People Watching: Stephen Boatright

Stephen Boatright

Have you met Stephen Boatright?  If you have not had the pleasure, let me introduce you to this man of many talents.  He is a filmmaker, photographer, and thespian filling his days with a wide variety of creative projects.  Whether directing a film, doing a photoshoot, or working in the theatre, his passion for sharing stories is at the heart of all he does.

Courtesy of Stephen Boatright

Originally from Georgia, Stephen began honing his craft at a young age.  While other children were listening intently to the teacher, he was noticing the way light entered the room differently depending on whether it was coming from an overhead light or from outside the window.  He would frame scenes with his toys using his mom’s 35mm camera that always seemed to lack film.  But the lack of film was unimportant.  Without realizing it at the time, Stephen was learning to focus on the essential image and exclude the superfluous.  It is this talent for framing an image or scene that makes his works so striking.

The ability to differentiate between essential and superfluous has not only been useful in his professional life.  It has also helped him maintain his focus on a journey that has included extended stops in Nashville, NYC, and Los Angeles.  On the wall in his office, a solitary playing card is encased within a frame.  Stephen was in NYC when he picked the ace of hearts up from the ground.  At that time, a studio to call his own seemed like a distant dream.  But that day he determined that the card he picked up when he was trying to find his way in NYC would someday adorn the wall of his very own office.  It is a small but powerful symbol of his determination and perseverance.

What will happen to Emmeline?

Stephen participates in and builds community through his art.  His current project, a film entitled Emmeline Muffet Gives Up Her Tuffet, originated from a one-act play by South Carolina’s own Anne Pecaro.  The cast is entirely made up of local actors including Mae Tromsness, an exceptionally talented 10 year-old playing the title character.  And, while not all of us have the talent or skill to direct or act in a film, Stephen gives everyone an opportunity to be involved in the film’s creation by giving everyone the option to contribute financial support (beginning with as little as $5) in exchange for some pretty sweet perks.

Stephen credits his choice to settle down in Greenville to his wife, Michele Labar, who encouraged him to explore the creative side of the city while they were still dating.  Personally, I think we owe Michele a collective thank-you for convincing this incredibly gifted man to make Greenville his home.  I have no doubt that our community is better off due to Stephen’s passionate involvement.

Be a part of film history by clicking here to contribute to Emmeline Muffet Gives Up Her Tuffet.  Fundraising ends Tuesday, November 22 at midnight. 

Interested in booking Stephen for holiday portraits or headshots for audition season?  Email him:

For more about Stephen and his journey visit his official website or his blog.

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