David Johnson honored with emeritus status
February 1, 2020
David Johnson, associate professor of theatre arts in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title of associate professor emeritus by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.
The emeritus title may be conferred on retired professors, associate professors, and administrative officers who are specially recommended to the board by Virginia Tech President Tim Sands in recognition of exemplary service to the university. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board receive a copy of the resolution and a certificate of appreciation.
A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1988, Johnson made significant contributions to theatre, bringing both masterful actor and theatre training to undergraduate and graduate students and directing high-quality productions in the Virginia Tech community. Over his career, he mounted 36 on-campus productions and three external productions.
In addition, Johnson directed six professional productions nationally and was a founding member of — and director for — the Russian/American Theatre Project in St. Petersburg, Russia. He performed in four professional productions nationally and 14 productions at Virginia Tech. More recently, he wrote five plays and was contracted to adapt Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders’ 2017 Man Booker Prize–winning novel, into a play for the American Literature Association Conference in 2019.
To extend his passion of theatre, Johnson offered workshops on acting, voice, and commedia dell’arte for high school and college students, high school and university teachers, and theatre professionals. He adjudicated many high school theatre competitions throughout Virginia and presented numerous papers at the Virginia Theatre Association and Southeastern Theatre Conference.
In the classroom, Johnson developed and taught a variety of undergraduate courses, including script analysis, history of drama and theatre, contemporary theatre, intermediate performance, and a range of acting topics courses. Johnson also created, taught, and led three Virginia Tech study abroad programs focusing on commedia dell’arte and European theatre history in Switzerland, Italy, and Greece, for which he was recognized with a Certificate of Teaching Excellence from the College of Arts and Sciences and the university’s Excellence in International Activities Award.
Johnson received his bachelor’s degree from Valparaiso University and a master of fine arts degree from the University of Hawaii.