We had the good fortune of connecting with Seth Johnson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Seth, what do you attribute your success to?
It’s funny to think of Flexible Grey as a brand. We don’t have any money making agendas or active plans to expand at the moment. Everything we’ve done to date has been a lot of self sacrifice for our team in order to provide a safe place for everyone to come and enjoy accessible theatre. Ultimately, we started this company to provide a platform for emerging artists and minorities, and have been dedicated to serving our community here in Dallas. I think we’ve done just that! The most important factor behind our success is the love and sacrifice our team puts into each and every production. Without our brilliant team, we would have shut down years ago.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Honestly, I just love to create. As a Director, I get to bring worlds to life on stage! I’m drawn to magical realism stories with queer representation at the forefront because I feel that creating magic on stage is one of the closes ways to connect with an audience. You are asking them to believe in the rules of your imaginary world. The magic isn’t what’s seen on the stage, but what the audience is creating in their own minds. It shatters the 4th wall in a way that nothing else can. And the queer representation is just another way for me to connect to the work I’m creating. If I’m not moved or changed by the story myself, I don’t want to share it with others. I always say that as long as I’m changed by the work, thats enough for me. Because of that I think more people are able to relate and see themselves in the stories we tell with Flexible Grey. Another cool thing that sets us apart is the fact that we are found space. If you don’t know what that means, basically it’s doing theatre outside of an actual theater. We’ve created shows in bars, barns, coffee shops, and everywhere in between. I’m not gonna lie, it’s very stressful. Finding a unique venue that fits the themes and settings of the show, with a limited budget is not an easy task. Months of digging and research goes into finding each location. But the payoff is incredible. I’ll never forget doing The Children’s Hour by Lillian Hellman in an actual barn and farm house. Act 1 and 3 were done in the barn, which in the show is a barn that was converted into a school house, and Act 2 was in the adjacent Farmhouse. Lanterns lit the way between the two buildings, and the sky shone bright with starts that can only be seen outside of the city. It was unlike any piece of theatre I had ever seen, but this time it was my company creating this magic. It’s an indescribable feeling. We incorporate that kind of magic with each show we do.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would have to start the day out with brunch, probably at Ten Bells Tavern in Bishop Arts. The chicken and waffles with a carafe of mimosas is the perfect way to start a Dallas adventure. Then we would explore the shops in that area before going to some antique stores in the Design District. Once we get hungry again we would go to Pie Tap for some of the best pizza in the city, then head over to Union Coffee for the best coffee and company this town has to offer! The people at Union are truly the best folks in North Texas, making everyone feel welcome and at home. If we can still function after such a long day, we would head to the Gayborhood for some cocktails at Woodys or Alexanders. The perfect way to end the day.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shoutout has to go to Mandy Reichelt, one of the founders of Flexible Grey and our Literary Manager. She works hard for our company, making sure that the little things don’t fall through the cracks. Without her stability, I wouldn’t be able to be the Artistic Director I am today. We work so well together, to the point that we often times we finish each other’s sentences, as cliche as that sounds. This short hand was build off of years of creating together, pushing the limits of what Flexible Grey can do, and being there for each other no matter what. She saves my life everyday, and I’m eternally grateful to have her on our team.

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