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. In 1989, Ellis and his partner launched Dare, Tennessee's Lesbian and Gay Newsweekly which later became known as Query. Ellis is the recipient of the Tennessee Theatre Association's Distinguished Service Award for his coverage of theater 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 - the history of which can be traced to 1989 and the first presentation of The First Night Awards - which honor outstanding theater artisans from Tennessee in recognition of their lifetime achievements and also includes The First Night Star Awards and the Most Promising Actors recognition. Midwinter's First Night honors outstanding productions and performances throughout the state. An accomplished director, Ellis helmed productions of La Cage Aux Folles, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and An American Daughter, all in their Nashville premieres, as well as award-winning productions of Damn Yankees, Company, Gypsy and The Rocky Horror Show. Ellis was recognized 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 Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years for VWA Theatricals, and in 2016, he directed Beth Henley's The Miss Firecracker Contest for The Larry Keeton Theatre. He will direct My Fair Lady for The Keeton in 2017.

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MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
LAST 30 DAYS

BWW Review: Studio Tenn's Stunning EVITA Makes History on Opening Night With Powerful PerformancesBWW Review: Studio Tenn's Stunning EVITA
Posted: Sep. 10, 2016


BWW Review: Nashville Ballet's Lushly Romantic CINDERELLA Opens the New SeasonBWW Review: Nashville Ballet's Lushly Romantic CINDERELLA
Posted: Sep. 17, 2016


Staged Reading This Week for New Dan Fogelberg Musical PART OF THE PLANStaged Reading for New Dan Fogelberg Musical PART OF THE PLAN
Posted: Sep. 21, 2016


Nashville Rep Announces Durang as Ingram New Works Fellow for 2016-17Nashville Rep Announces Durang as Ingram New Works Fellow for 2016-17
Posted: Sep. 15, 2016


Getting to Know...TIM OZGENER of Oz Arts NashvilleGetting to Know...TIM OZGENER of Oz Arts
Posted: Sep. 9, 2016


TPAC, Lipscomb University Partner to Present 'THE NASHIES'TPAC, Lipscomb University Partner to Present ‘THE NASHIES’
Posted: Sep. 16, 2016


LAST 365 DAYS

Nashville Children's Theatre's SCOT COPELAND DiesNashville Children's Theatre's SCOT COPELAND Dies
Posted: Feb. 25, 2016


BWW Review: Studio Tenn's Stunning EVITA Makes History on Opening Night With Powerful PerformancesBWW Review: Studio Tenn's Stunning EVITA
Posted: Sep. 10, 2016


BWW Interviews: CINDERELLA's Blair Ross 'Comes Home' to Play 'Madame'Blair Ross 'Comes Home' to Play 'Madame'
Posted: Oct. 16, 2015


Nashville Theater Mourns the Passing of Iconic Actor DAVID COMPTONNashville Theater Mourns Passing of DAVID COMPTON
Posted: May. 5, 2016


Collegiate Theatrics: USC's ASHLEY ESKEWCollegiate Theatrics: USC's ASHLEY ESKEW
Posted: Mar. 1, 2016


Nashville Rep's NOISES OFF Set for October Run at TPACNashville Rep's NOISES OFF Set for October Run at TPAC
September 23, 2016

When an already unstable cast of actors begins to suffer the slings and arrows of falling in love (as well as falling down stairs) the possibility of a successful performance plummets, but the likelihood of audience delight skyrockets. That's what audiences can expect when Nashville Repertory Theatre opens the second show of its 2016-17 season: Michael Frayn's Noises Off.
BWW Review: Vickie Bailey Directs CFTA's SUITE SURRENDERBWW Review: Vickie Bailey Directs CFTA's SUITE SURRENDER
September 23, 2016

One thing in theater seems certain: Give an accomplished and veteran director the reins to a show and you can be guaranteed they will approach the work decisively and imaginatively - no matter how weak or how strong a particular play's script may be
Staged Reading This Week for New Dan Fogelberg Musical PART OF THE PLANStaged Reading This Week for New Dan Fogelberg Musical PART OF THE PLAN
September 21, 2016

