As kids all over America head back to school, Broadway.com decided to ask our favorite Broadway stars to look back at their own years in the classroom—and share a school picture! Tony nominee Bobby Steggert, who is returning to the Broadway stage as determined son Will Bloom in Big Fish beginning September 6, recalls his favorite teacher, a tearful close call and his very fitting senior superlative.
Who was your favorite teacher and why?
Mrs. Clagett, 8th grade English. She was my next door neighbor and rumored to be the toughest teacher in Frederick, Maryland, but she taught me the importance of good grammar and a strong point of view, and she always treated her students like people whom she could also learn from. She was the first teacher who insisted that a student think for himself.
What advice would you give to your school-age self?
Relax. It ain't gonna be so bad.
In school you would have been named “most likely to…”
Well, I was voted "most likely to be on Broadway," so I guess they had my number.
What’s your favorite back-to-school item?
Brand new, factory-smelling notebooks and mechanical pencils.
What class did you dread and why?
French. I pretended that it would serve me well in my adult life, but I knew it would only help with pretentious pronunciations.
What is your most embarrassing school moment?
I broke down in tears of relief when my AP history postponed a test that I hadn't studied enough for. I was a bit of an overachiever.
In which extracurricular activities did you participate?
Lots of music and theater, student government, tennis, National Honor Society, and I designed a bad-ass ‘20s theme homecoming dance.
Describe your school-age self in three words.
Small, serious, sensitive.