Monstah Black – Pierrot Lunaire
Karma Mayet Johnson – narrator
Improvisation and synaesthesia guide Karma Mayet Johnson’s performance work. Recent stage appearances include the OFF-BROADWAY production of FELA! directed by Bill T. Jones and the premier of Keith+Mendi Obadike’s FOUR ELECTRIC GHOSTS at The Kitchen as well as the 2010 Women in Jazz series at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
She is composer/director of the innovative blues opera, Indigo. Of Indigo’s 2007 Capitol Fringe Festival premier; one reviewer writes: This show has more soul than James Brown passing the peace pipe with Malcolm X. Also in 2007, Karma joined the cast of Bernice Johnson Reagon and Robert Wilson’s The Temptation of St. Anthony on tour to Milan and to the Melbourne International Arts Festival, Australia. Her work has been presented at D.C.’s Corcoran Gallery of Art, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, the Joyce Theater in New York, Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival, and NYC’s Dance New Amsterdam.
Karma’s solo vocal performance was broadcast as part of MTV’s Celebrate Black History programming for 2008 and 2009, and 2011. She is a lead vocalist on the album The Mercy Suite, a collaboration between poet Yusef Komunyakaa and composer Tomas Doncker, and a frequent marauder amongst Burnt Sugar, the Arkestra Chamber. Collaborators have included film-maker Michelle Parkerson, composer/bassist Meshell Ndegeocello, performance artist Lil MonstaH (Black), and the late guerilla theater innovator Rebecca Rice of D.C.’s Living Stage Theater Company.
Her poems have appeared in various publications including Renaissance Noir, exit the apple.com, Nocturnes (re)view of the literary arts, Cave Canem’s Gathering Ground, and Redbone Press’ Voices Rising. A community arts educator for over 15 years, she has taught interdisciplinary performance and poetry to students from K-12, as well as Creative Writing at Rutgers University and NYU. She is an alumna of the Cave Canem Workshop-Retreat for African American poets and holds an MFA in Poetry from New York University. Karma is a member of the first generation of her family born out of Mississippi.