Founder and Artistic Director of the New England Youth Theatre
Stephen Stearns has been teaching, directing and performing as a professional clown, mime and actor for 38 years. He has a post doctorate degree in acting from England's famed London Academy (LAMDA). He received his MA in directing ('Best Director Award' 1968) and PhD in Elizabethan and Scandinavian Drama, both from the University of Washington, Seattle.
Mr. Stearns taught college theatre at Bucks County Community College, Newtown, PA from 1970 to 1973, then went to England for actor training and returned to the USA to perform in several Shakespeare Festivals (Oregon and Vermont). He worked as an Equity actor in New York and trained with master mime, Tony Montanaro, at Celebration Mime Theatre in the mid-seventies.
In 1977, he began his solo clown/mime career while simultaneously creating the Horizons Project, a Federal Title IV funded program bringing Vermont artists into rural Vermont schools.
In 1980 he joined forces with writer Peter Gould to form Gould & Stearns, The Clown Jewels of Vermont. G&S has toured for 27 years to 42 states and five foreign countries. Their play, A Peasant of El Salvador, has won several national awards including the Denver Global Peace and Justice Award and has been performed by many companies worldwide. They have also been awarded three grants from the Vermont Arts Council and have been sponsored by the Lincoln Center Institute, who commissioned their play, Gould & Stearns in the Sweet Dreams Motel.
Stephen's solo clown show, Right Under Your Nose, teaches children to transmute their handicaps into opportunities and was supported by a grant from the Vermont Communities Foundation.
In 1998, Mr. Stearns founded the New England Youth Theatre, which thus far has built theatres out of an abandoned Chinese restaurant and an unused automobile machine shop, as well as produced dozens of plays over the years, including many by Shakespeare. NEYT serves more than 300 children each year from age 3 to age 19 and provides on-the-job training for college interns during the summer.