Artist’s Statement

What do I do? I experience life at a visceral level, from both my own experience and that of the playwright as it exists upon the page. I use this experience to explore my ever changing understanding of the human condition, and to ask those around me to consciously consider what it is that they are thinking and feeling. I strive to allow those around me to live vicariously and to experience a wider range of life than would otherwise be possible, and to encourage, in them and in myself, a broader spectrum of understanding.

Drawing people together for a public performance binds them in a way that few other things can. It allows for an expression of the collective human spirit. Each person that sits in an audience is given the opportunity to experience a new way of thinking, not only through the performance but through the reactions of the people sitting around them. As a group, the audience breathes in the world of the story, and make choices about it together. So, what do I actually do? I strive every day to make the world a more compassionate place. To unearth a sense of meaning beyond myself. To walk before the world in a way that will cleanse their souls, heal their hearts, dance inside their minds, and make their lives better.

Art, to me, is about exposing something. Showing the world the best and the worst of what it has to offer. As such, since devoting myself to art, my life has existed in constant dichotomy. I am torn between my revulsion at human cruelty and my amazement at human goodness. Between feeling like I am starting to understand the world and feeling lost in its midst. Between inspiration and despair, falsehood and truth.

I was once asked by a director what my mission statement for the show was. At the time, and for that specific show, I answered: to courageously pursue spontaneity and creative risk. With reflection, I have amended that to more broadly encompass my life and work: to relentlessly seek meaningful truth as it manifests in an imagined reality, and to express that truth through the courageous pursuit of creative risk.

Brianna Johnston

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