The Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department mourns the passing of Columbia College alumna Joanna Greer ’97, a graduate of the Theatre Department’s BA Program in Musical Theatre. As reported in BroadwayWorld.com and elsewhere, Joanna – a dancer, choreographer, and dance teacher – passed away March 31, 2023, after a long illness.
A memorial celebration of her life – Moondance. Remembering Joanna – will take place on Sunday, April 16, from 10 AM to noon at 54 Below cabaret at 254 W. 54th St. in New York City’s Broadway theatre district. To RSVP for the celebration, please click here.
A GoFundMe link has been established to support a choreography scholarship in Joanna’s honor. To donate, please click here.
Joanna is survived by her husband, Columbia College alum Ryan Greer ’99, also a graduate of the Theatre Department’s Musical Theatre Program. Ryan is a jazz singer and director of Digital Strategy and Media Activation at AKA NYC.
The couple met as students at Columbia. After graduating, they co-founded Kinetic Dance Theatre, which performed their original work in the Chicago area. After moving to New York City in 2001, Joanna and Ryan continued presenting original work under the aegis of Kinetic Dance Theatre, including the productions Stolen Moments, Sleeping Giant, (move to exit.), and Here’s to the Third New York. A sampling of Kinetic’s work can be found here.
In New York, Joanna became associate artistic director and resident choreographer at TADA! Youth Theatre, whose mission is “to provide young people from different social, racial, economic, and cultural backgrounds with musical theatre programs that inspire them to learn, be creative, and think differently through high-quality productions, positive youth development, and education programs.”
Joanna also worked as a teaching artist at many public and private schools in the city. Her credits as a choreographer include The Gumball Gang: Crime-Solving Kids; Alienne: The Musical Adventures of My Little Martian, presented at the 2014 New York International Fringe Festival; a 2019 production of The Dangerous Christmas of Red Riding Hood; and the adult-oriented Off-Broadway, Los Angeles, and Dallas hit 50 Shades! The Musical, a parody cowritten by Joanna’s Columbia College classmate Jody Shelton.
Joanna is also survived by her two children with Ryan, Miles and Liza. In a 2016 interview with the entertainment website Call Me Adam, when asked, “What do you consider to be a masterpiece in your life?,” Joanna replied: “Two words, Miles and Liza. My two beautiful children are hands down my finest production. Just like a true masterpiece, they take a great deal of care and preservation. I marvel at all of their beautiful talents and am constantly astonished by them.”