#BehindtheCurtain: Get to Know Johnisa Breault

 In Blog, San Diego Broadway Shows

Ohmigod you guys! Our favorite blonde is here to take Harvard by pink storm, and we can’t wait to introduce you to Johnisa Breault who is portraying the iconic Elle Woods in SDMT’s upcoming production of Legally Blonde! Balancing a fierce determination with lovable positivity, Johnisa perfectly embodies Elle as she navigates Law School. You may recognize Johnisa from past SDMT productions: Catch Me If You Can and Anything Goes, and we’re so excited to have her back with us on the SDMT Stage. Drawing on years of professional experience, Johnisa pours so much tenderness and genuineness into the role of Elle that audiences won’t be able to help falling in love with and rooting for her throughout the show. This week we were able to spend some time getting to know Johnisa a little more through the following interview questions, and we can’t wait to share her answers with you all! Continue reading her blog below, and then make sure you purchase your tickets to see Johnisa bring Elle to life on the SDMT Stage in Legally Blonde, running from May 3rd to June 2nd!


How long have you been performing/what inspired you to get into musical theatre?

My mom loved to sing, and says I would hum myself to sleep as a baby! I started singing karaoke with my mom when I was 2 years old… and I quickly became attached to the mic! I also grew up watching tapes/DVDs of a few different movie musicals like Annie and Hairspray, and faithfully watched the hilarious Lucille Ball in The Lucy Show, Here’s Lucy, and of course: I Love Lucy.At about 7 years old, my mom saw an audition notice at school for a local youth theater doing Annie. Turned out… it was Annie Get Your Gun! But, it sprouted my love for Musical Theater, and the theater became an escape, and a 2nd home. After participating in many shows at youth theaters, my mom and others quickly realized it was more than a hobby for me. At 10 yrs old, I auditioned for the 2012 Broadway revival of Annie. Since we couldn’t afford to drive to audition in LA, I submitted a video, before self-tapes were the norm, and it’s still up on YouTube! After a couple virtual callbacks, I was asked to come to New York. We scraped up all we could and headed for the Big Apple! I was sick and tired, but luckily pulled through many rounds, and finally headed home. Despite those callbacks initially being the final round of calls, we got an email a couple of weeks later for one last unexpected round. Unfortunately we couldn’t afford to fly back, so my journey ended there. That experience, being in the beautiful city, doing what I loved, was the moment I knew I wanted to do this for the rest of my life.

Back home, I auditioned and attended the Orange County School of the Arts, where I was in the Musical Theatre conservatory from 7th – 12th grade. Through OCSA, I got training that I could not otherwise afford, and started working professionally at 14 years old- and have been in love ever since!

Photo by Julie Licari

If you could tell the audience anything about this show, what would it be? And does it have any special meaning to you?

I first watched the MTV Pro-Shot of the Original Broadway Cast my freshman year of high school, and I LOVED it! Elle is such a powerhouse, and it was inspiring seeing a woman with such strong self-worth and determination.

Now delving into this show and role, it has even more meaning and affect on me. Elle is judged by first glance, and is extremely underestimated, which I think a lot of people can relate to. Because of my looks or financial situation, I often felt overlooked and having to fight to be seen. In high school, I missed opportunities because I couldn’t afford it, and I was told I would get into colleges and have a successful career just because I am ‘ethnic’. Being deduced to my looks and status, and not seen for my hard work and talent is extremely degrading and frustrating. Elle encounters this too. She fights to prove that she is capable of things above and beyond what people expect of her, and she does it with such grace, style, and forgiveness.

I am also SO proud to be stepping into Elle’s fashionable shoes. As a proud Filipina, I’m so excited to be playing a role like Elle, who is typically not played by someone who looks like me! I hope I can inspire and make young kids proud seeing themselves represented. I get emotional thinking about little Johnisa, and how she would feel to see someone who looks like her playing this fierce woman. I do it for her.

Photo by Julie Licari

If you had to pick, what is your favorite scene or number in the show?

Ooh! I truly don’t think there’s a bad moment in the show, so this is a tough one!! I’ll have to say the title song, ‘Legally Blonde’. I relate to Elle feeling underestimated, despite putting in so much hard work. The song is also so beautiful, and I love Elle and Emmett’s relationship.

Photo by Julie Licari

What is a dream role or dream show of yours? If you have a few, feel free to list them!

So many!! Leading Player in Pippin, Janet van de Graaff in The Drowsy Chaperone, Kim in Miss Saigon, Cassie & Diana in A Chorus Line, I could go on and on!

If you were to surprise everyone and get a degree just like Elle does when she goes to Law School, what would you be going back to school to study?

Mechanical Engineering/Mathematics! I love math and wanted to be a Mechanical Engineer or a teacher when I was in high school. I actually have been sporadically taking classes, and intend on getting a degree in Math someday! #WomenInStem

Photo by Julie Licari

Elle is accompanied almost everywhere by her four legged family member, Bruiser the Chihuahua! If you were to show up to Law School with a furry friend, who would you be taking with you? And whether you have a pet or not, feel free to be creative!

I have my very own Bruiser at home- but he’s a cat named Max! He is literally Bruiser in cat form, and like Elle, I would take him everywhere in my purse too if I could. Although he’s 7 years old, my partner Marlon and I just got him about 2 months ago, but it has felt like he has been in our family furever!

Photo by Mark Holmes

And finally, what is the most relatable aspect of your character?

The hair! (totally kidding). I mentioned it earlier, but Elle and I are similar with our perseverance despite being told what we can/can not do.I also love how she is with Emmett, and how they help each other become better versions of themselves- I can totally relate to their relationship! 🙂



Legally Blonde Creative Team:
Director and Choreographer: Xavier J. Bush
Music Director: Lyndon Pugeda
Assistant to the Director and Choreographer: Melissa Glasgow


CLICK HERE to buy tickets!


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