Professor Odai Johnson, Head of UW Drama's PhD program, was honored September 26th by the University of Utah Department of Theatre as a Distinguished Alumnus. Professor Johnson earned both his BA and his MFA at the University of Utah.
The Distinguished Alumni Award was created to recognize the extraordinary achievements and contributions to the arts by alumni of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Utah.
This year, the Department of Theatre honored Professor Johnson, who received his MFA from the Department of Theatre at the University of Utah and his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. His articles have appeared in Theatre Journal, Theatre Survey, New England Theatre Journal, Theatre Symposium and the Virginia Magazine of History as well as contributions to numerous anthologies. His books include Rehearsing the Revolution (University of Delaware 1999), The Colonial American Stage: A Documentary Calendar (AUP: 2001), Absence and Memory on the Colonial American Stage (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2005), London in a Box (Iowa 2017), and Ruins: Classical Theatre and the Archeology of Memory (University of Michigan), as well as contributor to the Oxford Handbook of Dance and Theatre, Oxford Handbook of The Georgian Theatre, the Oxford Handbook of American Drama. His courses range from the classical past, to the Baroque, the Early Modern, the Long 18th century, and historiography. Professor Johnson holds the Floyd and Delores Jones Endowed Professorship in the Arts at the University of Washington School of Drama.
Professor Johnson's most recent book, London in a Box, was published by University of Iowa Press this year. The book chronicles the enterprise of David Douglass, founder and manager of the American Theatre, from the 1750s to the climactic 1770s. The ambitious Scotsman’s business was teaching provincial colonials to dress and behave as genteel British subjects. Through the plays he staged, the scenery and costumes, and the bearing of his actors, he displayed London fashion and London manners. He counted among his patrons the most influential men in America, from British generals and governors to local leaders, including the avid theatre-goers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. To learn more about London in a Box, click here.