Tony Award-nominated director Lynne Taylor-Corbett (Swing!) helms Part of the Plan, an original musical featuring the songs of the late, celebrated singer-songwriterDan Fogelberg, currently in development at Nashville's Tennessee Performing Arts Center which this week will receive a 29-hour Equity staged reading with three invitation-only presentations September 22-24.
BWW Review: Nashville Ballet's Lushly Romantic CINDERELLA Opens the New SeasonBWW Review: Nashville Ballet's Lushly Romantic CINDERELLA Opens the New Season
September 17, 2016

From the very first moment - when principal guest conductor Nathan Fifield raises his baton and the musicians of the Nashville Symphony play the very first notes of Prokofiev's lush score - it becomes apparent that Nashville Ballet's Cinderella is going to be something very special. And so it goes for the next two-and-one-half-hours: All the way to the final tableau in which the lovely young woman (danced with power and grace by the always-superb Kayla Rowser) finds herself upon a swing in an altogether bucolic setting, with the comforting and loving arm of her dashing prince (Judson Veach, handsome and steadfast) gently caressing her.
ACT 1 Presents Limited Engagement of THE CHRISTIANSACT 1 Presents Limited Engagement of THE CHRISTIANS
September 16, 2016

ACT 1 kicks off its 2016-17 season with a special limited engagement of Lucas Hnath's The Christians, directed by Chris Bosen, which opens tonight and continues through Sejptember 24 at Tulip Street United Methodist Church (522 Russell Street in Nashville). Curtain is at 7:30 p.m. for each performance.
BWW Review: Nashville Rep's THE LAST FIVE YEARSBWW Review: Nashville Rep's THE LAST FIVE YEARS
September 16, 2016

Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years is one of the most popular contemporary musicals currently en vogue, particularly among newer (read: younger) generations of theater devotees and those older musical theater lovers in the know. So it should come as no surprise that Nashville Repertory Theatre launches its 2016-17 season with a Jason Tucker-directed (and musical directed) production, now onstage at Andrew Johnson Theatre at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center.
TPAC, Lipscomb University Partner to Present 'THE NASHIES'TPAC, Lipscomb University Partner to Present 'THE NASHIES'
September 16, 2016

Nashville's Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) announces the addition of its sixth TPAC Education program, a partnership with Lipscomb University's College of Entertainment and the Arts to implement theNashville High School Musical Theatre Awards, or "The Nashies."
SUITE SURRENDER Bows at Murfreesboro's CFTA, 9/16SUITE SURRENDER Bows at Murfreesboro's CFTA, 9/16
September 16, 2016

Murfreesboro's Center for the Arts presents the farcical Suite Surrender, running September 16-25. Called 'a rib-tickling good time,' by the Palm Beach Post, the stage comedy promises to keep audiences laughing from beginning to end.
Distraction Theatre Company Opens LaBute's THE SHAPE OF THINGS 9/16Distraction Theatre Company Opens LaBute's THE SHAPE OF THINGS 9/16
September 15, 2016

Distraction Theatre Company and The Red Arrow Gallery present Neil LaBute's The Shape of Things, running September 16-October 1 at the East Nashville gallery.
Edward Allan Baker's ROSEMARY WITH GINGER Opens 9/23 at Centennial Black BoxEdward Allan Baker's ROSEMARY WITH GINGER Opens 9/23 at Centennial Black Box
September 15, 2016

Edward Allan Baker's Rosemary With Ginger - starring Laura Holloway and Tarama Todres - is the next production of the Nashville-based Chicago Talking Machine , running September 23-25 and September 30-October 2 at the Centennial Black Box Theater, 211 27th Avenue North.
NUNSET BOULEVARD Next Up at Dickson's Gaslight Dinner TheatreNUNSET BOULEVARD Next Up at Dickson's Gaslight Dinner Theatre
September 15, 2016

Dickson's Gaslight Dinner Theatre's 16th anniversary season continues with the latest musical from Dan Goggins: Nunset Boulevard - The Hollywood Bowl Show. Everyone's favorite Little Sisters of Hoboken take the stage once again in the musical comedy. This time, they have been invited to Tinseltown to sing at the Hollywood Bowl.
Nashville Rep Announces Durang as Ingram New Works Fellow for 2016-17Nashville Rep Announces Durang as Ingram New Works Fellow for 2016-17
September 15, 2016

