When she's not putting in swings in the batting cage, Mckenna Johnson can be found working near a different stage. The Puget Sound softball junior recently made her directorial debut on campus during Homecoming and Family Weekend. The script, written by Puget Sound senior Allie Lawrence, fascinated Johnson from the start: The relationship between personified Pepsi and Coke cans.
"There's definitely some cheesy humor," Johnson said about the play she directed. "But it's cool to show that best friends can have opposite personalities." The 10-minute play was part of a series of plays during the festive weekend, and it might just be the first of a handful for Johnson.
"I didn't have much of an opportunity to participate (in the arts)," Johnson recalled of her high school years. "I was just a fan." But her appreciation turned into active participation when she came to Puget Sound.
This past summer, Johnson held an internship with ARTBARN – "an innovative theater company in residence at University of Puget Sound." Johnson was part of a team that worked on a fictional story about a group of women that – in time of conflict and war – preserved the legacies of women.
During her three-week internship with ARTBARN, Johnson spent up to 12 hours per day researching, writing, and helping with set design. She also participated in workshops with directors from all over the country.
"Mckenna has a number of different talents outside of the softball diamond," said Puget Sound softball head coach Kellyn Tate. "Her teammates have enjoyed supporting her ability to take her gift of comic relief and apply it on the stage. McKenna helps minimize the most stressful situations by keeping her teammates loose and relaxed. Her personality is definitely fitting for the first play she directed."