HIAWATHA JOHNSON, Jr. (Founder, Artistic Director) is a musician, magician, producer, director, actor, dancer, and choreographer. His unique talents and performance style have garnered him the respect of educators, artists, and laymen throughout the United States and abroad. Mr. Johnson was instrumental in the revitalization of downtown Lynchburg, VA where he was on the board of directors and a founder of The Ellington Fellowship Playhouse and Riverviews Artspace. He is also the founder of KTMA Arts (KTMA Arts Ensemble), which is a national consortium of performing and visual artists based in Lynchburg, VA. In 2007 he became the first full-time artist to receive "The Mayor's Award of Excellence'".
Hiawatha was on the faculty of the Virginia School of The Arts as accompanist and teacher of improvisation, as well as his own technique, which focuses on breath, balance, rhythm, strength and intent. Since 1985, Hiawatha has served as the accompanist/artist-in-residence for the Department of Dance at Randolph College.
Hiawatha was featured in the ground breaking 1998 PBS television special, The Art of Magic where he was described as '...making ancient skills unique through quiet showmanship". Since 2004 he has been a general consultant for Siegfried & Roy Presents Darren Romeo. In 2010 he became the magic and artistic consultant for illusionist Elliot Zimet, and in 2011, joined the creative team of endurance artist/magician David Blaine.
Hiawatha is one of the stars in the 2013 film, Magic Camp, a documentary about Tannen's Magic Camp where he is currently the Artistic Director. In addition, he can be seen in the romantic comedy Desperate Acts of Magic, in which he also served a a general consultant. Both indie films have been critically acclaimed, including rave review form the New York Times and the Village Voice.
KINDRA JOHNSON (Associate Director, Artist) is an actor, dancer, choreographer, and founding member of KTMA Arts. She is a native of Lynchburg, VA who currently resides in Richmond, Va. She has been active in the arts community for over 25 years. Kindra is a graduate of Randolph-Macon Woman’s College (currently recognized as Randolph College) where she majored in both dance and sociology. She is currently a student at Virginia Commonwealth University pursuing a Master’s Degree in Social Work with a concentration in social work administration, policy, and planning.
Kindra’s teaching credits include the Academy of Fine Arts, Virginia School of the Arts, and Forest Dance Academy. Kindra’s most recent theater credits include Ain’t Misbehavin’, Divas and Gents, The Colored Museum, The New Neighborhood, and Crowns.
MEEKA DIANE (Artistic Advisor, Featured Performer) is a singer, actor, dancer, choreographer, and a founding member of KTMA Arts. A native of Lynchburg, VA, she currently resides in Metro Atlanta, Georgia. She began her love of the stage performing at both T.C. Miller Elementary School and Randolph-Macon Woman’s College at age 7. She is a graduate of Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, now Randolph College, where she majored in dance and performed with Songshine, an all-female a cappella group.
Some of Meeka’s stage credits include performances as Yolonda in Crowns, The New Neighborhood, Divas and Gents, and Home for the Holidays. Meeka has also performed at the world famous Magic Castle in Hollywood. In addition, she devotes part of her summer to Tannen’s Magic Camp as a counselor and teacher. She appears in the 2012 award-winning documentary Magic Camp.
VINNY GIORDANO (Associate Production Coordinator) has been the secret ingredient in some of the world’s top magic and illusion acts. Transitioning from a young performer to working backstage at magic shows since he was 15; 2015 celebrates Vinny Giordano’s 35th year in magic.
At 8 years old he was the youngest camper to be accepted to attend Tannen’s Magic Camp for 10-20 year olds. Tannen’s Camp is the subject of a recent award winning documentary called “Magic Camp,” by Judd Ehrlich. At 16 he was Stage Managing the theater at the camp and Tannen’s annual magician’s convention for 1200 attendees. This propelled Vinny into Theme Park, Corporate Event, Off Broadway, Las Vegas Productions and most recently, “The Carbonaro Effect,” on TruTV. In addition to Stage Management, he is a magic consultant/designer, theatrical prop fabricator and illusion technician.
A few years ago at Tannen’s Magic Camp, Hiawatha Johnson Jr. challenged Vinny to perform again; he accepted the challenge and has been thrust back into the spotlight. Vinny is proud to be a member of the KTMA Ensemble.
JAMES KROENER (Associate Production Coordinator) Completed his B.A. (With Honors, Phi Beta Kappa) in Theatre and Speech at The City College of New York, where he was the recipient of The Bessie Spector Award for Excellence in Directing. He is also a graduate of the Atlantic Theater Company’s Two Year Conservatory and Tannen’s Magic Camp (where he has been on staff as a teaching artist since 1999). City College directing credits include productions of Dandy Dick, Boston Marriage and Teeming With Clowny, workshop productions of Unburdened and Elephants Walking On Water and staged readings of The Village Guard, Fast Friends, and Knowing Your Neighbors (the latter two of which he also wrote).
