The School of Night is a not-for-profit theatre company dedicated to the study and live presentation of the dramatic works of the European renaissance, their more modern permutations and their much neglected antecedents: the folk and religious dramas of the middle ages, the tragedies, comedies and spectacle entertainments of pagan Rome and the Greek-influenced Atellan farces from which these derived.
The School of Night employs a combination of the finest theatrical artistry and dramaturgical scholarship to create performances that evoke for a contemporary audience the same emotional immediacy, linguistic power, comedic vigor, charged spirituality and theatrical vitality that these artistically influential and culturally significant works provided audiences in centuries and millennia past.
Christopher Johnson is a co-founder of The School of Night for whom he has directed Punch and Judy, The Final Girl, The Faggot King or The Troublesome Reign and Lamentable Death of Edward II, Hercules Insane and Klingon Tamburlaine. Other Los Angeles directing credits include Marian or the True Tale of Robin Hood, Entropy, The Pity of Things – Desert Aria (Theatre of NOTE) and Henry VI, Part I (The Production Company). Before LA Christopher was the founding artistic director of Chicago’s historic Defiant Theatre for whom he served as producer on dozens of projects including the U.S. premieres of Sarah Kane’s Cleansed and Phaedra’s Love and multiple iterations of the cult-classic Action Movie: The Play. Defiant directing credits include Macbeth, Titus Andronicus, Hamlet, A Clockwork Orange and Dope. Chris also penned and directed Defiant’s world-premiere adaptations of Stephen King’s Apt Pupil and Thomas Harris’s Red Dragon (Joseph Jefferson Citation for Best New Adaptation). Other Chicago directing credits include Balacarita: The Adventures of Young Krishna (Silk Road Theatre Project), Cave Dwellers (North Avenue Productions) and Dulcitius (The School of Night, pre-LA). Christopher has appeared as an actor at the Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Lyric Opera, Chicago Opera Theatre, Redmoon Theater, The Building Stage, A Crew of Patches and Defiant Theatre.
Jen Albert is an actor, producer and award winning fight choreographer. She earned a BA in theatre from Columbia College Chicago where she became SAFD certified in all manner of stage combat before going on to get her Blue Belt in Kenpo. She is an emeritus company member of Babes with Blades, Chicago’s first all-female stage combat theatre company, with whom she traveled to Scotland to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She is currently a faculty member of Art of Acting – the Conservatory of Stella Adler in Hollywood where she teaches stage combat. Some Los Angeles fight choreography credits include: Klingon Tamburlaine, Hercules Insane, The Final Girl, Edward II and Punch and Judy (SON) (2016 LADCC award for Fight Choreography, Stage Raw Nominee) Sucker Punch (Coeurage Theatre) (2019 Ovation Award recipient) Friends with Guns (The Road) Romeo and Juliet, Normal, Conduct of Life and Down in the Face of God (The Vagrancy) Roots, Marian or the True Tale of Robin Hood, (2019 Stage Raw Award recipient, Best Fight Choreography)Year of the Rooster and Entropy (Theatre of NOTE), Fifty Shades of Shrew (Broads’ Word Ensemble), The Noir Series (Heretick Theatre Lab), Henry VI-Part I, Very Still and Hard to See and Beauty Queen of Leenane (The Production Company). Favorite roles as an actor include: Zenocrate Klingon Tamburlaine (SON), Kate in Fifty Shades of Shrew, Inez in Women w/o Walls (both Broads’ Word Ensemble), Poison Inniman in Action Movie the Play (Defiant Theatre), Gwen in Fifth of July (The Production Company) and Yvonne in War (Theatre Banshee). Jen also teaches a weekly group stage combat class, one on one private training and occasional self-defense classes.