Donna Marie Johnson ROUNDABOUT YOUTH ENSEMBLE COORDINATOR
Ted Sod: Tell us about yourself. Where were you born and educated? DMJ: My family was stationed at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas when I was born. As some say, I’m an “army brat.” I began my studies for a double major, Theatre and Psychology, at Temple University in Philadelphia. After two years I transferred to Barnard College in New York City and received a BA in Program in the Arts and Psychology. After graduating from Barnard, I was offered a position in Barnard’s Theatre Department. While working, I continued my studies in Arts Administration at Columbia University.
TS: How and when did you become an Education Coordinator for Roundabout's Education Department?
DMJ: I had been doing work with the IATSE Labor Union. While there, my colleagues learned of my previous experience working as an event coordinator, actor, acting coach, and my work with at-risk youth. When the opening for a position as an Education Coordinator with the Education Department became available, my contact at IATSE referred me to Roundabout. I applied with the knowledge that there were a lot of applicants whom I would be competing with. I interviewed and started my tenure as Education Coordinator of Roundabout’s Youth Ensemble (RYE) at the beginning of October 2018.
TS: Describe your job at RTC. What are your responsibilities? DMJ: I work with the Teaching Artists at Roundabout to plan, organize, and coordinate RYE’s after-school workshops, and I also serve as Producer for RYE’s summer production. My job is to monitor and evaluate the programming and events for the ensemble. As RYE has expanded to the five boroughs of New York City, I oversee the development of each ensemble’s individual programming.
TS: What is the best part of your job? What is the hardest part? DMJ: I take great pleasure in having the opportunity to enrich the learning experience of students. We are providing a unique skill set for them to
achieve successful and creative theatre-making while simultaneously developing positive methods to approach challenges they may face as they pursue their future endeavors. Watching their growth and achievements is quite fulfilling. The hardest part may be keeping abreast of the public school schedules and checking for conflicts that may interfere with RYE programming.
TS: Why do you choose to work at Roundabout? DMJ: Working at Roundabout has allowed me to combine my interests in theatre and mentoring young people. As Education Coordinator of RYE, I can help to create an environment where theatre techniques empower and enhance the development of positive, self-assured students.•
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ROUNDABOUT THEATRE COMPANY • 2019–2020 SEASON Donna Marie Johnson
Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director/CEO), a not-for-profit company founded in 1965, celebrates the power of theatre by spotlighting classics from the past, cultivating new works of the present, and educating minds for the future. More information on Roundabout’s mission, history and programs can be found by visiting roundabouttheatre.org
Learn more at roundabouttheatre.org
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