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.

Mainly through mask-work and meditation, my Impro begins to flourish.

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 am teaching Impro and mask, working with children and doing science and nature theatre. I continue to travel and attend Vipassana Meditation retreats. I am on the board of directors of the iTi (International Theatresports Institute).

The masks tour Europe and North America each year in an ever-widening scope of weekend workshops, longer intensives and mask based shows. They also show up frequently in Impro shows. In 2016 the masks did world tour with workshops in Columbia, Peru, Brazil, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Japan.

I continue to get training from Keith and other Impro teachers like Shawn Kinley. My interest in simple clown (and it’s connection to Mask) continues to develop and I have worked with clown teachers and performers: Aitor Basauri and Felipe Ortiz.

From tribal dances in Africa and performances in India to my own creations here at home, masks continue to teach me a great deal about, spontaneity, accepting and exploring myself.