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CORINNE JOHNSON
Company Member

STATUS
Member Since 2008
CORINNE JOHNSON
Cory's love of theatre started early and led her to study it seriously first at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN and later at St. Catherine's College in St. Paul, MN where she earned her BA. In college she enjoyed many aspects of theatre from acting to directing to costume design. These skills served her well when she completed a professional internship at the Children's Theatre Company in Minneapolis, MN.

After a very short break from academics Cory attended the University of Minnesota where she completed her Master's Degree while acting in a number of shows and improvisation groups.

Encouraged by her college professors, she pursued summer stock work and got her first paid acting gig at the Paul Bunyan Playhouse and later at the Minnesota Festival Theatre. Connections with these companies secured her acting work at the Old Creamery Theatre in Garrison, Iowa and later with three separate national touring companies out of Houston, Texas.

Taking a break from the road, she accepted a one-year sabbatical replacement gig in the Luther College Theatre Department. During that seminal experience, the love of the theatre in higher education really took hold. That year she directed highly successful productions of Cabaret and The Fifth of July and secured friends and colleagues that continue to this day. It was clear a career as a college professor was in her future.

She staved off the rigors of another stint in graduate school with professional acting work in the Twin Cities area and a couple year stay as a company member of "Dudley Riggs' Brave New Workshop" --an established performance improvisational and sketch comedy theatre in Minneapolis, MN. This was followed by a brief position in the touring company of The Second City.

In 1987 she enrolled in the Ph.D. program at the University of Oregon. Three grueling years later she emerged scarred and fatigued, but with the title of "Dr." Immediately following her graduation in August of 1989 she accepted a position as a professor at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, IA. More than twenty years later she remains at SAU where she serves as department chair. Throughout her time in Davenport she has been lucky to maintain her professional chops by directing and acting at Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse in Rock Island, IL and by working professionally during the summer.

Favorite past acting roles include: Amanda in The Glass Menagerie, Virginia in Wit and Winifred in Once Upon a Mattress. Favorite directing projects include: A Streetcar Named Desire (starring Kim Furness), Buried Child, Anton in Showbusiness, Hedda Gabler, Pippin, and her original adaptation (with former student Aaron Randolph) of James and the Giant Peach.

However and without a doubt, Cory considers her students as her biggest claims to fame and is honored and humbled to have former students invite her into their midst as a company member of The Curtainbox.