In November the Kenan Theatre Company presents Johnny Johnson by Paul Green and Kurt Weill, directed by Serena Ebhardt.

Johnny Johnson Synopsis: Based on Jaroslav Hasek’s satiric novel The Good Soldier Švejk, Johnny Johnson focusses on a naïve and idealistic young man who, despite his pacifist views, leaves his sweetheart Minny Belle Tompkins, to fight in Europe in World War I. He manages to bring the skirmish to a temporary halt by incapacitating a meeting of the generals with laughing gas, but once they recover he finds himself committed to an asylum for ten years. He returns home to discover Minny Belle has married a capitalist. He settles down as a toymaker who will create anything except wooden soldiers, his personal gesture of peace in an increasingly warlike society.

Johnny Johnson is a part of the campus-wide “A Year-Long Conversation: World War I – The Legacy” sponsored by the Institute for the Arts and Humanities and is funded in part by The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, Inc., New York NY and The Paul Green Foundation, Chapel Hill, NC.

Performances will take place in the Kenan Theatre, Center for Dramatic Art

Thursday November 20th at 8pm: reserve tickets for 11/20

Friday November 21st  at 8pm: reserve tickets for 11/21

Saturday November 22nd at 8pm: reserve tickets for 11/22

Sunday November 23rd at 2pm: reserve tickets for 11/23

Monday November 24th at 5pm: reserve tickets for 11/24

Tickets are $10,

$5 for Students w/ID

View our Virtual Playbill

Learn more about the play at

Paul Green and Kurt Weill’s Johnny Johnson (1936)                      A Symposium

 Saturday 22 November 2014, 2:00–500

Institute for the Arts and Humanities, Hyde Hall

symposium information

For symposium questions please email Tim Carter


About the Director:

Serena Ebhardt (Director) is an award-winning actress, director, playwright and teaching artist. She holds her B.A. in Dramatic Art from the University of North Carolina, where she was a Paul and Elizabeth Green Scholarship recipient. Serena has received training as a teaching artist from The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Lincoln Center Institute and The National Center for Creative Aging. Ebhardt is the co-founder and Artistic Director of EbzB Productions ( whose mission is to develop original works that promote integrity, self-discovery and positive transformation of artists, audiences, individuals, and communities.

EbzB’s productions of Eliot Engel’s The Night Before Christmas Carol and War Bonds: The Songs and Letters of World War II tour nationally and may be seen on public broadcasting stations across the United States and abroad. Serena’s own performing and teaching career has taken her across the U.S., Europe and Canada. She is the recipient of three “Telly” awards, “The Constance Welsh Theatre for Youth” award, “The Cantey” award, and The International Television and Video Association’s “Silver Reel” award. Additionally, Serena is a charter inductee of the YWCA’s Academy of Women and a member of Actors’ Equity Association and Canadian Actors’ Equity Association.

Ebhardt’s direction includes world premieres and national tours including Nnenna Freelon’s The Clothesline Muse, Tim Tyson’s Blood Done Sign My Name, EbzB Productions’ Brown v. Board of Education; Life Is So Good by George Dawson, and Mike Wiley Productions’ Dar He: The Lynching of Emmet Till.

In 2003, Ebhardt was commissioned by the North Carolina Association of Educators to write and direct The Wrights of Passage, which continues to tour and has now been seen by over one-hundred thousand students nation-wide. Through the North Carolina Arts Council, Serena designs and teaches professional development workshops for teachers using dramatic art to support common core state standards and 21st century skills.