SPOTLIGHT - ROSALIND JOHNSON

SPOTLIGHT - ROSALIND JOHNSON

The Spotlight shines on our Greece loving Director of Drama, Rosalind Johnson.

Ros had a nomadic childhood growing up in London, Malaysia (her mother was doing research for her PHd) and the Midlands.  She attended Central School of Speech and Drama and spent the following few years working in Theatre in Sheffield, Stratford and London. Having directed Madonna and Judi Dench on stage (not together), she felt the pull of teaching and having honed her skills elsewhere, she arrived at Warminster in September 2020. She is founder and Artistic Director of Wells Theatre Festival and tries to visit Lalibela in Ethiopia with her husband once a year to check in on their project funding education for bright but financially disadvantaged girls. In between all of this she had four children who are now grown and pursuing creative careers of their own. Ros owns a much-loved dog called Meg and is fast running out of amusing lockdown poses for her to strike on the @WarminsterDrama Twitter posts!

How long have you worked at Warminster?

6 months.

Describe a typical Warminster day? 

I arrive early to get all the admin tasks done before I start teaching. After that I teach, direct, mentor and drive 40 minutes home to Wells. In the last year I have had four grown up children and a husband at home fighting for the WiFi, so life is busy at work and home.

What do you think makes Warminster a special place to live and learn?

It feels accepting and caring – and behind those masks there are many smiles.

Tell us about Feed, the ground-breaking audio play last term? 

When I arrived at Warminster in the middle of the pandemic, I realised I wouldn't be putting on a show with audiences anytime soon.  Feed was suggested to me as a really relevant option to adapt into an audio play. Once I had read the novel, my husband very kindly adapted it into a script over October half term. I am also lucky that my son is a theatre sound designer and had time on his hands (as we all know theatres are shut). He helped me to record and design this fantastic production using a binaural head loaned by the National Theatre. Feed Flickr Images

What’s next from Warminster Drama?

We are hoping to put on an outside production of A Midsummer Night's Dream in June.

What would surprise us about you?

I lived in the jungle in a hut on stilts when I was 12 and helped deliver 2 babies.

What other Warminster role would you like to try for a day and why?

I would just like to teach my role without social distancing, masks and open doors.

As a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a midwife.

What did your school reports say about you?

Rosalind tries hard but needs to concentrate.

Your note/advice to teenage self?

You are far more able than you think.

Your mantra/motto or favourite quote?

'All the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players' Or 'Fake it till you make it'.

Hidden ambitions still to achieve?

I would love to live in Greece.

A much loved possession you would save from a fire?

My mascara!

Biggest bugbear?

Racist and homophobic attitudes and Brexit.

Favourite musician/group?

Layer by Layer – my daughter’s band.

Guilty pleasure?

Sunbathing – I know it is out of fashion but it makes me feel alive.

What would be your MasterChef signature dish?

Some sort of curry, vegan.

Favourite TV programme?

This Is Us.

Last book you read?

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig.

Last movie watched?

Wild Tales, directed by Damian Szifron.

Last Theatre watched

Online streaming from The Old Vic of A Christmas Carol and in person: Wise Children at Bristol Old Vic.

Which actor would play you in a movie about your life?

Helena Bonham Carter.

Favourite tipple?

Dry, very dry, very chilled white wine on a beach.

Favorite place/city in the world and why?

Naxos in Greece – it is where my heart is.

Twitter or Facebook?

Twitter.

You can follow Ros and the Drama Department on @WarminsterDrama

LISTEN > FEED

Password: feed2020

"Listeners, please find a link to the School production which is a binaural audio show which doesn't translate over speakers so needs to be listened to through headphones for maximum experience. At the start of the show you will get instructions, please listen carefully.  Throughout the recording we have interspersed some photos of rehearsals but this primarily is a listening project rather than a visual one."