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Jeffrey Ellis

Jeffrey Ellis Jeffrey Ellis is a Nashville-based writer, editor and critic, who's been covering the performing arts in Tennessee for more than 25 years. He is the recipient of the Tennessee Theatre Association's Distinguished Service Award for his coverage of theatre in the Volunteer State and was the founding editor/publisher of Stages, the Tennessee Onstage Monthly. He is a past fellow of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center and is the founder/executive producer of The First Night Honors, held during Labor Day Weekend, which honor oustanding theater artists in Tennessee in recognition of their lifetime achievements and includes The First Night Star Awards and the Most Promising Actors. Midwinter's First Night, held the first Sunday in January after New Year's Day, honors outstanding productions and performances throughout the state. Further, Ellis directed the Nashville premiere of La Cage Aux Folles, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and An American Daughter, as well as award-winning productions of Damn Yankees, Company, Gypsy and The Rocky Horror Show, with Ellis honored by The Tennessean as best director of a musical for both Company and Rocky Horror.
MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
LAST 30 DAYS

HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA: University School of Nashville's McKENNA HARRINGTONHIGH SCHOOL DRAMA: USN's McKenna Harrington
Posted: Mar. 19, 2015


BWW Reviews: PIPPIN's Magic Transforms TPAC's Jackson HallBWW Reviews: PIPPIN Transforms TPAC's Jackson Hall
Posted: Mar. 11, 2015


COLLEGIATE THEATRICS: Belmont University's Alie B. GorrieCOLLEGIATE THEATRICS: Alie B. Gorrie
Posted: Mar. 11, 2015


COLLEGIATE THEATRICS: Lipscomb University's Emily EytchisonCollegiate Theatrics: Emily Eytchison
Posted: Mar. 3, 2015


The Life of BERNIE ARNOLD To Be Celebrated Tonight in NashvilleCelebrating the Life of BERNIE ARNOLD
Posted: Mar. 3, 2015


HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA: University School of Nashville's AIDAN WATTHIGH SCHOOL DRAMA: University School of Nashville's AIDAN WATT
Posted: Mar. 5, 2015


LAST 365 DAYS

HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA: Hume-Fogg's Jessie GholsonHIGH SCHOOL DRAMA: Hume-Fogg's Jessie Gholson
Posted: Jan. 15, 2015


HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA: MBA's Jess DarnellHIGH SCHOOL DRAMA: MBA's Jess Darnell
Posted: Dec. 11, 2014


COLLEGIATE THEATRICS: Marymount Manhattan's Blake MarshallCOLLEGIATE THEATRICS: Marymount Manhattan's Blake Marshall
Posted: Feb. 10, 2015


COLLEGIATE THEATRICS: Boston Conservatory's James Spencer DeanCollegiate Theatrics: James Spencer Dean
Posted: Jan. 20, 2015


Collegiate Theatrics: Emma Jordan of Wright State UniversityCollegiate Theatrics: Emma Jordan
Posted: Dec. 2, 2014


COLLEGIATE THEATRICS: University of Evansville's Rachel WoodsCOLLEGIATE THEATRICS: University of Evansville's Rachel Woods
Posted: Feb. 17, 2015


HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA: Arden Taylor GuiceHigh School Drama: Arden Taylor Guice
Posted: Feb. 27, 2015


BWW Previews: D'Arco, Novak Lead Circle's PICNIC CastBWW Previews: D'Arco, Novak Lead Circle's PICNIC Cast
March 27, 2015

Gina D'Arco and Taylor Novak will lead the cast of William Inge's Picnic, in a revival of the classic play helmed by Jeffrey Ellis, for Nashville's Circle Players, which this season celebrates its 65th year of bringing live theater to audiences throughout Middle Tennessee. Picnic will run tonight, March 27 through April 4, and will be performed at the theater at Hillsboro High School.
Opening Night of Circle Players' PICNIC Set for TonightOpening Night of Circle Players' PICNIC Set for Tonight
March 26, 2015

In its 65th season, Middle Tennessee's oldest community theater company presents an exciting and challenging new revival of playwright William Inge's seminal 1953 Pulitzer Prize-winning play about repressed desires and haunting recriminations: Picnic. Opening tonight, March 26, at Hillsboro High School Theatre in Nashville, Picnic runs through April 4.
Life of Theater Patriarch A.W. CHAFFIN To Be CelebratedLife of Theater Patriarch A.W. CHAFFIN To Be Celebrated
March 23, 2015

