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 outstanding 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. In 2015, he directed William Inge's Picnic for Circle Players and The Last Five Years for VWA Theatricals, with The Larry Keeton Theatre's production of The Miss Firecracker Contest set for spring 2016.
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MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
LAST 30 DAYS

Upcoming Auditions in Nashville 7/8/15Upcoming Auditions in Nashville 7/8/15
Posted: Jul. 8, 2015


BWW Reviews: BRING IT ON, THE MUSICAL at Arts Center of Cannon CountyBWW Reviews: BRING IT ON
Posted: Jul. 13, 2015


BWW Reviews: Blackbird Theater's Musical MYTHBWW Reviews: Blackbird Theater's MYTH
Posted: Jul. 20, 2015


Upcoming Auditions in Nashville 7/15/15Upcoming Auditions in Nashville 7/15/15
Posted: Jul. 15, 2015


Upcoming Auditions in Nashville 7/23/15Upcoming Auditions in Nashville 7/23/15
Posted: Jul. 23, 2015


BWW Reviews: KB Productions' TRAILER TRASH HOUSEWIFEBWW Reviews: KB Productions' TRAILER TRASH HOUSEWIFE
Posted: Jul. 4, 2015


CRITICS' CHOICE: It's A Big Weekend OnstageCRITICS' CHOICE: It's A Big Weekend Onstage
Posted: Jul. 16, 2015


LAST 365 DAYS

On The Road to Oz With MEGAN MURPHY CHAMBERSMegan Murphy Chambers On the Road to Oz
Posted: Jun. 11, 2015


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


BWW Reviews: Studio Tenn's THE WIZARD OF OZBWW Reviews: Studio Tenn's THE WIZARD OF OZ
Posted: Jun. 15, 2015


CRITICS' CHOICE: Get Some Southern HospitalityCRITICS' CHOICE: Southern Hospitality
Posted: Jun. 12, 2015


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


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


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


Photo Coverage: Nashville's Big Reveal: The First Night Preview PartyPhoto Coverage: Nashville's Big Reveal: The First Night Preview Party
July 28, 2015

More than 150 people gathered at Nashville's venerable Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre Monday night for the announcement of honorees and award winners for the 2015 First Night Honors. Preview Party celebrants were treated to a bountiful buffet of entertainment as cast members from several musicals currently on the boards or upcoming on Middle Tennessee stages performed numbers from their shows
Photo Coverage: THE 2015 FIRST NIGHT PREVIEW PARTYPhoto Coverage: THE 2015 FIRST NIGHT PREVIEW PARTY
July 28, 2015

More than 150 people gathered at Nashville's venerable Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre Monday night for the announcement of honorees and award winners for the 2015 First Night Honors. Preview Party celebrants were treated to a bountiful buffet of entertainment as cast members from several musicals currently on the boards or upcoming on Middle Tennessee stages performed numbers from their shows.
Photo Coverage: The Class of 2015 First Night HonoreesPhoto Coverage: The Class of 2015 First Night Honorees
July 28, 2015

Nine individuals who have taken leading roles in making live theater in Tennessee better and more magical have been named as members of the Class of 2015 Honorees for The First Night Honors, the annual celebration of all things theatrical held in Nashville every September.
2015 First Night Honorees, Award Winners Revealed2015 First Night Honorees, Award Winners Revealed
July 28, 2015

Nine individuals who have taken leading roles in making live theater in Tennessee better and more magical have been named as members of the Class of 2015 Honorees for The First Night Honors, the annual celebration of all things theatrical held in Nashville every September.
Nashville Theater Calendar 7/20/15Nashville Theater Calendar 7/20/15
July 27, 2015

Sometimes it seems there is so much theater happening that it's difficult to keep track of it all. From personal experience, despite all the datebooks, smart phones, tablets, desktop computers and laptops...it's hard to keep everything straight in this wacky business of the show.
BWW Reviews: ALL SHOOK UP at Chaffin's BarnBWW Reviews: ALL SHOOK UP at Chaffin's Barn
July 24, 2015

Elvis Presley aka The King, Tupelo's most famous favorite son and Memphis' most revered musical icon sure had a lot of music in his catalogue of hits, and it seems that almost all of it is included in the score of All Shook Up, the jukebox musical now onstage at Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre through August 30. There are so many songs, in fact, that opening night may have run longer than anticipated, yet those songs are so entertainingly performed and the show is so full of heart that you can't help but stick around until the end.
CRITICS' CHOICE: Whole Lotta Theatre Goin' OnCRITICS' CHOICE: Whole Lotta Theatre Goin' On
July 23, 2015

Theater in Tennessee has never been busier nor has it been more diverse than what you'll find onstage this weekend throughout the Volunteer State. From frothy and fun summer musicals that are sure to make you think - like All Shook Up at Chaffin's Barn and A Chorus Line at Cumberland County Playhouse - to new plays from Shawn Whitsell (his latest, Songs For Our Sons, premieres at Darkhorse Theatre on Friday night) and emerging playwright Che Pieper (his new script based on the book The Man With the Light in His Window debuts at The Theater Bug this weekend)the magic of live theater is all around youeven in this heat and humidity! So pull your seersucker suits and sundresses out of the closet, get all gussied up and make your way to the relative cool of a darkened theater for some midsummer magic!
Upcoming Auditions in Nashville 7/23/15Upcoming Auditions in Nashville 7/23/15
July 23, 2015

