John Tovar

Fight Director/Certified Teacher

John has taught stage combat classes at educational institutions such as DePaul University, Illinois State University, College of DuPage, and was a Guest Artist at Roosevelt University. Regional workshops John has taught at include The Winter Wonderland Workshop, Seattle Sockeye, Cease and Desist, Central Illinois Stage Combat Workshop, Rumble in the Rockies, and Havoc in the Heartland. John has also taught at the National Stage Combat Workshop and the North Carolina School of the Arts Summer Session: Introduction to Stage Combat.

John has choreographed violence in over 300 productions for companies such as Steppenwolf, Drury Lane Oakbrook, Lookingglass, About Face Theatre, The Gift Theatre, Route 66 Theatre, Actor's Theatre of Indiana, Buffalo Theatre Ensemble and Fox Valley Repertory. Most notably, John choreographed the violence for the world premiere A Red Orchid Theatre’s The Opponent, for which he won the 2013 Joseph Jefferson Award for Fight Direction. John was also nominated for a 2015 Joseph Jefferson Award for his fight choreography in CAMELOT, produced by Drury Lane Oakbrook, and a 2019 Joseph Jefferson Award for his fight choreography in GIRL IN THE RED CORNER, produced by Broken Nose Theatre Company.

He holds a Masters degree in Directing and a Bachelors degree in performance from Illinois State University, where he was the recipient of the prestigious Jean Scharfenberg Acting Award. John is also the founder of MACE (Movement and Combat Education) and, currently, is an Assistant Professor of Acting/Directing at Illinois State University.


Skill Proficiency History

Date Weapon Location Grade

Private Classes

Aug 10, 2010 Rapier and Dagger Chicago, Illinois Recommended Pass