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College of Arts and Humanities

Kendra Lynette Johnson

Kendra Lynette Johnson

Professor of Theatre

Department of Performing Arts
Office: 211 Brooks Center

M.F.A., University of Tennessee-Knoxville (1994); B.A., James Madison University (1991)

Curriculum Vitae


Costume Design (THEA 4670), African American Theatre I (THEA 3170), African Theatre II (THEA 3180), Theatre Appreciation (THEA 2100)

Research Interests
Costume History, African American Theatre, Costume Construction, African American Dress

Kendra Johnson is a professor of theatre in the Department of Performing Arts at Clemson University. She teaches Costume Design, African American Theatre, Theatre Appreciation, and Special Topics in Costume Design. Professor Johnson's scholarly research includes historical clothing, mainly clothes African Americans wore during the antebellum period. The study focuses on the influences of African and Western dress on the enslaved people in America. Her research focuses on self-expression through clothing, the history of African American dress during the 18th and 19th centuries, and how the cultivation of indigo by the enslaved affected their style of dress. She researched the dress of the enslaved inhabitants of Fort Hill plantation in Clemson, SC, and created representative costumes for educational purposes. Prof. Johnson's work focuses on the upstate area of South Carolina. The research has led to collaborations with Clemson professor Dr. Andrea Feeser, an art historian, and Dr. Karen Hall, an ethnobotanist. They examined the fundamental relationship between indigo and the enslaved who cultivated the plants. Prof. Johnson designed and constructed the 18th-century skirt on the cover of Prof. Feeser's book, "Red, White, and Black Make Blue: Indigo in the Fabric of Colonial South Carolina Life." Prof. Johnson's creative research is costume design. She designed for theatre companies in the Midwest, Northeast, and Southeast. Her 100 design credits include the world premiere of "The Power of Sail" at The Warehouse Theatre. Other design credits include "Fences" at the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company and Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, "Dutchman" at Nebraska Repertory Theatre, "In the Heights" at Hangar Theatre in Syracuse, NY, "Sister Act" at Geva Theatre in Rochester, NY, "Appropriate" and "God of Carnage" at The Warehouse Theatre, and a recent production of "The Amen Corner" at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company.

College of Arts and Humanities
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