Steve Russell has had the ‘acting bug’ since he was a little kid. He was in high-school shows in Bramalea and then went to the University of Western Ontario, where he appeared in several dramatic productions and earned a combined English and Drama degree.
He then was accepted into the Banff Centre School for actor training. This lead to what Steve calls a “brilliant and brief” career in professional theatre where Steve learned that he is, in fact, “a material girl” not ready to suffer the slings and arrows of living out of a suitcase as a starving actor. This brought him to teaching, where he thought he’d have plenty of time to be involved in community theatre. Unfortunately the demands of teaching kept him very busy. He got involved in the Council of Ontario Drama and Dance Educators, eventually becoming it’s president and getting heavily involved in revising the Ontario Drama curriculum and producing resources to support drama teachers. He is a published author of a book about assessment and evaluation in drama, which he describes as “a real page turner”.
Steve has been teaching high-school since 1985. His first 16 years were in Brampton, where he was head of drama and also taught English. He was lead vocalist in a staff Blues band called Sheckie and the Groaners – and yes, he was nick-named ‘Sheckie’ because of the bad one-liners he used between tunes. Take his wife, please.
Steve moved to Peterborough in 2000. He was enticed by the Integrated Arts Program at PCVS. After teaching there for a few years, he was the Arts Consultant for the KPR Board of Education for six years and is now the head of the Peterborough Integrated Arts program at Thomas A. Stewart Secondary.
Steve is married to, and works in the same school with his wife, Dianne who is also a Drama teacher. They have two daughters, Kaelah (age 25) and Mackenzie, who is one of the Laker Girls in Spamalot. Steve has directed Deathtrap and Murder at the Howard Johnson’s for the Peterborough Theatre Guild. He’s hoping to indulge in his passion for the theatre much more after retiring from teaching.