Eric Vaughn Johnson is an award-winning director from Rochester, NY. Mr. Johnson has been involved with countless theatrical and film productions both on- and off-stage and has been described as "an influential part of Rochester Arts” (West Side News) and was recently featured as a Rochester “Extraordinary Person” (News 8 Now). .
Mr. Johnson is the Founding Executive Director of OFC Creations, a theatre company focused on youth engagement, performing arts education, and connections with the community. OFC offers classes in acting, singing, and dance at the beautiful Lyric Theatre as well as opportunities for kids to perform in shows including: The Little Mermaid, Frozen, and Les Mis. Johnson also spearheads OFC Creations’ ROC Summer Theatre Experience, the largest theatre summer camp program in Upstate New York. The program offers 15 theatre productions in only 7 weeks, across 3 locations taught by 25 directors.
OFC also offers many opportunities for adults both on stage and in the audience. OFC Creations focuses on new and unique performing opportunities for adults including an interactive production of The Sound of Music throughout The Century Club mansion in March 2019 as well as the regional premiere of The Bodyguard Musical at the Lyric Theatre in May 2019. OFC Creations runs an LGBT show series each year. These events serve as fundraisers for Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS which OFC has raised over $10,000 for HIV/AIDS research over the last three years. Johnson is also a proud member of the LGBT Giving Circle.
In 2016, Mr. Johnson became the President of the Greece Performing Arts Society (GPAS) and is now leading the organization into their “50th Anniversary Next Chapter." After two years as president, Mr. Johnson was described as leading, “the 300-person performing membership… [into] an artistic and financial renaissance” (Monroe Post). In 2017, Mr. Johnson brought the re-opened Greece Theatre Company and Greece Choral Society together for the regional premiere of Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame at the Lyric Theatre. At the end of 2019, Johnson ended his 3-year term as Board President.
Johnson served as the Business Manager and Program Director of Rochester Association of the Performing Arts (RAPA) for five years. He designed all educational programs for students from ages four to eighty-four during the academic year and summer. Johnson also directed many of the RAPA Family Theatre and Youth Theatre season productions.
"Johnson is an influential part of Rochester arts" ~ Barbara Burke
Most recently, Johnson directed and conceptually designed the world premiere of Eddie Money's original musical Two Tickets to Paradise: The Musical at the Kodak Center. Johnson worked directly with the Money-Man writing and arranging a majority of the new script and broke box office records at each performance.
Mr. Johnson is best known for the professional musical productions he directed at the Kodak Center. Most recently, he directed West Side Story, Mary Poppins, Miracle on 34th Street, Spring Awakening, the first Rochester production of Sister Act, the Upstate New York premiere of It’s Only A Play, and the regional tour of A Year with Frog and Toad to name a few.
Mr. Johnson also teaches theatre arts in several local schools, including: Seton Catholic School, Pittsford Middle School, World of Inquiry (School No. 58), St. Joseph’s Catholic School, Plank South Elementary, and Penfield Harris Hill. Previously he served for four years in Greece as the Artistic Director of SNAP Musical Theatre, a new summer program working with up to 80-students in each production. Mr. Johnson teaches private acting lessons to a select few young artists throughout the year and mentors inspiring young directors. He is also a proud member of Theatre for Young Audiences / USA representing the national field of children's theatre.
Performing has always been a joy for Mr. Johnson. At the 2015 Rochester Fringe Festival, he starred as the musical narrator, Ladahlord, in James and the Giant Peach and in 2016 portrayed the comical, gender-bending Frank N. Furter in The Rocky Horror Show. Mr. Johnson will be seen next performing in William Fichtner’s feature film Cold Brook and as Dorothy in Thank You for Being a Friend: The Golden Girls Musical.
He believes strongly in community partnerships. In 2014 Mr. Johnson partnered with Facing Race, Embracing Equity for a benefit production of The Wiz at the Rochester Museum and Science Center. In 2015, he brought OFC Creations and the Rochester Latino Theatre Company together to produce the Rochester premiere of In the Heights for several sold-out performances. In 2018, Mr. Johnson and the Out Alliance partnered to bring the world-wide entertainer, Miss Richfield 1981, to make her Rochester debut at the Kodak Center. In July of 2018, Johnson published his first book, My Quarter-Life Crisis, reflecting on his passion and encouraging young artists to follow their dreams.
"We are forever grateful for [Johnson's] tremendous talent and love of theater that [he] shares so brilliantly with so many children, especially ours" ~ Kristin Lynch