Stefan Haves grew up in Los Angeles, and began performing professionally when
he got his Screen Actors Guild card in his early teens. He worked in television
for a decade before crossing over to the world of circus arts and clowning. "What
interested me about physical theatre as opposed to naturalistic acting was the
benchmarks the circus provides" he says. "Either you can juggle or
you can't, either you can walk a tightrope or you can't. Also, the
emotional impact is universal, not language based."
After graduating with a B.A. in Theatre Arts from California State University,
Northridge, Stefan went on to study at the Dell'Arte International School of
Physical Theatre in California, and worked in the trenches as a juggler and
street clown in Paris, which is where he first encountered David Shiner, the
writer and director of Cirque du Soleil's KOOZA as well as Banana Shpeel.
From 2000 to 2006, Haves was the primary director/writer for the critically
acclaimed dinner/circus Teatro Zinzanni in San Francisco where he collaborated,
with prestigious acrobats, clowns, and magicians as well as headliners such
as Joan Baez and the Tony-winning actress Lilliane Montevechi. His professional
association with David Shiner continued when he was hired as creative consultant
on the Tony Award-winning Broadway hit Fool Moon starring Shiner and Bill Irwin.
As a writer, Stefan's hilarious shows are based on physical comedy and
Commedia dell'Arte' techniques. His film work includes producing and directing
the award-winning short film Punch Drunk, starring Sally Kellerman and Connie
Sellecca as well as Stalled, starring Doug Jones and Persia White.
Stefan has directed numerous corporate circus events and critically acclaimed
theatre productions. Of note is his adaptation of Jack London's The Call
Of The Wild in which he used stilt walkers, animal and mask work to illuminate
the plight of a dog in the Klondike during the Gold Rush.
Stefan has acted in many television and stage shows, but he is probably best
known to audiences for his comedy contortion act entitled Back Man, which was
a winner on America's Funniest People. Back Man garnered global recognition
on numerous television shows and cabaret stages worldwide. As Back Man Stefan
worked once again with David Shiner at the Wintergarten in Berlin, and ten years
later, he joined the team for KOOZA.
"My job on Banana Shpeel is to collaborate with director David Shiner
to design scenes around the story or a character that feature clear setups and
clear punchlines, with no ambiguity," says Stefan Haves. "The challenge
of constructing a contemporary Vaudeville, is to ensure that each moment is
self-contained with maximum comic or sentimental punch. Banana Shpeel allows
the audience to breathe and rejoice in the power of the performer giving us
all solace and a holiday from the worries of the day."
Stefan Haves was born in Los Angeles in1958 and has a daughter, Hannah Haves.