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Steve Kazee captures Tony Award

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    "My time at Morehead State just reminds me about who I am as a person and doesn’t allow me to get too caught up in the excitement of the world I live in now. I thought it was just a great experience." – Steve Kazee (02)   

    Photo Credit: Chang W. Lee/The New York Times/Redux 

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    MSU retiree and longtime costumer, Kozy Hamilton, shares a few moments backstage with Kazee before a performance of the Broadway musical “Once.”  

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    Photo Credit: Sara Krulwich/The New York Times/Redux

Steve Kazee (02) is a veteran actor who went from performing on the stages of MSU to having his name in lights on Broadway. On June 10, Kazee once again took the stage, but he left with tears in his eyes and one of theatre’s biggest awards in his hands.

The 36-year-old actor was honored with an award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical at the 2012 Tony Awards. He received the recognition for his role as Guy, the tortured, lovelorn Irish singer-songwriter in the stage adaptation of the 2006 Academy Award-winning movie musical “Once.”

“You always get told you’re going to get that one job that means the world to you and is the greatest job and you sort of never really believe it’s going to happen,” Kazee said to CBS New York. “Then, all of the sudden it happens and you’re in the middle of it. That’s what the show is for me.”

As a transfer student from Ashland Community College in 1995, Kazee enrolled at MSU and majored in psychology with intentions of becoming a criminal psychologist or a state trooper. After tagging along with a friend to an audition for “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” he landed his first on-stage role as Joseph’s brother, Naphtali.

He later starred in numerous MSU productions before leaving school for summer stock and theatre gigs in both California and Florida. He decided to re-enroll at the University from 2000-02 and earned his bachelor’s degree in theatre.

Upon acceptance into the master’s acting program at New York University, Kazee saw his career in theatre begin to gain momentum. His first brush with Broadway came in 2006, when he played Sir Lancelot in the Tony Award-winning musical comedy “Monty Python’s Spamalot” and starred opposite Audra McDonald in 2007 in the Broadway revival of “110 in the Shade.”

In 2011, Kazee was cast in “Once,” which opened Off Broadway in December 2011 at the New York Theatre Workshop before coming to Broadway in the spring of 2012. Both the musical and Kazee’s performance received positive reviews and after capturing eight Tony Awards, “Once” has become one of the hottest shows on Broadway.

A Tony Award winner and one of Broadway’s rising stars, Kazee has been staying busy performing “Once” to thousands of theatre fans.

Are you interested in a career in theatre? Visit to learn more about MSU’s Department of Music, Theatre & Dance.

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