Arnold Johnston lives in Kalamazoo, MI. His plays, and others written in collaboration with his wife, Deborah Ann Percy, have won awards, production, and publication across the country. His poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and translations have appeared widely in literary journals and anthologies. His books include two poetry collections—Sonnets: Signs and Portents and What the Earth Taught Us; The Witching Voice: A Play about Robert Burns; Of Earth and Darkness: The Novels of William Golding; and The Witching Voice: A Novel from the Life of Robert Burns. His translations of Jacques Brel’s songs have appeared in numerous musical revues nationwide (including the acclaimed Chicago productions Jacques Brel: Songs of Love and War and Jacques Brel’s Lonesome Losers of the Night), and are also featured on his CD, Jacques Brel: I’m Here! Commissioned by the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre, Arnie and Debby’s interactive drama The Night Before Christmas had its highly successful world premiere in December 2012. A performer-singer, Arnie has played many solo concerts and some 100 roles on stage, screen, and radio. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild, The Playwrights’ Center, Theatre Communications Group, and the American Literary Translators Association. He was chairman of the English Department (1997-2007) and taught creative writing for many years at Western Michigan University. He is now a full-time writer.
Deborah Ann Percy earned the M.F.A. in Creative Writing at Western Michigan University. A book of her short fiction, Cool Front: Stories from Lake Michigan, appeared in 2010 from March Street Press. Her plays, and those written in collaboration with her husband, Arnold Johnston, have won awards, publication, and production nationwide. Their books include Beyond Sex and Rasputin in New York, a collection of their one-act plays; Duets: Love Is Strange; and editions (translated with Dona Roşu) of plays by Romanian playwright Hristache Popescu: Night of the Passions, Sons of Cain, and Epilogue. Their edited anthology The Art of the One Act appeared in 2007 from New Issues Press. Since 2003 they have written twenty half-hour radio dramas for broadcast on Kalamazoo’s NPR-affiliate WMUK-FM as part of All Ears Theatre. They have also adapted and expanded one of their All Ears dramas for the stage, and it appeared in 2013 from Eldridge Publishing as Rumpelstiltskin: The True Hero. From 2009-2012 they were joint Arts and Entertainment columnists for the national quarterly journal Phi Kappa Phi Forum. After a distinguished administrative career in the Kalamazoo Public Schools, Debby is now a full-time writer. Winner of major playwriting grants from the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs and the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation, she is a member of the Dramatists Guild, The Playwrights’ Center, and the American Literary Translators Association.