Acting, Chairperson & Professor
MFA, University of Pittsburgh
KASHI JOHNSON is Chairperson and Professor of the Department of Theatre at Lehigh University, where she teaches performance courses, directs plays and collaborates with students on devised work. Nationally, Professor Johnson is a leading expert in Hip Hop Theatre pedagogy, and has been invited to present at numerous conferences, festivals and symposium gatherings on Hip Hop Theatre pedagogy, given recorded talks for TEDx, BlackademicsTV, and published on the topic in Black Acting Methods: Critical Approaches, and the Routledge Companion to African American Theatre and Performance.
Her groundbreaking Hip Hop Theatre course “Act Like You Know,” invites students to discover the world of performance through the study and practice of proven Hip Hop Theatre performance techniques, all of which empower students to find their authentic voice and unapologetically speak their truth. Remaining true to Hip Hop culture, students are challenged to engage social justice issues critical to their generation, and encouraged to find ways to incorporate these concerns into their performances. This pioneering, culturally responsive pedagogy that empowers students to speak truth to power, has garnered Professor Johnson critical acclaim. In 2019, she joined the Black Acting Methods Studio as an Artistic Associate specializing in Hip Hop Theatre Techniques.
Notable awards and honors include proudly serving as Lehigh University’s Mace Bearer, receiving Lehigh University’s Class of ’61 Professorship, the Stabler Excellence in Teaching Award, The Deming Lewis Award (given by the 10-year reunion class and presented to the professor they feel has most significantly influenced their educational experience); and The Lindback Award for distinguished teaching.
Professor Johnson received her M.F.A. from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a member of Actor’s Equity Association (AEA), Black Theatre Network (BTN), Black Theatre Association (BTA) and Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE).