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For these three performers the long road to Broadway was worth the wait

Stan Brown, Matthew August Jeffers and Susan Pourfar share what it took to get to Broadway.

(L-R) Matthew August Jeffers, Susan Pourfar and Stan Brown (Credit: Courtesy of Polk & Co., Courtesy of Boneau/Bryan-Brown, Courtesy of Polk & Co.)

Matthew August Jeffers remembers the exact moment he got the phone call that would change his life. 

He was heading to see his friend and fellow actor Daniel J. Watts in “The Refuge Plays” by Roundabout Theatre Company, when his agent called to let him know that he was cast as Billing in the Sam Gold-helmed “An Enemy of the People.” Jeffers would be acting alongside Jeremy Strong and Michael Imperioli in the buzzy (now Tony Award-nominated) production. Perhaps more significant: After auditioning for 11 years in New York, Jeffers would make his Broadway debut. 

Ever since playing Schroeder in his eighth grade production of “You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” Jeffers recognized his gift — and his life’s purpose. “I couldn't talk until I was four and had to rely on facial expressions and big gestures to express what I wanted, because I didn’t have language,” he said. “That helped form the different ways I could communicate effectively other than language.” Jeffers has a type of dwarfism called spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia with joint laxity.

While he experienced periods of heightened anxiety and self-doubt, Jeffers never gave up on his dream and graduated from Towson University’s theater arts program. “Coming from a sports background, I’ve striven to perform at the highest levels,” said Jeffers. “Broadway represents some of the highest levels of theater, and I believe I belong in the big leagues.”  

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