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Vanessa Johnson

Vanessa Johnson

Primary Drama, Lower Secondary Drama

Life without the Performing Arts would certainly be flat and soulless. Exploring the human experience, communicating ideas, creating new understandings, encouraging others to find and express their own voice, collaborating with my students and peers, and, helping to empower young people through their experiences in the Performing Arts, especially Drama, is what gets me out of bed in the morning.

I aspire to create many opportunities for students in order that they can grow, create, experiment and evolve into the best learners they can be. I have been fortunate that my career as an educator has taken me to teach in several wonderful schools, both interstate within Australia and overseas. A highlight was my time spent teaching Drama, Film and Theatre in Istanbul and at Trinity Grammar School in Sydney where I was a senior Drama teacher and Housemaster. I have studied Drama and Theatre Studies at The Australian National University, The University of Melbourne, The University of New South Wales and I feel very fortunate to have also studied at NIDA, The National Institute for Dramatic Art. 

I was previously working at St. Clare’s College in Canberra, Australia as the Head of Arts & Languages.  I was teaching Drama across Years 7 to 12 and I was enjoying the opportunity to review and create new courses and tasks. I have also had experience working with Primary Schools, creating special theatre projects. In particular I have a passion for Physical Theatre, Black Comedy, Shakespeare, Political Theatre and the work of Augusto Boal. The most enjoyable part of teaching Drama is watching students evolve and realise their potential. I aim to gently push them outside their comfort zones (in both theory and practical work) and provide them with training wheels till they are ready to ride solo! 

I love watching my students fall in love with performing and sharing this with audiences. I am very passionate about collaborating with fellow teachers and students and creating new works. I enjoy writing and devising plays especially for children. To balance out my life in theatre, I also love practicing yoga, playing basketball, hiking and travel. 

My other passion is my family, my husband and my two children, Lila and Taylan, who I can proudly say are Drama Queens and Artists in the making!