Directors and producers in the Nashville region are seeking actors for upcoming productions of The Mousetrap, Manuscript, Cheaper by The Dozen and First Baptist of Ivy Gap - and producers are seeking cast members for a touring production of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. There's even a haunted house in Auburtown seeking performers for a paying gig. We've gathered the details together here to make your planning easier. So now you have no excuse!
BWW Reviews: TUNA DOES VEGAS at Gaslight Dinner TheatreBWW Reviews: TUNA DOES VEGAS at Gaslight Dinner Theatre
July 22, 2015

Here's some unsolicited career advice for those of you who might be considering relocating to Tuna, the third smallest town in Texas: Tunanians - or Tunaites or however they refer to themselves - are sorely in need of a good beauty operator to help them keep their unruly wigs in shipshape, Bristol fashion. What with all the civic events, out-of-town trips and local affairs, every woman in Tuna should want their coiffures to be dazzling creations of the beauticians' trade.
Class of 2015 First Night Honorees To Be Revealed 7/27Class of 2015 First Night Honorees To Be Revealed 7/27
July 21, 2015

The First Night Honors' Class of 2015 will be revealed next Monday night, July 27, as Nashville Theater's Big Reveal: The First Night Preview Party gets under way at Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre at 6 p.m., featuring entertainment by the casts of some of the summer's biggest musicals throughout Tennessee.
The ALL SHOOK UP Diaries: Hurtling Toward Opening NightThe ALL SHOOK UP Diaries: Hurtling Toward Opening Night
July 21, 2015

Rehearsals are drawing to a close as the bright lights of opening night begin to heat up at Nashville's Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre, where the cast and crew of the company's big summer musical, All Shook Up, get ready for their big debut on Thursday. With a cast of Nashville theater veterans joined by some of the region's brightest up-and-comers it promises to be a grand theatrical affair. We've been sharing some of the backstage gossip for the past couple of weeks and as our preview coverage concludes, we share a special by the numbers look at the show, courtesy of Christen Heilman Runyon
Nashville Theater Calendar 7/20/15Nashville Theater Calendar 7/20/15
July 21, 2015

Sometimes it seems there is so much theater happening that it's difficult to keep track of it all. From personal experience, despite all the datebooks, smart phones, tablets, desktop computers and laptops...it's hard to keep everything straight in this wacky business of the show.
BWW Reviews: Blackbird Theater's Musical MYTHBWW Reviews: Blackbird Theater's Musical MYTH
July 20, 2015

To give credit where credit is indeed due: Wes Driver and Greg Greene, with the creation of Blackbird Theatre, have given Nashville audiences some of the finest theater of the past five years, consistently providing thoughtful and provocative drama and music to a public clamoring for more intellectual pursuits amid the confines of a darkened theater. From their first production - Twilight of the Gods, an original comedy/drama/fantasy that has proven a favorite of theater companies all over the country - to their most recent project, they have continued to push the creative envelope and to challenge viewers to think. On top of those lofty aspirations, Messrs. Driver and Green are good men, gentlemen to a fault, warm and friendly, clever and quick.
THE FRIDAY FIVE: Crystal Kurek & Corey Shadd from WEST SIDE STORYTHE FRIDAY FIVE: Crystal Kurek & Corey Shadd from WEST SIDE STORY
July 17, 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. Today, we introduce you to Corey Shadd and Crystal Kurek, who star as Tony and Maria in West Side Story, opening tonight at Murfreesboro's Center for the Arts.
THE FRIDAY FIVE: Kathleen Jaffe from PLAY ON!THE FRIDAY FIVE: Kathleen Jaffe from PLAY ON!
July 17, 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. Today, we introduce you to Kathleen Jaffe, who stars in Play On! opening tonight at Lakewood Theatre in Old Hickory.
CRITICS' CHOICE: It's A Big Weekend OnstageCRITICS' CHOICE: It's A Big Weekend Onstage
July 16, 2015

And Sondra Morton, Jayme Smith and co. (that would be Act Too) stages their company's latest work at the historic Franklin Theatre - The Sound of Music - starring Kimberly Rye as Maria, Cameron Bortz as Rolf and the inimitable Matt Baugher as Georg Von Trapp. Check it out!
Sideshow @ Actors Bridge Fringe Kicks Off 2015 Festival TodaySideshow @ Actors Bridge Fringe Kicks Off 2015 Festival Today
July 16, 2015

Led by program director Jessika Malone and technical director Mitch Massaro - and named by CNN as one of 'most intriguing festivals' in the 'Best of the U.S.' - Nashville's Sideshow @ Actors Bridge unveils its fifth annual slate of performances for today, July 16, through July19.
Blackbird Theatre Premieres MYTH Musical, Beginning TonightBlackbird Theatre Premieres MYTH Musical, Beginning Tonight
July 16, 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 tonight, July 16, through July26.
Upcoming Auditions in Nashville 7/15/15Upcoming Auditions in Nashville 7/15/15
July 15, 2015

Directors and producers in the Nashville region are seeking actors for upcoming productions of Harvey and Deathtrap - and producers are seeking cast members for a touring production of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. We've gathered the details together here to make your planning easier. So now you have no excuse!
SIDESHOW FRINGE 2015: Byrd & Pryor of MATT & BENSIDESHOW FRINGE 2015: Byrd & Pryor of MATT & BEN
July 15, 2015

In between, there's a plethora of performances and events lined up, including a Sideshow-produced rendition of Mindy Kaling and Brenda Withers' Matt & Ben, starring Jenna Pryor and Britt Byrd, directed by Patrick Kramer: a what-might-have-happened comedy that considers how the pair of Boston-bred bros created an Academy Award winning screenplay.


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