Marcus Denard Johnson
Director of Programs
Arriving in New York City after earning his BA in Theatre at Morehouse College, then his MFA in Acting at Florida State University, Marcus D. Johnson had high aspirations of finding the theatrical footprint of Broadway in every corner of every borough in the iconic metropolis. After only a month of searching, Marcus landed a job as a teaching artist with a small youth theatre company, a career path that he didn’t even know existed. Through his work there and with other organizations (Opening Act included) it was quickly revealed to him that these students, many of whom lived no more than 10 miles from the theatre district, had no connection to Broadway or Off-Broadway theatre nor did they have regular arts access in their own schools or communities. For the next 3 years, Marcus would dedicate most of his time endeavoring to teach young people communication and leadership skills through the lens of theatre. After returning to school to earn an MS in Adolescent Special Education and working in the NYC Department of Education for 3 years, Marcus realized that his work exposing young people to the arts was much more rewarding for him. He returned to his most beloved Opening Act, the place where his passion for youth development and theatre connected. As a teaching artist, a certified Special Education teacher, and arts administrator, Marcus has witnessed and first hand the transformative power of theatrical performance in the lives of young people.