John Mayberry (Toronto, ON) grew up in a family full of music and dance. The story is that he was first taken to a dance in a basket at two weeks old, and early home movies show him at 6 in full Swedish costume at a Swedish dance festival in Tokyo. Early exposure to the Weavers, etc. led to a life-long love of traditional song, which combined with a teen-aged infatuation with mime and juggling resulting in several years working with the Poculi Ludique Societas, a scholarly medieval theatre group. This experience also developed three other life-long vocations: carpentry, leading to building scenery and props for theatres and then to teaching undergraduates in university theatre programs; Morris dancing, leading to his dancing with The Toronto Morris Men as the Fool, and mummers’ plays, leading to writing, performing and studying them.
He is now an Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre and also Academic Advisor of Winters College, at York University in Toronto. He and his wife Laurie Cumming have been on staff at CDSS Family Week, Campers’ Week, English Week, and Ogontz Family Week where they have also been Program Directors. They have been on staff at Boston Centre July Fourth Weekend and English and Scottish Session at Pinewoods, as well as Berea Christmas Dance School and Algoma Traditional Music and Dance Family Camp. John has served on the Board of Directors of The Canadian Institute for Theatre Technology and also that of Theatre Ontario, a not-for-profit association supporting all aspects of theatrical activity in the province. He is Vice-Chair (and former Chair) of the Technology Commission of OISTAT (Organisation Internationale des Scénographes, Techniciens et Architectes de Théâtre). He currently dances Irish sets, contra and English as often as possible. A 2005 trip with the Toronto Morris Men, invited to dance in the carnival parade in Santiago de Cuba, sparked his current passion, Afro-Cuban dance, especially the dances of Ellegua the trickster.