Toronto Tuesdays: Breanne Tice and Deivan Steele

I thought it would be fun to interview Breanne and Deiv together since they are the quintessential creative dynamic duo! I mean, come on! Aren’t they the cutest pair? I’ve known both of these fantastic humans for several years, mostly within the context of our church community and artists’ collective. They love life and people and have such a deep passion and talent for theatre (seriously, you should see how Deiv completely transforms when he does Shakespeare!) I’m thrilled to have them both on the blog today!

Welcome Breanne and Deiv!

What’s your favourite creative medium? What draws you to expressing yourself this way?

We’re both actors and creators, and we mainly work in theatre. While theatre has fallen away as our culture’s main performance medium over the past century, we chose it because we believe in the power of its immediacy. When theatre uses its chief weapon, liveness, it can be a powerful force for empathy and community building that we haven’t found in other types of performance.

What inspires you to create?

Creating is our reaction to the world – sometimes joyful celebration, often frustration, fear and a desire for change… 

What, or who, is your greatest creative influence?

We imagine our past selves, their struggles and questions, and we try to create work that would help them. We are always centering our creation on the question: who would this help? Would seeing this piece have changed something for me when I was younger?

photo credit: James Arthur Maclean Photography

What is your favourite time of day to create?

Okay, this is where we differ… 

Deivan: I’m an early morning creator, for sure. There is something about having just woken up – it’s an uncaffeinated, dream like state.

Breanne: I’m a night owl, my brain comes alive after 10pm. I do the “real work” best in the mid morning, actually writing out or recording my work, but I spend my late nights imagining, wondering, and creating in my head. 

Which of your creations is your personal favourite, and why? 

Earlier this year, we collaborated for the first time and developed a theatre piece called The Assembly. It’s a theatre-meets-board-game-meets-social-activism experience, and we love to perform it. It’s our favourite because it’s such an interactive show… as we play, we get to hear the thoughts and ideas of audience members from ages 6 to 86! More info on The Assembly here: www.theassemblyexperience.com

photo credit: Daniel Wittnebel Photography

How do you deal with creative slumps?

Deivan: I do other things. Creating is like harvesting to me, so there’s great value in feeding yourself for awhile and planting new seeds by just living life and consuming other art.

Breanne: I’m still navigating this for myself – launching my career in a pandemic sort of made everything feel like one big slump! Leading with kindness and gentleness has been my go-to, recognizing that I can’t create if I’m not taking care of myself. 

photo credit: Maxim Bortnowski Photography

Who are you beyond your art? Give us three insider facts about you.

  1. We’re big foodies. Less in the sense of going out to restaurants and snapping all the IG photos, more in the sense of cooking and baking new things all the time and sharing meals with loved ones. 
  2. The pandemic has turned us into an old British couple. We have tea time every afternoon now and really appreciate the reset.
  3. We’re getting married next year! If anyone has the secret on how to save money in today’s wedding climate, do give us a call.

What’s one of the best – or most memorable – questions you’ve ever been asked, and how did you answer it?

Breanne: “What are your boundaries?” As a young female actor, it took too long for me to get asked this – I thought I wasn’t allowed to have boundaries, in fear of being dubbed “difficult to work with”. This has ultimately led me to begin training as an intimacy director – someone who supports and advocates for actors and who choreographs heavy or intimate content in theatre and on film. 

Deivan: “What kind of world do we want to leave behind to those not yet born?” This question is always in my mind, and it touches so many facets of my life. There is no one complete answer that I can rattle off, but it’s a reminder that in order to build a better world, we have to live life with empathy, humility, and love as our guides.

What’s something you’re excited about right now?

We’re excited to take our project The Assembly on tour in 2023! We believe so much in its ability to educate young people about democracy and empathy. But first we have to plan a wedding…

And I can’t wait to celebrate the big day with you! Thanks so much for participating today — you two are the best!

If you want to know more about Breanne and Deiv you can find them here: www.theassemblyexperience.com And if you ever have the chance to see them in action, do!

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