Stephen is an actor/singer/dancer/educator who divides his time between Chicago and New York when he's not performing elsewhere. If his suitcase carried stickers of the places he's worked recently, they would include California, Connecticut, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio and West Virginia, to name a few.
Stephen grew up in Chicago's northern 'burbs in a household where music, theatrics and laughter thrived. The youngest in a family of four artistically-motivated children, he had his first taste of performing when he was seven as a peasant boy in his church's Christmas pageant. From that point on, he was hooked, and he spent the remainder of his childhood performing in choirs, concerts and productions around the Chicago area, and taking dance classes whenever he could.
After graduating from Carnegie Mellon University's School of Drama, Stephen joined the first national tour of Altar Boyz, directed and choreographed by Stafford Arima and Christopher Gatelli. Soon after tour life ended, Stephen was cast in the role of Jimmy Smith in the first regional premiere of Thoroughly Modern Millie at the Marriott Lincolnshire, which proved the start of three busy and thrilling years performing in Chicago. He graced the Marriott Theatre, the Drury Lane Theatre, the Goodman Theatre and Chicago's Ravinia Festival stage. In the process, he earned a Joseph Jefferson award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in Little Women.
Stephen moved to New York City in 2009 where fresh adventures awaited. He was cast in a workshop of a new musical Hello Out There, which showcased at New York University's MFA musical theatre writing lab. He also participated in the 2009 New York Music Festival production of The Greenwood Tree, composed by friend and CMU classmate Will Reynolds. His on-the-road work took him to The West Virginia Public Theatre, where he played Motel in Fiddler on the Roof and to North Carolina. At the North Carolina Theatre, he starred opposite Sally Struthers in The Full Monty and then played Lionel, the prince's steward, in Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella.
In New York, Stephen participated in several new musical readings and workshops, a collaborative process he enjoys immensely. He was cast in the workshop of the Broadway-bound new musical Empire by Sherman and Hull, and the new musical Summertime by Laura Eason and Alan Schmuckler, among others.
2010/2011 proved to be a fun and eventful year. Stephen was honored to portray the lead role of KoKo in David H. Bell's revival of Hot Mikado at the Drury Lane Theatre, which earned him a second Joseph Jefferson nomination for Best Actor in a Musical. In the spring, he reprised the role of Laurie in Bristol Riverside's production of Little Women, playing opposite award-winning actress Jennie Eisenhower. That role won him a Barrymore nomination for Best Actor in a Musical. Shortly thereafter, Stephen headed to Connecticut where he performed the role of Schroeder in You're a Good Man Charlie Brown.
When not performing, Stephen teaches theatre to students of all ages. He was part of the acting, dance and voice faculty for The National High School Institute "Cherub" Program at Northwestern University. He has directed and choreographed numerous shows around the Chicago and New York areas, and in the summer of 2011, he enjoyed teaching acting/voice/movement at Summer Theatre of New Canaan's Apprentice Program in Connecticut.
Stephen is the proud brother of playwright Laura Schellhardt; stage and screen actress Mary Kate Schellhardt; and music educator Eliza Schellhardt. He resides in New York with his husband Devin, also a performer, and their dog Bear (who is not a performer).