Associate Professor of Musical Theatre Voice
After an extensive performing and coaching career in both NY and LA (and just about everywhere in between), Johnna Tavianini (she/her) is now an Associate Professor of Musical Theatre at Ball State University where she teaches studio voice, music directs, and co-teaches the Senior Cabaret class with colleagues Bill Jenkins, department chair; Emmy-Winning Broadway music director Michael Rafter; Two-Time Tony winner Sutton Foster; and Broadway veteran Megan McGinnis. The cabaret is featured annually at the nationally renowned Cabaret in downtown Indianapolis as well as the famed Joe’s Pub in New York City. Johnna is featured as a soloist on Ms. Foster’s album, Take Me to the World. She also served as chorus master and assistant to Mr. Rafter, producer and music director for the project. At Ball State, Johnna was the 2017 recipient of the College of Fine Arts Dean’s Creative Endeavor Award for outstanding professional work in her field. She also received the 2018 Student Government Association Outstanding Teacher Award, was a finalist for Ball State’s 2021-2022 Outstanding Faculty Award and the winner of the 2022 College of Fine Arts Dean’s Teaching Award. Her students can be seen on Broadway, National Broadway tours, cruise ships, and in major regional houses across the country.
Still an active professional music director, vocal coach, and performer, recent engagements have included: assistant music director/vocal coach/pianist for Actors’ Theatre of Indiana and Carmel Symphony’s semi-staged concert production of SWEENEY TODD; Co-music director and vocal coach for URINETOWN, THE MUSICAL at Clarence Brown Theatre, Knoxville, TN; The Old Lady/Hooker in VIOLET also at The Clarence Brown Theatre. She also took on the role of Mama Rose as a guest artist for Ball State University’s recent production of GYPSY. For the past two summers, Johnna has music-directed and written the music arrangements for REVUE! A completely original, cabaret-style show featuring the talented high school students in the Young Artists Program at Carmel Civic Theatre, where she also regularly conducts musical theatre audition master classes.
Johnna holds a bachelor’s degree in Voice Performance from Simpson College, Indianola, IA, and a master’s degree, also in Voice Performance, from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She has recently received her certification as a Trauma-Informed Voice Practitioner and is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and the National Association of Teachers of Singing.