James has directed Off-Off-Broadway productions of Strictly Dishonorable, Topdog/Underdog, and Much Ado About Nothing and served as Assistant Director for Bob Cline’s productions of In The Heights, Sweet Charity, Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Gypsy (all at Montclair Operetta Club). Most recently James co-directed and co-choreographed The Little Mermaid JR at PS 161 in Harlem.
James has performed Magic at venues including La Mama Etc, The Rich Forum, Aaron Davis Hall, The National Theater, Links Hall, Six Flags America, and The Magic Castle. He also served as Illusion Manager for Siegfried and Roy Present: Darren Romeo (El Dorado Hotel & Casino, Table Mountain Hotel & Casino, Welk Resort), Major Bang (St. Ann’s Warehouse/The Foundry Theater), The Eighth Effect (Pilgrim Films), and Elliot Zimet (The Box, Times Scare, Central Park SummerStage), Magic Consultant for Godspell (Montclair Operetta Club) and The Cherry Orchard (City College) and Assistant Stage Manager at Off-Broadway’s longest running magic show Monday Night Magic.
James has been a member of KTMA Arts since December of 2003. KTMA credits include A Little Bit of Sanctuary, Fables and Curiosities, The Really Big Shoe Show Show, (all at Riverview Artspace under the direction of Hiawatha Johnson Jr.), and a workshop production of The 3 Little Pigs and The Win-Win at Africa House (which James also wrote and directed).
He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Educational Theatre at The City College of New York.
BETTINA BUTLER (Artist) attended Lynchburg College where she obtained a BA in Theatre. During her career she has performed in various productions such as, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill, where she portrayed Billie Holiday in the last year of her life. Other acting credits include The New Neighborhood, Divas and Gents, and The Really Big Shoe Show Show, an original KTMA production.
MALCOLM DENDTLER (Artist) was born in Brooklyn, New York, where he first became involved in music at Erasmus Hall High School and participated in the Boys’ Choir. At age 13 he began musical training in national music competitions and in the Riversider’s Drum and Bugle Corp.
Malcolm is the founder and music coordinator of Saint Claire Music Company and enjoys performing as an accompanist for many different styles of music. Versed in both modern and ancient drum percussion, his musical talents range from the classroom to the big stage. He is also the musical accompanist and principle musician for the Dance Theatre of Lynchburg in Lynchburg, Virginia.
ROBIN STAMPS DOBY EASTER (Artist) is originally from Lynchburg, Virginia, but now resides in Greensboro, North Carolina. Her professional credits include: Black Nativity, Nathan Alston's Soul Sistas, Love Machine the Musical, Dreams of a King, Let Your Children Tell, Star Spangled Girls, This is the Place Where I Live, Three for the Road, and Women’s Work, just to name a few. Robin's talents have also been featured in Maya Angelou's And Still I Rise starring J'anet Dubois and Clifton Davis Dreamgirls, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, The Wiz, Stealaway, To Be Young, Tap Dance Kid, All Night Strut, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Spirit Warrior’s Dream, Peace Like a River, Eubie, and much, much more.
Robin's vocal talent was commissioned for Greensboro against Amendment One’s, Vote Against Amendment One song/video campaign. She was also a featured performer with the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra and has performed for the Department of the Interior in Washington, DC. Furthermore, Robin received an honorable mention from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for Solo Vocal Performance in Ed Bullins' Boy X Man.
Robin has been the lead singer for the rocking Blues band, Robin Doby & the Stovepipes, and is currently "keeping the FUNK alive” as the lead vocalist of the rip roaring Funk/Soul Band DOBY.
HARRISON GREENBAUM (Artist) “The hardest-working man in comedy” (Time Out NY) and “A favorite young star on the comedy scene” (New York Times), Harrison is one of Comedy Central’s “Comics to Watch” and winner of the Andy Kaufman Award.
On television, Harrison was featured on AXS.TV’s Gotham Comedy Live, was a regular panelist on CurrentTV’s Viewpoint, and has appeared on MTV, SPIKE TV, the Discovery Channel, and the Science Channel. Behind the scenes, Harrison was a producer for Primetime: Would You Fall for That? on ABC (which premiered in 2013 to over 3.5 million viewers), a story producer for VH1’s This is HOT 97, and was the warm-up comic for Katie, Katie Couric's daytime talk show on ABC.
As a magician, Harrison was named one of "today's best" by Newsday and has appeared on the CW’s Masters of Illusion and National Geographic Channel’s Brain Games. The most requested performer at Monday Night Magic, the longest-running- Off-Broadway magic show in New York, Harrison has also performed at the Magic Castle in Hollywood, the Mystery Lounge in Boston, and was one of only 30 magicians chosen to perform at the International Festival of Magic, Illusion, and the Unusual in Louisville, Kentucky. Harrison is a counselor at Tannen’s Magic Camp and has been an advisor to the Society of Young Magicians in Boston and New York for almost a decade.
Harrison currently resides in New York where his solo comedy and magic show, Harrison Greenbaum: What Just Happened?, was a sold-out smash at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and ran Off-Broadway for two months.