Born in London, Stephen Temperley first came to the U.S. as a teenager. He trained as an actor at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, going on from there to act in several plays for New York's Public Theatre, including 1 & 2 Henry IV for Shakespeare in the Park, and Invitation to a Beheading at the Martinson.
Returning to London, he performed many roles in repertory companies; in the West End in Very Good Eddie and the Brecht/Weill musical Happy End; on television he played leading roles in a drama series for for Granada TV, plays for ITV, the BBC, a comedy pilot and a David Frost Special.
After moving back to the U.S. in the late '70s he has worked extensively in leading regional theaters, in National Tours of Whose Life is it Anyway? and Me and My Girl, the blue grass musical Lone Star Love in Cleveland, many plays in stock, off-Broadway in the rock musical Up Against It at the Public, and in the original company of Crazy for You on Broadway.
The first of his plays to be produced was Beside the Seaside, off-Broadway at the Hudson Guild. Other plays include Money/Mercy, produced at the Chelsea Theatre center and then as part of the first HBO New Writers’ Workshop in Los Angeles. Dance With Me, off-Broadway at the 18th Street Theatre and later at Centenary Theatre Company in New Jersey, and also The Pilgrim Papers at the Berkshire Theatre Festival. Workshops include a musical, That Kind of Woman, for Dodger Theatricals, Kind Masters at the Mint, The Weight of Tears at TheatreSounds. His most recent plays are Songbook, which received two workshop stagings at the York and is now also a novel, a new adaptation of A Christmas Carol presented by the Centenary Theatre Company, and Nine Day Wonder, a solo comedy that he recently performed himself.
Souvenir, staged by the Tony award-winning director Vivian Matalon, was first produced off-Broadway at the York Theatre, then on Broadway at the Lyceum Theatre. It has since become one of the most produced plays in the US and has been seen in Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Copenhagen (where it joined the repertoire of the Danish Royal Opera), and continues to be produced in the US and around the world to great success.
He was the assistant director for The Tap Dance Kid on Broadway and directed Eleanor for the Berkshire Theater Festival.