Associate Professor of Musical Theatre, Ball State University
During her 20+ years as a teacher, music director, and performing artist, Johnna has had the pleasure of music-directing and coaching professional artists as well as teaching amateur students at both the primary and secondary levels of their education. Her musical career, as both a performer and music director, has taken her to both coasts and almost everywhere in between.
Johnna is an Associate Professor of Musical Theatre at Ball State University where she teaches studio voice, music directs, and co-teaches the Senior Cabaret class with colleagues Bill Jenkins, department chair, Emmy-Winning Broadway composer Michael Rafter, and Two-Time Tony winner Sutton Foster. The cabaret is featured annually at the nationally renowned Cabaret in downtown Indianapolis as well as the famed Joe’s Pub in New York City. Johnna is featured as a soloist on Ms. Foster’s most recent album, Take Me to the World. She also served as chorus master and assistant to Mr. Rafter, producer and music director for the project.
At Ball State, Johnna was the 2017 recipient of the College of Fine Arts Dean’s Creative Endeavor Award for outstanding professional work in her field. She also received the 2018 Student Government Association Outstanding Teacher Award.
She was one of the music directors for the premiere season of the Discovery New Musical Theatre Festival, produced by Ball State, in the summer of 2014. She music directed and assisted with the continuing development of the winning submission from the inaugural festival, which was performed in the 2015-16 season for Ball State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance. This world premiere production, Mad World: A New Musical, was chosen as a regional finalist for the Kennedy Center-American Collegiate Theatre Festival, and went on to receive national recognition at The Kennedy Center for Outstanding Production of a New or Devised Work and Distinguished Production of a Musical. In 2017, she took over as the musical theatre coordinator for Discovery and helped lead a student-driven team in hosting the 3rd semi-annual New Musical Theatre Festival.
Johnna holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Voice Performance from Simpson College, Indianola, IA, and a Master’s Degree, also in Voice Performance, from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and National Association of Teachers of Singing