A! Magazine for the Arts

Destinee Johnson

Destinee Johnson

Destinee Johnson gives back through theater

March 26, 2024

Destinee Johnson started her theater journey in dance and added singing and acting along the way.

“For me, theaterstarted with dance when I was 3 years old at Karen Horton School of Dance in Chattanooga Tennessee. I later got a role as an elephant in my pre-kindergarten production of ‘A Jungle Book,’ and from there, I knew that was my calling. As I got older, I had always expressed my love for the stage, so going into middle school, I auditioned for Chattanooga High Center for Creative Arts, where I majored in musical theater from sixth through 12th grade. Thus started my passion for theater.

“For a long time, I loved the dancing aspect of theater because I did have the most background in dance but now as I’ve grown up and continued working on my craft, I’ve learned to appreciate singing, dancing and acting with the same value,” she says.

Destinee has performed in many schools, community theaters, professional theaters, festivals and even on a basketball court. Her next steps are auditioning at the Southeastern Theatre Conference and for different companies. She is also in Emory & Henry’s April performance of “Built on Shadows” where she plays Lady Macbeth. “Built on Shadows” is performed April 4-7 in the Black Box Theater in E&H’s McGlothlin Center for the Arts, Emory, Virginia. April 4-6 performances are at 7:30 p.m. April 7 matinee is at 3 p.m.

“To me, theater is a way to give back. I view it as a thank you to the audience who come out to watch the production, and who trusted me to entail a story that they wanted to see. Also, there are so many moving parts of theater that most people don’t know about, or they don’t see because it’s backstage; but I just love the community that theater can give to a person, it’s like an unbreakable family bond.

“I think my style and approach is forever changing. When I was younger, I really loved musical theater because I was so dance heavy that singing and dancing around the stage brought me so much joy. As I’ve progressed through college and am still in theater, I found my love for dramas and straight plays. Though I don’t really have a preference. All forms of theatre are fun,” Destinee says. Her favorite role thus far is Winifred Banks in “Mary Poppins.”

When she isn’t studying or in the theater, she works at the box office at E&H and as house manager for events at the McGlothlin Center for the Arts. She is also a part of the Golden Stingers Dance Team at E&H.

Destinee is from Chattanooga, Tennessee and is a senior at Emory & Henry College. She is the daughter of Nikki Merriwether and Jock Johnson.