Members of the Nashville theater community will gather today to lay to rest - and celebrate the thriving legacy - of A.W. 'Big John' Chaffin, the founder of Music City's first professional theater company and the patriarch of one of the first families of Tennessee theater.
THE FRIDAY FIVE: Jenna Pryor from DISNEY'S TARZAN THE MUSICALTHE FRIDAY FIVE: Jenna Pryor from DISNEY'S TARZAN THE MUSICAL
March 20, 2015

Inspired by BroadwayWorld.com's Friday Six, welcome to BroadwayWorld Nashville's latest installment of The Friday Five: five questions designed to help you learn more about the talented people you'll find onstage throughout the Volunteer state. This week the spotlight shines on Jenna Pryor, who caps a peripatetic 2014-15 season with the role of Jane Porter in Arts Center of Cannon County's Disney's Tarzan the Musical, which opens tonight at the theater in Woodbury.
HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA: University School of Nashville's McKENNA HARRINGTONHIGH SCHOOL DRAMA: University School of Nashville's McKENNA HARRINGTON
March 19, 2015

Today the spotlight shines on University School of Nashville's McKenna Harrington, a 16-year-old junior who debuts as Millie Owens next week in Circle Players' production of William Inge's Picnic (I'm her director, for sure, and probably not all that objective about her immense talents and spot-on instincts.
STAGE TUBE: ACCC's TARZAN Debuts This WeekendSTAGE TUBE: ACCC's TARZAN Debuts This Weekend
March 18, 2015

This classic tale unfolds in early 1900's as a shipwreck leaves an infant orphaned on the West African shore. The helpless baby is taken under the protection of a gorilla tribe and becomes part of their family. When he eventually encounters his first human, Jane Porter, both of their worlds transform forever.
BWW Reviews: Nashville Rep's Stunning DEATH OF A SALESMANBWW Reviews: Nashville Rep's Stunning DEATH OF A SALESMAN
March 17, 2015

Hitting perhaps too close to home for some and harkening back to memories best left unrecalled, while challenging audiences to examine their own lives, Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman remains an emotional, visceral theatrical masterpiece. Now, through March 28, it is vividly recaptured, like so much lightening in a bottle, in a deeply affecting production from Nashville Rep, directed with finesse by Rene D. Copeland and acted by an all-star cast of Nashville performers who together create a stunningly specific place in time that somehow is timeless and universal.
BWW Previews: Jay Doolittle Stars in TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE at The RoxyBWW Previews: Jay Doolittle Stars in TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE at The Roxy
March 16, 2015

Veteran actor Jay Doolittle returns to Clarksville's Roxy Regional Theatre this spring to reprise his role as Morrie Schwartz in the beloved play based on Mitch Albom's New York Times bestselling memoir, Tuesdays With Morrie, running March 27 - April 11.
Photo Coverage: Street Theatre Company's MEMPHIS THE MUSICALPhoto Coverage: Street Theatre Company's MEMPHIS THE MUSICAL
March 13, 2015

Photographer Kenn Stilger and Heavnly Perspective Photography have captured some gorgeous photographic images of Street Theatre Company's production of Memphis the Musical, which opens at Bailey STEM Middle School in Nashville tonight.
THE FRIDAY FIVE: Lauren Frances Johnson from STC'S MEMPHISTHE FRIDAY FIVE: Lauren Frances Johnson from STC'S MEMPHIS
March 13, 2015

This week the spotlight shines on Lauren Frances Johnson, who has made her mark in Music City, performing on stages all over town and sharing the remarkable talents that have won her legions of followers. Charming and gorgeous, she has stage presence to spare and tonight, as she opens as Felicia Farrell in Street Theatre Company's production of Memphis the Musical, she's destined to command the stage like nobody's business!
COLLEGIATE THEATRICS: Belmont University's Alie B. GorrieCOLLEGIATE THEATRICS: Belmont University's Alie B. Gorrie
March 11, 2015

Oftentimes, in any college town - especially one filled with schools with impressive theater programs - there are talented students who come and go, never making much of an impact on the local scene, keeping their onstage theatrics confined to campus offerings. Not so with Belmont University senior Alie B. Gorrie.
BWW Reviews: PIPPIN's Magic Transforms TPAC's Jackson HallBWW Reviews: PIPPIN's Magic Transforms TPAC's Jackson Hall
March 11, 2015

