The Kenan Theatre at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill presents five performances of Johnny Johnson, a play with music by Kurt Weill and Paul Green, in November 2014. It was Weill's first show on Broadway, produced by the Group Theatre in 1936. The performances at UNC mark the first staging using materials derived from the critical edition of the work, published in 2012 as part of the Kurt Weill Edition. Evan Feldman conducts; Serena Ebhardt directs. In the midst of the run, a symposium on Johnny featuring Kim H. Kowalke and Naomi Graber, along with other scholars, will take place on 22 November. The performances and symposium are funded in part by a sponsorship from the Foundation.
A more appropriate location for the debut of the critical edition would be hard to imagine. Paul Green taught at the University for many years, and a theater that bears his name remains a campus landmark. Tim Carter, editor of Johnny Johnson, is currently David G. Frey Distinguished Professor of Music at Chapel Hill. His work on Johnny was honored with the 2013 Claude V. Palisca Award of the American Musicological Society for an outstanding scholarly edition or translation. His research ranged widely, not only through the papers of Weill and Green but through the archives of the Federal Theatre Project, which tapped Johnny Johnson for two separate productions in 1937. The FTP version served as the basis for the critical edition.
The production of Johnny Johnson is part of a larger, year-long program at the University commemorating the one hundredth anniversary of the start of World War I. The program results from a collaboration with King's College, London and will involve numerous events of various kinds, including performances.
Learn more about Johnny Johnson
UNC press release
Originally posted: 13 November 2014
Last updated: 25 November 2014