Stephen first began performing before could even really talk. His acting abilities fostered through the days of Children's Choir at First Baptist Church, which culminated when Stephen starred as the title role in the Great Late Potentate, the fourth, and tardy, wise man to visit the manger.
Once Stephen entered high school, he set his eyes toward the theatre department. His first year at CCHS, he was honored, along side lifelong friend Rebecca Haithcoat, as being chosen to act in the spring play, which was extraordinarily uncommon for a freshman. The play was Harvey, directed by Hank McDaniel and Wendy Czerwonka. Ultimately, Rebecca and Stephen would rule the Chester County High School thespians as President and Vice-President, respectively. Not only did they both serve in these leadership roles, they did so for two years in a row. In his junior year, Stephen was chosen to star as the lead in the Barry Levinson play, Rehearsal for Murder. Also, that year, He and Rebecca began to perform the one act, I'm Herbert. The two would take that show on the road for a record breaking number of performances. In Stephen's senior year, he was again reunited with Wendy Czerwonka for a critically acclaimed version of Shirley Jackson's The Lottery. Stephen's other plays in high school consisted of Why Do We Laugh, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Father of the Bride, and his directorial debut in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.
Once Stephen entered Union University in 1995, his focus changed to other creative outlets. But, not before Stephen appeared in Sophicles' Antigone. In this period piece, Stephen appeared in the traditional chorus, but this Greek tragedy was not set in Ancient Greece. David Burke, the show's director, set the ancient drama in an era reminiscent the 1940's and set the characters as members of a fascist dictatorship. The treatment was praised for its creative take on this very popular literary work. A photograph, included in this slideshow, still hangs in the W.D. Powell Theatre, where the show was performed on the campus of Union University.