Tiffany Johnson, Artistic Director of Pyramid Theatre Company in Des Moines, will be ISU Theatre’s 2020-2021 Artist in Residence funded by the Transforming Liberal Arts and Sciences Endowment. Tiffany will facilitate the devised project PERFORM THE PROTEST this fall and direct a soon to be announced production in Spring 2021. In addition, Tiffany will offer guest lectures and master classes in numerous courses throughout the college of LAS, including Theatre, Leadership Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, History, and African American Studies. A significant contribution will be a PERF 105 five-part series on the history of Black Theatre in America, featuring additional dynamic guest artists from the central Iowa community.
Tiffany was born in St. Louis, but raised in Iowa from a small child, so considers herself to be an Iowa native. Acting has always been a passion of hers as she feels it gives her a unique opportunity to ask tough questions, raise awareness on issues and many times walk right up and touch the elephant in the room. Acting is not a job for Tiffany, but rather a passion.
Her acting work include Good People (Stagewest 2013); The Jack Trice Story (Juneteenth 201); Clybourne Park (Stagewest 2014); Fences (DSM Social Club 2014); The Mountaintop (Westminster Presbyterian-Intergal Arts 2015); Silent Victory (Pyramid Theatre Company 2015); and Amen Corner (Pyramid Theatre Company 2017). She was recognized by Broadway World as the 2014 best actress in Des Moines, IA with her role as Rose in Fences directed by Ken-Matt Martin. She then stepped into the realm of Directing and Production working as the Associate Director on the 2015 production of A Soldier’s Play produced by the Des Moines Social Club.
In August of 2015, Tiffany became one of the founding members of Pyramid Theatre Company which was established to serve as gateway to the arts and to enhance the experience by illuminating the presence of Black artists and providing opportunity for more diverse artistic expression. Tiffany made her directorial debut in 2016 with Pyramid Theatre’s first production as a company, A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, and has since directed Akeelah and the Bee by Cheryl L. West; Dead Dog Park by Barry Malawer; Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage; How I learned what I learned by August Wilson; and Too Heavy for your Pocket by Jireh Breon Holder. Tiffany has been a two-time recipient of the Cloris Leachman Excellence in Theatre Award for Best Direction and Best Play. Tiffany was featured by the Des Moines Register as one of the people to watch for 2019, and by the end of the year the State of Iowa awarded her the 2019 Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award for her contributions to art and her commitment to the community utilizing art to educate and enhance the Black experience in Iowa.
More than anything Tiffany loves to give of herself to her community as she firmly believes in “as you empty your vessel, your vessel is filled”. She also believes it takes a village to raise our children, to support our communities and to nurture our tomorrows. She intends to use her gifts to make room for others to utilize theirs.
- Director, Perform the Protest: A Theatre Action for Our Time, 2020