Debbra Johnson (aka "Ms. Deb" as she is known to hundreds of children around the area), is no stranger to children's theatre or to early childhood education. A veteran of shows at The Delaware Children's Theatre, young audiences may have seen her as Ida in Honk!, The Duchess in Alice in Wonderland, Aunt Polly in Tom Sawyer, Sister Berte in The Sound of Music, The Wicked Stepmother in Cinderella, Sophie and Mrs. Pugh in Annie, and The Toyland Fairy Queen in Babes in Toyland. She has also appeared in numerous shows with other theatre companies including The Brandywiners, Ltd., Artists Theatre Association, The Wilmington Drama League (and their children's wing, Chrysalis Players, OperaDelaware, and Candlelight Dinner Theatre. In more recent years, she has moved off-stage to behind-the-scenes, directing, assistant directing and producing shows for The Sanford School, The Independence School, Brandywine School District Summer Stock, Delaware All State Theatre, Delaware Children's Theatre, and Wilmington Drama League.
She has taught 1/2 day Kindergarten extended care classes, summer creative arts camps, Pre-Kindergarten, and music and movement to Pre-K and Kindergarten classes for Tutor Time Learning Center in Pike Creek, in addition to teaching summer drama workshops for The Delaware Children's Theatre, as well as after-school drama programs for elementary students in Woodstown, NJ and The Sanford School. She also taught a multitude of after-school drama classes for The Child Drama Workshops for several years and and served as Project Coordinator and Assistant to CDW founder, Carol Bouzoukis, PhD, RDT, MFA. Through her work with CDW, she taught or assisted with numerous drama programs at The Independence School, CACC Montessori School, Albert Einstein Academy, Tower Hill School, and Edgemoor Community Center.
Previously, she served for seven years as choral assistant to the Conrad Middle School Chorus and has directed, assistant directed, or served as stage manager for musical productions for The Delaware Children's Theatre, Conrad Middle School, Sanford School, Able Arts, Inc., and Chrysallis Players. She also served as assistant children's ensemble coordinator for the national touring company production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat during its 16-performance run at The Playhouse Theatre in Wilmington in 1996 as well as with The Academy of Vocal Arts' professional opera production, Hansel & Gretel at the Annenburg Center in 1993, 1994, and 1995. She founded the YMCA's "Teens in Action" program -- a creative arts program to teach drug and alcohol resistance to adolescents, and founded and served as adult advisor of the "YELL -- Youth to Eliminate Loss of Life" chapter at Conrad Middle School. She also co-designed and assistant taught ACT 101 (Attitudes in Creative Thinking) -- a class which involved class readings of hard hitting plays which dealt with issues facing teens (drugs, gang violence, bullying, alcohol, etc.) and led into open discussions where the students felt free to express their feelings regarding these subjects and how they were effected.
Deb has visited children all across New Castle County -- from teaching music to children from 18 months - 5 years old at Aldersgate Preschool and Babes on the Square Child Care Centers 1 & 2, facilitating various creative projects for Mommy & Me classes for New Castle County, teaching Drama to 3 - 6 year olds at CACC Montessori School, and sharing weekly story time with tikes at the Claymont Library.
In addition, Deb is founder and artistic director of The Imagination Players, a local youth performing troupe of 85+ talented children and teens who perform at various community events in our area. This organization was formed in 2007 and is truly Deb's pride and joy. Members of her Imagination Players performed in the national touring productions of "The Wizard of Oz" and "Messiah Rocks" at the DuPont Theatre and have performed with internationally renowned band, The Chieftains.
She was active in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program for over 13 years and sponsored underprivileged children through Angel Moms on Earth and Today's Earth Angels. She currently sponsors two children through Save The Children.
Deb resides in the Wilmington area with her husband of almost 29 years and their two dogs, Gizmo and Boomer. She loves animals, children, music, rainbows, and all things imaginative!