York professor recognized for his ‘outstanding career as an educator’

mayberryThe Canadian Institute for Theatre Technology (CITT) presented its Educational Achievement Award to York theatre Professor John Mayberry at its annual conference in Montreal in August at the National Theatre School.

Right: John Mayberry

“To be singled out by my peers is an honour. I was both touched and overwhelmed to receive the award, and the framed certificate hangs proudly in my office,” said Mayberry.

The educational award honours “an individual in recognition of longstanding career achievement as an educator. This individual engages in the teaching of a technical or related discipline while preparing students for work within the Canadian live performance industry.”

Mayberry has been a theatre professional since 1976 in a variety of capacities, working as properties builder, carpenter, performer, choreographer and writer. He taught in the technical/production program at Ryerson’s theatre school for 16 years before joining York’s theatre faculty in 1998.

The award was presented to Mayberry at the ceremony by “Wulf”, a professional prop builder who was one of Mayberry’s early students and now teaches at Ryerson University. Wulf’s glowing endorsement of Mayberry included some personal history: “Over the past 20 years, hundreds of theatre production people across Canada have been taught by John, first at Ryerson and now at York University. For most of us, his classes were the ones we looked forward to attending weekly, not only because they were interesting and entertaining, but because John’s own sheer love of learning was so infectious. His fascination with things made them fascinating to us, and you’d suddenly be learning the intricacies of lumber sizing before your math phobia even had a chance to stop you. His classes have been the highlight of the university experience for so many of us, and they are the ones we most remember and will continue to remember for years to come.”

The memories of Mayberry elicited further plaudits. “Almost everything I know about teaching I know from watching John Mayberry do it all those years ago, and my goal as a teacher today is to make as lasting an impression on my students as John did on me,” added Wulf with admiration.

CITT is a national arts service organization with the mission of actively promoting the professional development of its members and working for the betterment of the Canadian live performance community.

This story was submitted to YFile by Mary-Lou Schagena, communications, Faculty of Fine Arts.