Next On Stage

Steven Klenk Sees Theater as the 'Epitome of Living in the Moment' - Next on Stage

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We're down to our top 5 in the Next on Stage competition!

Contestant Steven Klenk shares more about his charity, why he applied for Next on Stage, and a memory from his past productions of Sweeney Todd and Big Fish!


What charity did you pick and why?

I chose The St. Baldricks Foundation. I hold this charity very close to my heart, as I lost a friend in elementary school to leukemia. It was devastating to our school. After her passing, I participated in several St. Baldricks head-shaving events as a "shavee", and spearheaded a school district-wide event in middle school that raised well over $25,000. I would absolutely love to donate to The St. Baldricks Foundation and give back to this wonderful organization that provides funding for the researching to find cures for childhood cancers that affect over 300,000 children a year.

Why did you apply for Next on Stage?

I applied for Next on Stage because I think it is a phenomenal opportunity that is being given to young artists in the wake of this pandemic. I have unfortunately had many things cancelled because of the Corona virus outbreak, and Next on Stage has provided me with the chance to set those disappointments aside, focus on something different, and just sing.

What does musical theatre mean to you?

Musical Theatre is such a special thing. I love it because it provides an escape from any struggles of every day life. It is the epitome of living in the moment, as an audience member or performer. Music already holds such power in my life, but when used to tell a story, it's like magic. Musical Theatre is a source of joy and catharsis that cannot be attained by anything else I've ever experienced.

What is a fond memory you have from a past production?

One of my favorite memories from a past production would have to be with the Illinois All-State productions of Sweeney Todd and Big Fish. The production teams and companies of these two shows were so full of talent, passion, and heart. These shows were my first experiences performing outside of my school district, and while I loved performing in my home town, these shows opened my eyes to how truly amazing the theatre community is. My involvement in these two shows gave me lifelong friends, and the inspiration to keep pursuing this as a career.

Give a shoutout!

Shoutout to the Crete Monee Theatre program, the Illinois High School Theatre Festival, and The Millikin University School of Theatre and Dance!!

Want to see Steven in the final 3? Vote for him HERE!


Inspired by your favorite network TV singing contests, the site invited high school and college aged students to submit videos of themselves performing a song from the musical theatre canon to enter the competition.

Voting for the top 3 is now open! The nominees have submitted all new songs for you to listen to before casting your vote!

Voting for High School will close at 11:59 PM ET on Wednesday, June 24th. Voting for College will close on 11:59 PM ET on Thursday June 25th.

Then tune in for the results LIVE as the judges watch the performances and pick someone from the bottom three to be saved to compete for the top 3! Live shows will air Thursday at 8 PM (high school) and Friday at 8PM (college.)


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