John Riven is a graduate of the Neighborhood Playhouse where he studied under Sanford Meisner and Richard Pinter. Upon graduating, John and a group of his classmates formed their own theater company. Since none of the group had directed a play before, John was asked (read heavily coerced) to direct their first play, an original written by one of the group members, Lisa Maria Radano. The play was a success and the group produced a number of productions in NYC. Founding members include Oscar Winner Allison Janney: I, Tonya, West Wing, American Beauty, Steven Rogers screenwriter: I, Tonya, Hope Floats, Kate & Leopold, Lisa Maria Radano playwright and screenwriter: Mrs Winterbourne, and David Ornston film producer: Two Sticks Productions. John began teaching classes in the Meisner work in NYC during this time and continued teaching before moving back to Toronto. Pursuing other interests, John was continually pestered by an agent friend to teach her clients. John eventually agreed to (read heavily coerced) and began with one class in the basement of a church. The classes grew and now John teaches full time evenings and weekends in a downtown studio.