CHLOE JOHNSTON

Assistant Professor of Theater

Lake Forest College

555 N. Sheridan Road

Lake Forest, IL 60045

Tel: (773) 203-0807

Email: johnston@lakeforest.edu  

EDUCATION:

Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

PhD, Performance Studies, 2011

Dissertation: “Walking Performances: Perambulating Bodies and Circulating Stories”

Advisor: D. Soyini Madison

Dissertation Committee: Mary Zimmerman, Harvey Young, Ramon Rivera-Servera, E. Patrick Johnson

Areas of interest: experimental performance, political performances, risk in performance, art in public space, aerialists, literary adaptations for the stage

Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

M.A., Performance Studies, 2006

Master’s Thesis: “Documenting Docudrama: The ‘Recognition of Schism’ in Theatrical Practice”

Advisor: E. Patrick Johnson

The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

B.A., Art History, graduated with honors, 1999

Bachelor’s thesis on late 20th century performance art

Advisor: Martha Ward

AWARDS, HONORS, FELLOWSHIPS:

Summer Research Grant, Lake Forest College, 2013

Grant awarded to support conference travel and reseach for upcoming performance project.

DAAD Summer Seminar, The University of Chicago, 2011

            Participated in interdisciplinary seminar on performance and media theory sponsored by the German government.

Graduate Affiliate, The Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities, Northwestern University, 2009-2010

            Invited to participate in all Humanities Institute events, awarded research account

Lilla A. Heston Memorial Scholarship, Northwestern University, May 2009

            Awarded by the School of Communication and Department of Performance Studies in recognition of academic achievement

Robert S. Breen Memorial Award, Northwestern University, May 2008

            Awarded by the School of Communication Department of Performance Studies in recognition of contributions to the Northwestern community

Research grant, The Center for Interdisciplinary Research in the Arts, Northwestern University, 2008-2009

            Awarded to support the development of an original interdisciplinary performance piece in collaboration with The Laboratory for the Development of Substitute Materials

Summer Inc. Residency, The University of Chicago, 2008

Two-week residency at The University of Chicago to support the creation of an original performance piece in collaboration with The Laboratory for the Development of Substitute Materials

Listed with The Neo-Futurists as one of the “50 Most Important Players in Chicago Theatre,” New City Chicago, September 2004

PUBLICATIONS:

Books

Ensemble-Made Chicago: A Guide to Creating Collaborative Performance, co-authored with Coya Paz, under contract with Northwestern University Press

Journal Articles

“Open Carry: Radical Stillness,” TDR 59.4 (2015): 176-183.

“On Not Falling: Philippe Petit and His Walk Between the Twin Towers,” Performance Research 18.2 (2013): 30-35.

“ ‘The Lovers’: On The Great Wall and Beyond,” Performance Research 17.5 (2012): 19-23.

“Orlando by the Lake,” The Center for Classic Theatre Review Issue #1 (2011): 32-35.

Wandering Through Time: Francis Alÿs’s Paseos and the Circulation of Performance,” Liminalities 6.2 (2010)

“The Built Environment and the Architecture of a Performance: Arcosanti, Chicago, and the Making of Theoretical Isolation: A Post-Atomic Experiment,” co-authored with Ira S. Murfin, Theatre Topics 20.2 (Sept 2010): 133-146.

Performance Reviews

Hit the Wall, Chicago Commercial Collective, 2014,” Theatre Journal  67.1 (March 2015): 100-102.

CONFERENCES AND PRESENTATIONS:

“Embracing opportunities, Embracing the City,” panel presentation, National Communication Association Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada, November 2015

“Radical Stillness,” workgroup paper, The American Society for Theatre Research Conference, Baltimore, Maryland, November 2014

“Open Carry: Experimental Guns,” panel presentation, Performance Studies International Conference, Shanghai Theatre Academy, July 2014

“Neo-Futurist Performance Workshop,” praxis session, Performance Studies International Conference, Shanghai Theatre Academy, July 2014

“Operation RAW, Operation First Casualty, and the Repetition of Risk,” workgroup paper, The American Society for Theatre Research Conference, Dallas, Texas, November 2013

“Too Many Conference Papers Make the Baby Go Blind: When Is Neo-Futurism?” panel presentation, Performance Studies International Conference, Stanford University, June 2013

