James Monroe Števko, Chicago who earned his degree in dance from NIU’s School of Theatre and Dance, is currently performing in the Lyric Opera of Chicago‘s production of Fiddler on the RoofLast week, he took time out to return to his alma mater and conduct a masterclass for dance students in the NIU School of Theatre and Dance.

Števko is a native of Wheaton, Ill. and graduate of Glenbard South. He began dancing after enrolling at NIU with an emphasis in music education.  After graduation he went on to dance at The Metropolitan Opera, The Radio City Christmas Spectacular and the Milwaukee Ballet. His Chicago include: seven seasons at the Lyric Opera of Chicago,  Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Drury Lane and Oklahoma! at The Paramount. He was dubbed a “late-bloomer” by the Arlington Heights Daily Herald and has been featured in the DeKalb Daily Chronicle and Chicago Jewish Home Magazine.

Števko was a featured principal on the original cast album of Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish. He originated the role of Mendl, under the direction of Tony, Oscar and Golden Globe winner, Joel Grey. The album was produced by Grammy nominated producer Rob Sher of Time Life/Warner Bros and will be released August 23 and available on Apple Music and Spotify.

The Lyric Opera’s production of Fiddler on the Roof runs through October 7.

Photo: That’s James, in the gray sleeveless shirt, right in the middle of all the fun.