For “Sweat” at Santa Fe Playhouse

“Scenic designer James W. Johnson triumphs with an incredibly detailed and highly realistic bar set that makes fantastic use of the Playhouse’s small stage. It absolutely looks like a place any patron would be glad to stop in and grab a pint; a functioning beer tap and jukebox further the effect beautifully” – Zoe Burke @ Santa Fe Reporter

For “The Effect” at Santa Fe Playhouse

“A significant element supporting the story was the ambitious and gorgeous technical work. James W. Johnson’s scenic design is highly effective, particularly when paired with Max Doolittle’s lighting design and Corwin Evans‘s sound and projection design…”

For “Cats” at Flat Rock Playhouse

“The cats scamper about the small playing area with amazing skill, tumbling and twisting around the large junkyard pieces that occupy much of the stage (well designed by James W. Johnson).” -Tony Kiss in Asheville Scene

For “The Making of Evita with Doug Llewelyn”

I just want to tell you what a great job you did on editing the “Evita” show together.
You made great selections of picking segments from the production to use in our show … they really worked well.
I think this turned out to be a really good show. It would not have been possible without your talents and efforts.
I owe you a big drink … and an even bigger thanks.
You are a gem to work with. I look forward to doing it again on “Les Miz.””
By: Doug Llewelyn

For “The Making of Evita with Doug Llewelyn”

“James – you did an incredible job – the show looks and sounds fabulous.” Lynn Penny (Development Director, Flat Rock Playhouse

For “Chase Brock’s The Nutcracker:”

“The shadow show, in which Russell Meyer’s gift, a little Christmas tree, grows and glows, is sheer magic.” -HARLOTTE SELF in 85-26

For “Celtic Christmas:”

“Enhanced by a magical Celtic-themed set designed by James W. Johnson…” -Katie Winkler in 85-26

For “Doubt: A Parable:”

“James W. Johnson’s scenic design set the stage beautifully. The intimate setting of the Playhouse Downtown makes attention to detail even more essential to the overall feel of the production. His use of branches in the overhead lighting and the scattered leaves on the grass in the courtyard of the stone school were just the right touches to bring the essence of fall days in New York to the stage.”

For “Save the Rock” Photos

“You’re awesome!”

For Cat on a Hot Tin Roof:

“The simple, unchanging set of the “bed-sitting room” of a plantation home works well for the Mainstage space. The dying vines on the pillars add interesting visual metaphors for the crumbling home in the decaying Old South” By: Robin Edgar with

“The set by James W. Johnson and lighting by Driscoll Otto draw the audience in to one long night of family conflict and trauma.” -Hendersonville Lighting

“It rises above the obvious story of a sexually-dominate heroine to truly focus on the bigger issue, the conflict between the necessary truth and the consoling lie. This comes out with complete clarity in Marcia Milgrom Dodge’s richly detailed production. From the start of the show, James W. Johnsons’ design of an aging Mississippi mansion lets the audience know right away that this is a place where people are stripped of their illusions. Added by Bryan Delaney’s outstanding sound and Discoll Otto’s lighting designs, the production looks and sounds appropriately desperate and bleak.” By: Victoria Lamberth with

For “One Flea Spare:”

“The stark, grey set by James W. Johnson is appropriately bleak.” -Jim Cavener @ The Citizen Times

For Angels in America

James Johnson’s imaginative use of six fluted columns of long sheaths of white fabric is used effectively to construct several scenic situations. Lights, costumes, makeup and sound are all exemplary. In this near-perfect production there are major technical theater breakthroughs all of which are carried off without failure. The whole experience is both demanding and rewarding beyond what theater regularly offers.

The minimalist set by James Johnson, the lighting design by Rob Bowen and the sound conception and execution by Jason Waggoner are all exceptional.

The design team has met matchless challenges delightfully…