Keynote Address, “Performing Theory, Theorizing Performance: Conceptualization, Execution, and Documentation,” A Graduate Student Conference with the Theatre and Drama Department at University of Wisconsin Madison, March 2013

“ ‘I Hope to Tell Ya’: Voice and Travel in Sweet Tea,” workgroup paper, The American Society for Theatre Research Conference, Nashville, Tennessee, November 2012

“ ‘The Best Black Talent’ ”: Rhetoric and history of the UniverSoul Circus,” panel presentation, Association for Theatre in Higher Education Conference, Washington D.C., August 2012

“Veterans and Citizens: The Performances of Iraq Veterans Against the War,” Association for Theatre in Higher Education Conference, Washington D.C., August 2012

“Still at Work: Curious Theatre Branch and the Labor of Play,” panel presentation, Mid-America Theatre Conference, Chicago, Illinois, March 2012

“A Voice and A Story: Multi-vocal Performances in Neo-Futurism,” panel presentation, organized for the National Communications Association Conference, San Francisco, California, November 2010

“Enduring Bodies: Abamovic and Ulay’s The Lovers,” panel presentation, Performance Studies International conference, Toronto, Canada, June 2010

“Theoretical Isolation: Actual Collaborations,” workgroup paper, The American Society for Theatre Research, Puerto Rico, November 2009

"Risk and Surprise: Operation First Casualty and The Risk of Re-enactment," a panel paper for the Performance Studies International conference, Centre for Drama Arts, Zagreb, Croatia, June 2009

“Catching Philippe Petit,” a panel paper for Performance Studies International conference, The University of Copenhagen, Denmark, August 2008

Respondent, “Theatre: Crossroads of the Humanities” Conference, Northwestern University, April 2008

“The Ethics of Performing the Other in a Neo-Futurist Performance,” a panel paper for the Oral History and Performance Conference, Columbia University, March 2008

“ ‘When I See Two Oranges, I Juggle. When I See Two Towers, I Walk’: Performance Becomes Folktale for Philippe Petit,” a panel paper for the Midwest Interdisciplinary

Graduate Conference, University of Wisconsin-Madison, February 2007

“The Mayor’s Mouth: Harold Washington’s Desserts,” a performative paper presented at the 2006 American Studies Association National Conference, Oakland, CA., October 2006

TEACHING:

Lake Forest College, 2010-present

Introduction to Performance Studies

            Upper-level undergraduate class in Theatre Department. Offered an overview of the history of the discipline of Performance Studies, tracing its routes back to anthropology and theatre studies. Integrated both written and performance assignments to investigate how performance can be both a mode of inquiry and an object of study in and of itself.

Acting I

            Introductory course on the basics of building a character, scene analysis, movement work, ensemble creation. Students study 20th century acting styles and create original work, in addition to writing peer reviews. For majors and non-majors.

Acting II: 20th Century Realism

            Advanced acting class, focusing on intensive scenework. Students learn the history of realism, scene analysis, and study the history and context of key 20th century plays. Students also participate in audition workshops.

Women in Theatre

            History of the contributions of women in world theatre and performance. Students learn femsinist theory and basic gender studies terminology, in addition to text analysis and interpretive skills. Students also study the relatioship between theatre and society.

Origins of Theatre

            Introductory course in Theatre Department. Readings were both theoretical and practical. Discussions and reading focused on the cultural and individual impulses of stage performance. Integrated both written and performance assignments and introduced students to a variety of theatrical styles and creative methods.

Northwestern University, 2007-2011

True Love and Marriage

            An interdisciplinary course offered by Kaplan Humanities Institute examining the history of marriage in the United States from both political and cultural perspectives, team-taught with faculty from English and History.

Performance From/In Everyday Life

            Upper-level undergraduate class in Department of Performance Studies, which examined performances inspired by real-life events (autobiographical performance, docudramas) and performances that take place outside theatres and galleries (street performance, interventionist installations.) The course drew from the seminal texts of performance theory, in addition to offering an overview of political/topical performance in 20th century U.S. theatre.

Analysis and Performance of Literature

            Introductory/foundational course in the Department of Performance Studies. Instructed majors and non-majors in basic techniques of using performance as an analytical tool for the study of literature, including units on poetry, short fiction, and non-fiction. Taught performance skills and the creation of solo, autobiographical performance.

