjoy, because they let you meet people outside your major that you might not have met otherwise,” Harding said.
Harding will be playing the role of Meriwether Lewis in Temple Theaters’ production of A Free Man of Color opening on Friday. Tickets and information can be found on the event page.