Kathryn Johnson Schwartz is a director, playwright, actress, and arts educator whose professional theatre credits include acting, directing and teaching, for South Coast Repertory Theatre; serving as founder and Artistic Director for The Pasadena Playhouse Young Actors School; and acting and directing at numerous venues throughout Southern California. She has written and directed original children’s musicals for Hollywood/Los Feliz Jewish Community Center, and worked as a master teaching artist for The Music Center and Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts. She earned a B.A. in acting from University of California, Santa Barbara, and pursued graduate studies in directing and children’s theatre at California State University at Fullerton.
Johnson Schwartz presents theatre and playwriting workshops that help students improve overall literacy, communication, presentation, and/or writing skills. Using improvisation, acting, and/or playwriting techniques, Johnson Schwartz helps students deepen their understanding of character, conflict, setting, plot, and various theatrical elements. Classes explore and act out characters and scenes drawn from classroom fiction and informational text, or craft and present original student-written plays. Both acting and playwriting workshops allow students to be seen, heard, felt, and understood as they collaborate in scene or writing groups, provide thoughtful analysis of peer performances or scripts, and rehearse or revise scenes and dialogue. Workshops result in the crafting and presentation of informational speeches, acting out scenes from classroom stories, and staged readings of original plays.