Stephen Near is a Hamilton-based playwright, educator, and arts administrator. Originally from Ottawa, Stephen has a B.F.A. from York University and has co-founded or worked with several theatre companies including Reaching Symmetries Theatre (Playwright-in-Residence), Scripts In Progress (Dramaturge) and In The Moment Theatre (Playwright-in-Residence). His plays have been performed in Fringe festivals across Ontario, at Toronto's SummerWorks festival, and Theatre BC's Mainstage festival. Stephen is an alumnus of the Sage Hill Writing Experience in Saskatchewan and has studied with Sheldon Rosen, Floyd Favel, Linda Griffiths and David Copelin. Stephen also has a B. Ed from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) and is a member of both the Council of Ontario Drama & Dance Educators (CODE) and the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT). Stephen is currently the Program Director for the Hamilton Arts Council and a member of the Theatre Aquarius Playwrights Circle.