Eleanor Johnson

Co-host of ENEMIES: From War to Wisdom with Dr. Polly Young-Eisendrath

Eleanor Claire JohnsonEleanor Claire Johnson is a transformational artist, dramatist, poet, filmmaker/videographer, scholar and humanitarian. Her mission is to help raise consciousness and build a better world by using art to heal the deep wounding that lies embedded in the recesses of the human psyche, and by so doing to lift the Spirit and point individuals and humanity in the direction of love and reverence for life, authentic peace and compassion, reconciliation and hope.

As artist and spiritual pioneer in the field of human consciousness, she and her teams are part of an organic living system that is re-imagining new stories that embody the process of transformation itself.

In 1974 Eleanor founded The Emmatroupe Experimental Interdisciplinary Theatre Laboratory in lower Manhattan. For over thirty years she’s been artistic director of the Laboratory, and has been working for the last several years on “She Went In Search of A New America”: A autobiographical Meditation that explores historical memory, and the conscience of the ‘Witness’ who stands for peace in the face of hatred, intolerance and indifference.

The Emmatroupe Laboratory has targeted 2019 for the completion of “She Went In Search of A New America” film project and the educational documentary “Emma” which tells the story of the history of the Emmatroupe Experimental Interdisciplinary Theatre Laboratory,1973 – Present. Johnson is writing her spiritual memoir and continues her private practice with Video Self-Portraits. In the early nineties she developed the original creative process Video Self-Portraits, Poetics of Self. During the last two decades, she has documented on video hundreds of stories of people’s authentic lives.

After a long sojourn in Paris, 2000-2007 Ms. Johnson returned to New York City to launch the 57th Street Studio. Open Rehearsals take place at LaMama, 440 Studios and The Sheen Center all in in lower Manhattan. Showings of the film’s works-in-progress are held at the 57th Street Studio.

Ms. Johnson was born in Waterbury, Connecticut. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Theatre from Sacred Heart University. She received a fellowship to study Honors Drama at the University of Manchester in England and apprenticed in the professional British Theatre. She holds a Masters of Fine Arts Degree in theatre directing from New York University, Tish School of the Arts. She completed many years of training with legends in the theatre: Joseph Chaiken; Peter Brook; Grotowski; Jean Louis Barrault; John Gielgud; Joseph Beuys; Madame Maria Piscator & The Piscator Foundation; with Madame Katherine Sergava in the Stanislavski Method: and Uta Hagen at the HB Studio in NYC. She studied film making at The Collective for Living Cinema, DCTV, and Millennium Film Workshop. The artists who most influenced Johnson’s film aesthetics are Robert Bresson, Andrey Tarkovsky, Carl Dreyer and Akira Kurosawa. She studied photography at the International Center of Photography and with Mary Ellen Mark.

In the early fall of 1995 Ms. Johnson was invited to The Sundance Film Institute where segments of Emmatroupe’s film work-in-progress was privately screened for Robert Redford and others.

Eleanor Claire Johnson is listed in the eighth edition of The World’s Who’s Who Of Women. She was chairperson of the 1980 international panel, The Status Of Women In The Arts Worldwide, held during the World conference of The United Nations Decade For Women in Copenhagen, Denmark.

During the last thirty plus years Johnson and her Laboratory have been on the cutting edge of the interfaith spiritual and consciousness movements both in the West and in the East. In 1987, Ms. Johnson took Bodhisattva vows with His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama. She remains to this day a devout practitioner of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism. In 2001, she completed a eight-month Buddhist retreat in Bodhgaya, India, at the request of her root lama, His Eminence Choeje Ayang Rinpoche. In 2016 she began taking silent contemplative retreats in an authentic Catholic Cloistered Monastery in rural northern Connecticut.