Broadway actor and voiceover artist Michael Stiggers Jr., a 2009 graduate of Columbus State University’s Theatre Education program, returns to his alma mater on Friday, May 12 as the featured speaker for its three commencement exercises. Among his credits are Broadway appearances in “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,” making him Columbus State’s first graduate to perform on a Broadway stage, and “The Lion King.”

During his undergraduate years, Stiggers was involved in many theatre productions, as well as student organizations like CORE, and a proud brother of the Theta Beta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.

After graduating, he began his professional acting journey in Columbus at The Springer Opera House, where he was featured in many stage productions. He made his way to the Atlanta theatre scene shortly thereafter, working and growing with some of the city’s best talent in regional productions including “Born for This: The Bebe Winans Story” (Alliance Theatre); “RENT” (Actor’s Express); “Les Misérables” (Aurora Theatre), and “Grease” (Serenbe Playhouse). Between these productions, he also found opportunities with summer and holiday shows with HersheyPark Entertainment in Pennsylvania, in addition to performing on the high seas as a production singer with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.

In 2016, Stiggers made his way to New York City, where in less than a year later, he made his Broadway debut in the Tony Award-winning “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.” His stage appearance made him Columbus State’s first graduate to perform in a Broadway production. As the show was concluding its incredible six-year run, he landed in Disney’s Broadway production of “The Lion King”—one of the world’s longest-running musicals and one for which he had first auditioned a decade prior.

“My journey has allowed me amazing opportunities to build relationships and share my talents with others from stage productions across the country, entertainment on the high seas to audiences around the world, to the bright lights of Broadway,” Stiggers said of his career.

Television viewers may also recognize Stiggers from his commercial and voiceover appearances in national campaigns and projects for Adidas, Checkers, Uber and the Nickelodeon Network.

In 2018, Stiggers led the Department of Theatre & Dance’s “We Are Close” campaign to award scholarships to its theatre students. More recently, he served alongside other alumni, students, faculty, and theatre professionals on a task force producing the department’s current Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Plan.

Stiggers resides in New York City with his wife Maggie, who together are joyfully expecting their first child in August as he prepares for his most exciting role yet—the role of “Dad.”

Various graduation-related events will take place throughout the week of May 8, leading up to the university’s Graduate Hooding Ceremony at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 11, and three commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 12: 10 a.m. for College of the Arts and D. Abbott Turner College of Business & Technology graduates; 1 p.m. for College of Letters & Sciences graduates; and 4 p.m. for College of Education & Health Professions graduates. Thursday’s and Friday’s ceremonies will all take place in the university’s Frank G. Lumpkin Jr. Center on its Main Campus. Visit for more information.

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