John has been performing, teaching and directing theatre for the past 35 years. He is best known as the “Smoot” half of the award-winning Canadian clown duo Mump & Smoot. He was also founder and Artistic Director of The Manitoulin Conservatory for Creation and Performance from 2002 – 2020 (aka. The Clown Farm). He now coaches, teaches, directs and performs across the country. A part from having the honour and privilege of working with Mia van Leeuwen on “The Late Night Ghost Show” (as clown coach/dramaturg/clunic consultant, grief counsellor, and heretic psychotherapist); John’s coaching and/or directing credits include work with Justin Miller’s Pearle Harbour, Jennifer Dallas’ Kittly-Bender and Known, Morro and Jasp (multiple shows), Karen Hines’ Citizen Pochsy and Crawlspace, Christine Moynihan’s Ethel Series, Michael Kennard’s Puzzle Me Red, Sandrine Lafond’s Little Lady, and De-ba-jeh-mu-jig Theatre’s ATrickster Tale, and The Gulch.
John Turnerattended three universities and two colleges but was never inspired to finish. He had jobs as an oil rig roughneck, hospital orderly, painter, construction worker, frying pan and cookbook salesman, waiter and bartender. John studied clown, mask and movement with Richard Pochinko, Ian Wallace, and Fiona Griffiths, bouffon with Philippe Gaulier, physical comedy with John Towsen and improv at Second City.