Playwright Christopher Durang has been named Ingram New Works Playwriting Fellow for the 2016-17 season of Nashville Repertory Theatre's Ingram New Works Project, it was announced today.
BWW Review: Studio Tenn's Stunning EVITA Makes History on Opening Night With Powerful PerformancesBWW Review: Studio Tenn's Stunning EVITA Makes History on Opening Night With Powerful Performances
September 10, 2016

As assured and confident as any long-running musical now - or ever, for that matter - on Broadway, the altogether worldly and completely engaging production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita, playing at Andrew Jackson Hall through September 18, gives Nashville audiences the kind of exceptional theater experience they've come to expect from Studio Tenn.
Jessika Malone Named Associate Artistic Director for Actors Bridge EnsembleJessika Malone Named Associate Artistic Director for Actors Bridge Ensemble
September 9, 2016

2015 First Night Star Award winner Jessika Malone has been named associate artistic director of Actors Bridge Ensemble. Her new appointment was announced in late August by the company's producing artistic director - and 2016 First Night Honoree - Vali Forrister, the ABE Board of Directors and company members.
Getting to Know...TIM OZGENER of Oz Arts NashvilleGetting to Know...TIM OZGENER of Oz Arts Nashville
September 9, 2016

Today, we're Getting To KnowTim Ozgener, president and CEO of Oz Arts Nashville, Music City's center for the contemporary arts scene in a town whose cultural life is ever-changing and constantly evolving.
Critic's Choice: Nashville Theatre's New Season Continues at Breakneck PaceCritic's Choice: Nashville Theatre's New Season Continues at Breakneck Pace
September 9, 2016

It's another one of those perplexing and invigorating weekends in Nashville theater as some of the season's most anticipated shows open - and theater-goers find themselves sometimes making a "Sophie's Choice" decision in some cases when the options somehow seem overwhelming. And as confounding as that can be for audiences, it once again shows that the theater scene in these parts remains as vital and as artistically challenging as ever
Tony Winner Anthony Crivello Joins Cast of Studio Tenn's EVITATony Winner Anthony Crivello Joins Cast of Studio Tenn's EVITA
August 3, 2016

Tony Award winner Anthony Crivello will join the cast of Studio Tenn and Tennessee Performinig Arts Center's production of Evita this September, playing the role of Juan Peron. Playing opposite Crivello in the eponymous role of Eva Peron is Broadway diva Eden Espinosa.
BWW Review: Center for the Arts' Emotionally-Charged 1776BWW Review: Center for the Arts' Emotionally-Charged 1776
July 26, 2016

Perhaps it's a case of perfect timing - or maybe it's simply the fact that a revival of a much-beloved Tony Award-winning best musical is enough to attract a strong ensemble of men to the project - but make no mistake about it, Murfreesboro's Center for the Arts succeeds where so many companies have fallen short in bringing a superbly mounted production of Sherman Edwards' and Peter Stone's 1776 to vibrant life onstage!
BWW Review: Nate Eppler's THE ICE TREATMENT Closes Actors Bridge's 20th Anniversary Season with Knee-capping FunBWW Review: Nate Eppler's THE ICE TREATMENT Closes Actors Bridge's 20th Anniversary Season with Knee-capping Fun
July 20, 2016

Rachel Agee's bravura performance - which, arguably, any actor would love to add to a resume - as a fictionalized Tonya Harding-like personality is enough to guarantee that audiences will continue to talk about the world premiere production of Nate Eppler's latest work, The Ice Treatment, for years to come.
Photo Coverage: 2016 First Night Preview PartyPhoto Coverage: 2016 First Night Preview Party
July 20, 2016

Two Broadway veterans join with a group of seven of Tennessee's most enduring, influential and outstanding theater artists to comprise the Class of 2016 First Night Honorees, who were revealed Monday night during the annual First Night preview party, hosted by First Night founder and executive producer Jeffrey Ellis.


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