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Kathie Johnson



Trinity University, BA 

University Of Chicago MA


Design has been my life from about 1 years old where I took apart my playpen  nut by nut and bolt by bolt. I have always beem  intruiged how things work from the inside out.  


I studied Pre-Veterinary Medicine, Art and Social Sciences. My anatomy backround and the ability to create and problem solve with a bit of an engineering  instinct and thinking out of the box has been my signature approach to theatrical design.


Life has brought me full circle and I have been designing and building for theater, dance,  film and business since 1995.  My specialty has been costume design; custom work from foundations to mascots and monsters.  Most costumers tend to shy away from these unusual costumes that work and have function. Quick changes beyond the typical layering and releases are always a welcome challenge.   


Outrageous props, from Night of the Living Dead edible body parts, fake dead bunnies, Flat Stanley, and Blues Clues characters, insanely large trees, wearable dancing trees from the Wizard of OZ are just a few pieces I have created. I am a skilled foam carver and love the lightweight result in operation.   


Having me on the production team means that within about 10 minutes of a planning meeting, I have probably already started drawing and devising a plan to meet your needs.  The ability to repair theatrical disasters quickly backstage is one of my best skills. 


To my design experience, I bring 20 years of dance and performance which means that I create with movement in mind.  Meeting with choreographers and performers to determine the scope of movement needed for a particular dance or flight need is an essential part of my work.  I recently rebuilt the internal workings of the Dragon from Shrek to accomodate the size of the performers and then choreographed their movement for the show. 


I look forward to working with you on your next project and am availble onsite or from my studio location in the Chicago area.



Let's do this

Kathie Johnson

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