SPOTLIGHT ON STUDENT RESEARCH – #6

Meet Isaiah Johnson!

Isaiah Johnson: OSU senior

Isaiah Johnson: OSU senior

Isaiah Johnson is a senior at Ohio State studying theatre and political science with a minor in economics. He has been an active participant in the Department of Theatre, most recently acting in Marisol; Maybe, Baby It’s You; and The Merry Wives of Windsor. In the spring he was accepted into the University Library’s Undergraduate Research Fellowship program, where he has been conducting research in the Theatre Research Institute’s Jeff Corey Collection, a collection of the personal papers of the well-respected 20th century character actor, director, and teacher Jeff Corey.

 

Jeff Corey Collection SPEC.TRI.JC

Jeff Corey Collection SPEC.TRI.JC

Corey’s stature in the film community as a leftist brought him to the doorstep of the House Un-American Committee (HUAC) in the fifties. His refusal to name names to the committee put him on a Hollywood blacklist, leaving him without any roles for twelve years. During his blacklisting, Corey took up teaching as a means to make ends meet. His background in Stanislavski, Brecht, Method, and Chekov made him a highly sought-out teacher. Corey taught nearly ten thousand students over his forty-year career, including some who went on to become extremely famous including: Jack Nicholson, James Dean, Barbra Streisand, Carol Burnett, Robin Williams, and Leonard Nimoy.

Isaiah has been studying Corey’s collection in order to develop a new play based on his life. Using inspiration from items in the collection, Isaiah hopes to write a show that parallels elements of political intensity and perceptions of media based “threats to freedom” during Jeff’s blacklisting period with those of today.

Isaiah plans to submit his play to the Department of Theatre’s Lab Series program for an opportunity of a first showing in the spring, the final semester before he graduates in May.

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SPOTLIGHT ON STUDENT RESEARCH – #6

Meet Isaiah Johnson!