The University of Chicago, 2003-2005

Drama: Embodiment and Transformation

            Introductory course in Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities. Instructed students on analysis of theatrical texts and taught basic acting, directing, and improvisational skills. Taught basics of theatrical design theory.

Teaching assistant, Arts in Education

            Humanities course that examined the variety of educational and outreach programs offered by cultural institutions around the country, with a focus on Chicago-based programs. Introduction to foundation texts in the field of arts education. Mentored students as they wrote case studies of specific programs.

Individual workshops in solo performance taught at Dad’s Garage Theatre (Atlanta, GA), Woolly Mammoth Theatre (Washington, D.C.) The University of Arizona, Franklin and Marshall College, The Associated Colleges of the Midwest, Arcosanti, in addition to co-creating and teaching 8-week performance intensives with the Neo-Futurists Theatre Company.

CREATIVE WRITING PUBLICATIONS:

Bare-Knuckled Lit: The Best of Write Club (Hope and Nonthings, 2014) 44 Plays for 44 Presidents (published by Playscripts Inc., 2009)

200 More Plays from Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind (Hope and Nonthings, 2004)

Neo-Solo: 131 Neo-Futurist Solo Plays from Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind (published by Hope and Nonthings, 2002)

AFFILIATIONS:

Ensemble member, The Neo-Futurists Theatre Company, Chicago

Founding ensemble member, The Laboratory for the Development of Substitute Materials, Chicago

Vice president, Board of Directors, Barrel of Monkeys, an arts-education company sponsoring literacy projects in the Chicago Public Schools (2005-2011)

Member, Performance Studies International

Member, American Society of Theatre Research

Member, Association of Theater in Higher Education

SELECTED RECENT PERFORMANCE WORK (full résumé available):

Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind (writer and performer), longest-running show in Chicago, The Neo-Futurists, ongoing

Structural Remains (co-creator and performer) Pivot Arts Incubator at Loyola University, Chicago, February 2015

The Loneliness Project (artistic consultant) About Face Theatre, January 2015

7 of 101: Zen Stories (creator and curator), an audience-interaction performance installation, Free Street Theater, 2014

As You Like It (director), Lake Forest College, November 2014 

The Carter Family Show (creator, writer, performer) Produced at the 2013 Rhinoceros Theatre Festival, ongoing

The Chicken Bone (director and writer) Lake Forest College, November 2012, a collaboratively created play based on the story of Hansel and Gretel, created with the cast

Crowns: A Gospel Musical (assistant director), The Goodman Theatre, July 2012

44 Plays for 44 Presidents (director) Lake Forest College, April 2012 (inaugural productions of the national Plays for Presidents Festival)

The Last Act of Lilka Kadison (assistant director), Lookingglass Theatre, June 2011

Mirror City: A Phantom Experiment (co-creator, performer) The Laboratory for the Development of Substitute Materials, 2011

Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South, (production dramaturg), About Face Theatre, May 2010

Theoretical Isolation: A Post-Atomic Experiment, (creator and performer), The Laboratory for the Development of Substitute Materials, site-specific performance created for Arcosanti, an urban laboratory in Arizona, March 2009; performed in Chicago, April 2009

Twice Told, (adapter and director), an adaptation of the short stories of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Northwestern University, February 2009

A Very Neo-Futurist Christmas Carol, (co-director) The Neo-Futurists Theatre Company, November 2008

The Fool (returns to his chair), (co-creator and performer), original movement performance, The Neo-Futurists, August 2007

Mirror of the Invisible World, adapted and directed by Mary Zimmerman, (assistant director), The Goodman Theatre, June 2007

Illuminations/Marginalia (co-creator and director), dance-theatre performance inspired by medieval manuscripts, Northwestern University, February 2007

Impossible Cities: A Utopian Experiment (co-writer and performer), a collection of short performances about utopian societies, Walkabout Theatre Company, Chicago January 2007

Patriots (creator and director), original full-length play about patriotism in America, The Neo-Futurists, April 2005

Drinking and Writing (co-writer and performer), original site-specific performance, performed at bars throughout Chicago 2004-2005; performed at Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2004

The Mayor’s Mouth, (co-creator and performer), a live theatrical political cooking show, I-80 Drama Co, premiered at Around the Coyote Arts Festival 2003, Chicago; produced by the Chicago History Museum, April 2005

The Emmett Project (creator and director), original full-length play about Emmett Till, The Neo-Futurists, March 2003