Sometimes you just know when someone is destined for great things. Patch met Alison Johnson last year when she had a solo during a performance with the Music Makers. . Later we learned she would have the part of . As a junior could she really carry such a lead? If you were among those who enjoyed the performance last spring, you’d know, she captivated every audience with grace and poise far beyond her years.
Johnson will become Amneris in the BHS Performing Arts Production of . Unlike Christine who was the object of the Pahantom’s affection, Amneris works through this musical to win the love of who pines for . Of the change in character and situation, Johnson said she is eager for the challenge.
As the 2012 senior class president, Johnson has been busy this year in addition to rehearsals for Aida and doing hair/make-up for the fall play She participated in Music Makers, Concert Choir, Main Street Singers and was the soprano section leader.
In addition to her artistic prowess, Johnson participated in varsity field hockey all fours years at BHS taking home the honor of Best Defensive and Most Improved Player in 2011; she was also a 2011 State Finalist for Sweeper and named to the All-League SCC Second for Starting Sweeper the same year. Johnson also ran JV spring and indoor track during her freshman and sophomore years.
Johnson was the Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS) Outstanding Performing Arts Student and is a high-honor/honor roll student.
After high school, Johnson plans to continue to pursue her passion for performing arts. Before she steps on stage tonight, meet Amneris:
Branford Patch: Congratulations on your hard work through the years on the BHS stage. Do you have plans to continue performance after graduation?
Alison Johnson: I definitely plan to keep on performing in my life after graduation. My college plans include being a vocal performance major which will give me some chances to perform. Even if it’s just singing on stage, it is something I truly enjoy doing and is a huge part of my life in general.
Branford Patch: How are you dealing with the fact that Aida will be your last time on the BHS stage?
Alison Johnson: I just take into account that all great things must come to an end in order for them to be great in the first place. I have so enjoyed learning and growing throughout the four years in the BHS performance program. I’m going to go onstage knowing full well that it is going to be my last show at the high school, but with that being said I’m going to take in everything that happens and carry it with me.
Branford Patch: If you had to offer one small piece of advice to aspiring young actors hoping to head to the stage what would it be?
Alison Johnson: Never stop trying; there is always room for improvement. I had been rejected various times before, but with that being said it only pushed me to prove myself. So, just keep doing what you love to do and working towards your goal and you never know, maybe you’ll end up center stage one day.
Branford Patch: Can you pick one defining moment of your BHS stage career and tell readers a little about it?
Alison Johnson: My defining moment of my career was without a doubt playing the role of Christine Daae in The Phantom of the Opera. This was a very taxing role and required a lot of hard work. It was probably one of the most rewarding things in my life so far; to perform a role so many people are familiar with, and being able to have the ability to reach the expectations of the audience, so that everyone could enjoy it as much as I did.
Branford Patch: You're gearing up to play Amneris, the Princess of Egypt. How do you feel about portraying a materialistic daughter of a Pharaoh? Do you have a hard time getting into this character? How do you embrace Amneris?
Alison Johnson: I can’t say that I’ve had the most difficult time getting into the materialistic side of the character of Amneris, because that role is just too much fun, and to not allow yourself to be completely engulfed in the stereotypical world of a princess goes against every little girl’s dream. However, like most people Amneris is not one-sided and has a rather serious side to her, as well. And that role is much more difficult to obtain, because to truly wrap your mind around the emotion the character of Amneris must display is a place that most people can relate to, but try to suppress. So to try and translate that onto the stage is a hard task, but I have hopes that the audience will be able to understand my character more through my portrayal of her.
Branford Patch: You played the Phantom's love interest Christine in last year's spring musical production of Phantom of the Opera. How does it feel like to be part of yet another love triangle?
Alison Johnson: It’s funny this time I understand how it feels to be the Phantom in a sense, because my character experiences that same kind of love and longing – for Radames, her fiancé. On the other hand, this love triangle is very different than the one my character was in last year, because Amneris creates such a strong friendship with Aida that she gains another loved one as well. I think it will keep the audience very interested in the show to see how it all pans out.
Branford Patch: What has been the hardest obstacle to surmount while performing?
Alison Johnson: The hardest obstacle for me to surmount while performing would have to be thinking too much. While I’m on stage I often find myself thinking about what comes next instead of completely indulging in the fact that I am performing. However, I have learned to really enjoy my time on stage fully because I truly love what I get to do and appreciate how lucky I’ve been with this program.
Branford Patch: In a few words, why should people come out to this show?
Alison Johnson: People should come out to this show because the music is fantastic and very diverse, I mean it’s Elton John, enough said. Also, there’s an amazing set and outstanding costumes. And all the work that was put into this show, whether it be the directors, actors, or the crews will most definitely be obvious when displayed on the BHS stage.