It is with a heavy heart that we share the passing of our dear friend and colleague, Professor Marlene Johnson on November 2, 2020. After teaching in the UAB Department of Theatre for 14 years, Prof. Johnson will be remembered as a dedicated educator, a generous colleague, and an inspired artist. She is survived by her husband Edwin Booth and sister Myrna Johnson Moehring.
Prof. Johnson received her MFA in Voice Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University before joining the UAB Department of Theatre in 2006. She was a master teacher of the Alexander Technique and taught courses in voice, movement, dialects, and acting.
Prof. Johnson received extensive training over the years to perfect her craft, including with the Professional Voice Trainers Intensive at the National Theatre in London with Patsy Rodenburg; at the American Repertory Theatre with Bonnie Raphael; at the Canadian National Voice Intensive with David Smukler and Judith Koltai; and at Shakespeare and Company with Kristin Linklater. Prof. Johnson was honored by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival as a 2011 National Teaching Artist and by Region IV of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival as a Regional Teaching Artist. She was a frequent presenter for VASTA, ATHE, ATI, KCACTF, and SETC and taught or presented workshops in Glasgow, Madrid, Mexico City, Vancouver, Herefordshire, Serbia, and London where she taught a summer class in Acting Shakespeare at the University of Westminster in 2005. She served on the Board of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association and served as Chair of the SETC Voice and Speech Committee. She was the vocal coach for more than 100 productions at venues such as the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, the Alliance Theatre, Theatre Virginia, PA Stage Company, Theatre Outlet, the University of Minnesota, and the University of West Georgia.
Everyone who knew her will miss her smile, her laugh, and her wit; she was truly one of a kind. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, an orphan elephant rescue and wildlife rehabilitation program in Kenya.