For 40-some years now, Stephen Schwartz's Pippin, the musical about an inquisitive young man in search of meaning in his life - and, notwithstanding, the actual meaning of life - has enraptured audiences, inspired legions of theater devotees and provided any number of young men (and a not insignificant number of young women, either, we suppose) with their go-to audition song in 'Corner of the Sky.'
BWW Interviews: Sasha Allen Leads National Company of PIPPIN to Music City TonightBWW Interviews: Sasha Allen Leads National Company of PIPPIN to Music City Tonight
March 10, 2015

When you're spending all your time on the road, life can bewell, challengingeven if you are Sasha Allen, who stars as The Leading Player in the completely spectacular and altogether magical national touring company of Pippin, the Tony Award-winning Stephen Schwartz musical that's been mesmerizing audiences all over the country just as certainly as the recent Broadway revival became the talk of the Great White Way.
HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA: University School of Nashville's AIDAN WATTHIGH SCHOOL DRAMA: University School of Nashville's AIDAN WATT
March 5, 2015

Today the spotlight shines on University School of Nashville's Aidan Watt, who during his four years at USN has been cast in every production - "aside from Noises Off, which I did tech for," he explains. As part of the amazing theater program at USN, Aidan's been learning from the best: Catherine Coke, whose resume includes work on all levels of professional theater, heads the program, with the estimable Jim Manning, perhaps Nashville's hardest working scenic designer (not to detract from any of the other designers in town, of course, who do great work, but Jim Manning - a 2012 First Night Star Award winner - tends to work on multiple productions for multiple companies at the same time. Whew!), heading technical and design teams.
Musical Theatre Fast Track Camp On Tap at Chaffin's BarnMusical Theatre Fast Track Camp On Tap at Chaffin's Barn
March 4, 2015

Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre has announced plans for its upcoming Musical Theatre Fast Track Performance Camp, as part of its summer production of the musical All Shook Up. Auditions for the show and the camp are slated for Monday, March 16, at 3 p.m. Camp dates are June 22-July 3 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The camp is designed for a total of 16 students, both males and females ages 12-16, to be double cast in the show. Rehearsals for All Shook Up will be held July 6-23.
Blackbird Theatre Announces Premiere of MYTH MusicalBlackbird Theatre Announces Premiere of MYTH Musical
March 4, 2015

?After four critically acclaimed seasons, Nashville's Blackbird Theater will produce what company founders call their 'magnum opus,' the new musical Myth, set for a world premiere run July 16-26.
Opening Night of Circle Players' PICNIC Set for 3/26Opening Night of Circle Players' PICNIC Set for 3/26
March 4, 2015

In its 65th season, Middle Tennessee's oldest community theater company presents an exciting and challenging new revival of playwright William Inge's seminal 1953 Pulitzer Prize-winning play about repressed desires and haunting recriminations: Picnic. Opening Thursday, March 26, at Hillsboro High School Theatre in Nashville, Picnic runs through April 4.
The Life of BERNIE ARNOLD To Be Celebrated Tonight in NashvilleThe Life of BERNIE ARNOLD To Be Celebrated Tonight in Nashville
March 3, 2015

It's cloudy and grey in Nashville today, which is perhaps fitting as people from all over gather to mourn the passing of Bernie Arnold, the matriarch of the first family of Nashville theater. But being mournful is the last thing you can come up with when remembering Bernie and her late, devoted husband, Henry Arnold (known as 'Buddy' to his legions of fans, students and admirers). Rather, any memory of the revered pair of theatrical talents is limned with joy, amazement and unbridled admiration.
COLLEGIATE THEATRICS: Lipscomb University's Emily EytchisonCOLLEGIATE THEATRICS: Lipscomb University's Emily Eytchison
March 3, 2015

Everything about Emily Eytchison, a Brentwood native now in her senior year at Nashville's Lipscomb University, says she's an actress. Outgoing and beautiful, quirky and even somewhat introverted (which might seem surprising coming from someone who is so obviously at home in front of an audience), she seems destined to a life theatrical, one filled with wonder, imagination and new discoveries around every piece of scenery
HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA: Arden Taylor GuiceHIGH SCHOOL DRAMA: Arden Taylor Guice
February 27, 2015

Today, we introduce you to Arden Taylor Guice, a 17-year-old high school, whose unique theatrical life sets her apart from others in her age group: She's been a student at Franklin High School, but in her senior year she was lucky enough to gain an internship with the musical theatre program at Belmont University and is now finishing school online. She's also a veteran of Sondra Morton's Act Too Players troupe in Franklin!


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