Steve’s Biography

In 1987 I stumbled onto improvisation at Loose Moose Theatre in Calgary. Spontaneity and accepting made sense to me but my responsible side said “go back to school”. So I spent four years completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Calgary. Keith Johnstone taught me acting and directed me in The Caucasian Chalk Circle. Then I needed to explore so I left for Europe. Since then, my adventures have brought me to South America, Africa, the Middle East, South East Asia and several trips to India. Between travels I work in the National and Provincial Parks of the Rocky Mountains doing Nature theatre. There I put in practice my interest in skills like: storytelling, puppetry and mask work. I keep on returning to Loose Moose to address my own fears and expression through improvisation.

In 1998, I had my first experience with masks (not a great one), doing a stylized Comedia d’elle Arte play. I sensed masks could be much more, having seen Comedia-style misbehavior work wonderfully at Loose Moose. So I began making my own masks and bringing them to the stage. Keith noticed and supported masks at the theatre.

Today I teach mask workshops as well as courses on a variety of Impro topics in Europe, Canada, and around the world. Along with Keith’s half (trance) mask technique, I integrate, full masks, puppetry, and clowning into improvisation courses and shows.

At the moment I share my time between Banff, Canada and Stuttgart, Germany. In Canada, I produce and perform nature and children’s theatre writing and devising plays for schools, museums, zoos and national parks. In Germany I play improvisation and scripted theatre with Improtheater Stuttgart. Our current projects include a play about dementia, a kid’s touring show about climate change, teaching and developing improvisation formats locally, and performing in regular Impro shows.

I am proud to be one of the few Impro teachers authorized by the International Theatresports Institute to teach Keith Johnstone’s formats Theatresports™, Maestro Impro™ and Gorilla Theatre™.

When not teaching and performing, I head for the mountains to explore outside, and attend meditation retreats to find out what’s happening inside. As a later-in-life father I love the  constant play, make-believe, spinning, wrestling, singing, dancing and storytelling with my 3-year-old bundle of fun.