Yvonne A.K. Johnson is the Executive Artistic Director of Spokane Valley Summer Theatre, a professional not-for-profit company producing musical theatre and an educationally-focused Summer Camp program for elementary through college aged students. She is also the CEO of Johnson Theatrical Management based in New Jersey and New York City. Her talent base extends from artists performing on Broadway, the West End and regionally across the country. Previously, she was Executive Artistic Director for the national award – winning Spokane Civic Theatre and Company Director and Producer of the national award-winning CLIMB Theatre, Inc. in Minnesota’s Twin Cities.
Johnson has continually been an advocate for Theatre in Education throughout her career. She has been instrumental in founding two Academy programs for youth grades K-12 at Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin and establishing the Spokane Civic Theatre Academy in Spokane, Washington.
Johnson’s most recent regional directing credits include: Grease, Next to Normal, The Count of Monte Cristo, White Christmas, Songs for a New World In Concert, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, Happy Days, The Pirates of Penzance, Chess in Concert, Annie, Jane Eyre in Concert, Annie Get Your Gun, West Side Story In Concert, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Never Swim Alone, Sweeney Todd, In Concert, The Last Five Years, Into the Woods in Concert, South Pacific, The Sound of Music, Barefoot in the Park, Evita In Concert, A Christmas Carol, Jekyll & Hyde In Concert, LIFE 101, and Hello, Dolly!. Award honors include: Best Overall Production for Metamorphoses, Best Play/Musical for White Christmas, Pirates of Penzance, South Pacific, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Hello, Dolly! in addition to Best Drama for Never Swim Alone and Best Director for Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, Pirates of Penzance and Never Swim Alone.
As an Executive Artistic Director, Johnson has a proven track record of producing high quality artistic productions with record breaking financial success. She has led numerous capital campaigns and her independent work in board development and strategic planning has her traveling coast to coast working with various arts institutions.
Johnson is passionate about creating and producing new musical theatre and contemporary play works. She is the co-founder of JTR Productions where she created the internationally successful, original musicals LIFE 101: Spring in London and Jack the Ripper: A Musical Mystery. She holds several advanced theatre degrees including a B.A. for Carthage College in Speech, Communications and Theatre, an M.A. in Contemporary Theatre Practice from the University of Essex in Colchester, England, and an M.F.A. in Directing from Minnesota State University.
From 1996 until 2001, Johnson served as the Artistic Director of Kassiopia Theatre Company in London, England. Highlights at Kassiopia include directing the internationally acclaimed Lovers-Winners by Brian Friel at the Riverside Studios (Off-West End) and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She also premiered Dermot Bolger’s newly revised Irish play, One Last White Horse at the Union Theatre, London.
Johnson has directed various North American tours of Irish full-length and one-act plays for producer John Gleeson and Milwaukee Irish Arts, including Greatest Hits and Blood Guilty. Over the past 25 years, she has taught theatre classes and directed over 100 productions for various schools, universities, community, and professional theatres throughout the US and UK.