Actor Spotlight: Joann Johnson

The Blog


August 8, 2019 | By Jenny

Actor Spotlight: Joann Johnson

For Joann Johnson, the theater was a big part of her life in middle school and high school. Her roles as a fairy in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a Lady in Waiting in the Princess and the Pea, and the Goblin Queen in the Princess and the Goblin Queen, helped influence her love for the arts. Mainly receiving smaller parts however, Joann moved onto other art pursuits when college came around. The journey through university was tumultuous, helping Joann decide to take a break to travel, work, and navigate adulthood. After a few years, Joann received clarity that she should pursue nursing school. While pre-nursing courses are arduous, Joann continues to study while working full time as a hostess at Chestnut in downtown Asheville. Joann decided to try out for Rabbit Hole after almost a decade of not doing theater. The role of Izzy felt like the perfect debut adult performance. 

Name: Joann Johnson

Character in Rabbit Hole: Izzy

Occupation: Hostess.

Hobbies and Interests: Hiking, yoga, biking, reading, writing and throwing events for my friends.

Why should you come and see a play like Rabbit Hole? Rabbit Hole is an authentic play that gives the audience a window into a home filled with the mixed emotions that families experience with loss. It has humor, sadness, dysfunction, and frustration that is relatable.

Can you name some of the major recurring emotions you felt throughout the rehearsal process for Rabbit HoleHumor, Joy, Sadness, Grief.

What about Rabbit Hole drew you to audition?  My character Izzy deals with pain through humor which I connect with. She is honest almost to a fault. I also have had my own experience with grief. Four years ago I gave my son up for adoption and I’ve been grappling with that grief in my own way the last few years.

Have you grown at all as a person, working on Rabbit Hole? I really feel like this play has helped me deal with my own grief and story in a deeper way. It’s brought me out of my shell in a creative and challenging way. Midway through the show’s rehearsals I also had a hard break up with my partner which was another loss this play has helped me work through! I had to refocus my grief and energy which was a welcomed distraction.

What is, in your opinion, the most important moment in the play? What about this moment makes it special?  Izzy’s character grows immensely throughout the performance. My favorite scene is the one where she confronts Howie because it shows her maturity.

What do you feel is the most important message of your character, and what can it teach other people?  She is extremely caring and protective. I’ve found Izzy to be brave and honest.

Can you describe what, in your opinion, the essence of Rabbit Hole is? Redemption through pain.

* * *

Joann, we hope we’ll keep seeing you on our stages and on other stages around town in the future! If you’d like to catch Joann’s debut in Rabbit Hole, get tickets here

Return to all posts >

Comments are closed.