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Stephanie Riggs

Stephanie Riggs is in full multitasking mode: rehearsing music for a summer theater camp, preparing for an upcoming stage role, and occasionally popping the pacifier back in her infant daughter’s mouth. Riggs, a Houston native who now lives in Flower Mound, is an actress, voiceover and recording artist, and founder of the Flower Mound Performing Arts Theatre (FMPAT). She’s also mom to son Slade, 3 ½, and daughter Sophie-Rose, 7 months. Though she studied ballet most of her life, Riggs ended up finding a home in musical theater, where she met her husband, Scott Kirkham.

Her education:
Bachelor of Fine Arts in theater & television from TCU with an emphasis in musical theater

Her theater:
I’m educational director at the FMPAT youth program. I was the founder in 1993. It started as a children’s theater and then branched out into a small professional nonprofit theater—it’s the tiniest professional theater you’re ever seen in your life! I’m really proud of it. It’s been like my first child.

Her acting chops:
I’m an Equity actress. I work on any gigs that I can try to juggle with everything else. I’ve done industrials, recording work and voiceover work, [but] musicals are my first love.

How she met her husband:
We were doing a performance of The Rocky Horror Picture Show in Plano. I was Janet and he was the lighting designer, and we met and hit it off. I convinced him to design a show [at the FMPAT] and he never left!

Bringing her kids to work:
[At work] I have an office the size of a tiny closet, and I put a TV and a Pack ‘n Play in there. Right now my daughter’s in there sleeping and my 3-year-old is watching Phineas & Ferb!

Upcoming performance:
We start[ed] rehearsals for Motherhood the Musical in July. We open[ed] in August in Fort Worth [at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center] before we move to the Eisemann Center [in Richardson]. It’s a show about and for mothers. It’s four women—one is expecting her first child and the other three have children of various ages. They’re giving her advice on what to expect, talking about their own lives and the joys and trials of being a mom. I play Brooke, who’s an attorney who has two children. It’s a character who I can relate to very much. I also have two children and though I’m not an attorney, I am a working mom.

On not divulging her age:
I’m old enough to drink, but not old enough to need a walker! My job is to make sure people don’t know how old I am.

The future of the FMPAT:
I hope it’s still here in 10 years! All theater companies are struggling. With the economy the way it is, people cut out entertainment, and they also cut down on their charitable contributions, [which is] a double whammy for a nonprofit arts organization. It’s harder to get people to spend money on a ticket, [but] it’s so worth it. After the show, people always say, “I really need to do this more often!” It’s different from going to the movies—it’s so much more engaging and inspiring.

Biggest surprise about motherhood:
The amount of poop! I’ve fostered litters and litters of puppies [for The Humane Society and Operation Kindness] and … they did a good job of preparing me, but not for the amount.

Favorite way to beat the heat:
Playing at the pool with my kids. Flower Mound has a great community activity center with a splash park.

I do … again:
My husband gave me a really beautiful cocktail ring for my last birthday. I was seven months pregnant and … we were at a restaurant and he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him again. All the people in the restaurant saw this big pregnant lady and this guy down on one knee. Everybody around us thought, “It’s about time!”

Best parenting advice:
My husband telling me that life is a marathon, not a race. It can be easy to get caught up in how fast your kids are hitting milestones, and forget that they’re these little humans who just need love and affection and hugs. Taking that time to pace yourself and breathe and notice those things is the most important part, not pushing to hit that next target.

Annual family vacation:
We go camping every year at Walt Disney World. We throw everything on top of the car and we drive all the way to Florida, and we pitch a tent. My son remembers [on the 2010 trip] that they had little baby frogs at the campsite and we built them a house out of leaves—that’s what he remembers, not Mickey!

Best shower gift:

Favorite restaurant:
Chuy’s on the Tollway in Plano

Favorite place to shop:

Favorite brand of clothing:
Anything that makes me look thin!

Favorite author:
Sophie Kinsella (the Shopaholic series)

Favorite TV series:
The Bachelor and The Bachelorette

Favorite quote:
“Never, never, never, never give up.” —Winston Churchill

You don’t feel fully dressed without …
Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmers lip gloss

Favorite musical to perform:
The Sound of Music (the character of Maria)

Favorite musical to watch:
Anything with music by Stephen Sondheim

Favorite actresses:
Bernadette Peters and Betty Buckley