Rob is the Technical Director for Crane Creations Theatre Company. Rob’s previous experiences as a modern dad, child care provider, fix it guy, machinist and improvisor have led him to this destiny.
Rob, like many other great figures in history, was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba the heart of Canada to a loving family, the importance of which was one of fortunate Rob’s first lessons. There he learned to stay warm and make friends because if you don’t do both, in the frozen tundra, you die. Either from intense cold, intense polar bear or intense boredom. Growing up Rob learned to read passionately, write compulsively, speak French like a Scotsman and drive on the ice and snow. And he composed many secret poems about girls he was secretly in love with. Like many young gunslingers of his generation, Rob eventually moved west to Calgary, Alberta. Not just to pursue fortune and glory but to chase his one true love. (Spoiler alert, he caught her!) While in Calgary, Rob and his loving wife became parents, his greatest adventure yet! As they say, “Once you become a parent, your heart stops being on the inside of your body”. Rob highly recommends it. Rob has lived in Paris where he learned all the best cliches about France are true! Rob also lived in London, England during the times of Covid and got to keep calm and carry on with all his lovely new mates While Rob loves to travel and visit places both great and small, old and new, and has many wonderful memories and fridge magnets from his travels, the greatest thing he brought back is the lesson that people are people. No matter where you go, we all want to be respected and have a chance to be happy, and love the ones we love.
Rob believes in love, friendship, gravity , the roundness of Earth, fairies, monsters and people. Rob understands dogs and they understand him. Rob hates hate and is an ally to any oppressed or trod on people and will be your friend if you want him to be.
Rob went to College Beliveau in Winnipeg, Manitoba where he had his own coffee cup in the principal’s office. Rob has also attended Southern Alberta Institute of Technology where he received a Red Seal in Machining and learned to measure thrice, cut once and weld it back together if that doesn’t work. Rob and his wife bought a fixer-upper house. While this is not a formal education, there is no better lesson in learning how to build and fix things than by doing it yourself, over and over, the night before your in-laws come to visit. Rob was also a proud member of the Loose Moose Theatre Company, where he learned to think on his feet, over reach and learned to fail with charm.
Rob has made money stocking shelves at Zellers, making elevator rails, printing blue prints and machining drill bits for oil rigs. Rob used to be a stay at home dad to his two children. Rob also used to be president, head chef, activity director and morale officer for “Daddy Dayhome”. Rob changed a million diapers, read a million stories, crushed hundreds of pounds of crayons onto construction paper, wore the wheels off two little red wagons and staged 9 seasons of impromptu puppet theatre. You would think this might be the start of Rob’s path to Crane Creations, gentle reader, wouldn’t you, but you’d not even be half right. While in Paris, Rob was a volunteer for “Friday Mission Lunches” to provide a traditional and proper French sit-down meal for 64 of Paris’ less fortunate. Rob cut a lot of vegetables, carried a lot of soup and poured a lot of coffee.
About Rob Stefaniuk. An Interview with Rob.
Where Are You From Originally?
Winnipeg! My childhood was fantastic! I grew up in a loving home filled with family, food, toys, books, pets and we always had paper to draw on. I always knew I was loved and cherished.
It was like a small town from a 1950’s sitcom. I’d jump on my bike with my friends and we were gone all day. I crashed my bike many times and whatever house I was in front of, there would always be a mom who would stick her head out the door and go “Do you want me to call your mother?”.
You Recently Moved to Mississauga? What is your favourite thing about Mississauga?
I’m still pretty new to the “Saug” but so far it’s either got to be all the amazing food and restaurants (“Afghan kebabs? Yes, please!) or my new buddies at Crane Creations Theatre Company. Also, having spent a good chunk of my life in Western Canada, my first winter here was a walk in the park. No problemo!
Do You Have A Favourite Book?
My absolute favourite, all-time great book is “Even Cowgirls Get The Blues” by Tom Robbins. I had always considered myself pretty versed in literature before and this book absolutely blew my mental doors off. So unique and beautiful, so proud to weird, filled with such pure joy. And the writing style! I didn’t know words could do the tricks Tom Robbins made them do!
Do You Have Any Hobbies?
I have a VERY active imagination. I love to read but I find as I grow older, it’s harder to make time for it. I love music and have an extensive horde of CD’s. Living back in Canada and driving everywhere has given me a chance to play it loud again with the windows down. Nobody wants to see you rock out with your earbuds in on the London Tube. It makes people nervous and the cops will taze you, bro. I love drawing with my kids. During Covid we started doing it online with my Mom and cousins and it’s carried on. I like building stuff. It’s something carried over from my Lego days. I love seeing a problem, imagining what the solution is and then trying to recreate it in the real world. I love our dogs. I am a black belt in butt scratching and am world heavy weight champion of tug with a rope. We’ve always been very lucky with dogs. Being able to bring our dog, Waldo to Paris with us was such a blast because they are used to fussy small purebreds and Waldo’s a big goofy Canadian mutt. I had people leave cafes and cross the street.
Do You Have A Favourite Food?
My favourite meal to eat is salmon sashimi!
Do You Have A Favourite Food To Make? Can You Tell Us The Recipe?
I make a pretty mean butterly chicken on the BBQ. In all great cooking, the secret is fat, sugar and salt. And cutting the spine out.
We are a company that speaks many different languages. What languages do you speak?
I speak English, sometimes really well, sometimes not so really well. I also speak French with an incredibly strong accent of my own invention. The Parisians thought I was very charming, like Tarzan.
Is there a skill you have always wanted to learn?
Photoshop. But I think my new work amigo, Luis, is going to teach me!
What is somewhere you have always wanted to travel?
What is one project you worked on that you are proud of?
I was really proud of a lot of the kid theatre shows I was part of at Loose Moose Theatre. Children are the most honest and pure of audiences. But you also have to find a way to entertain the parents, who KNOW that Little Red Riding Hood is going to be ok. Being to able to craft a story that the whole family can enjoy together is tremendously rewarding.
Do you have any advice for aspiring theatre makers?
Don’t be afraid to fail. Just get back up and keep going. You are never too old to learn something new. Never be too proud to admit you’re wrong. Asking for help from others isn’t a weakness, it’s a strength. Teamwork makes the dream work!