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.

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

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 Reviews: KINKY BOOTS THE MUSICAL Captures Nashville's HeartBWW Reviews: KINKY BOOTS THE MUSICAL Captures Nashville's Heart
Posted: Feb. 4, 2015

Photo Coverage: University School of Nashville's THE ADDING MACHINEUSN's THE ADDING MACHINE
Posted: Feb. 13, 2015

BWW Reviews: Eddie George Leads Stellar Nashville Rep WHIPPING MANBWW Reviews: Eddie George Leads Stellar Nashville Rep WHIPPING MAN
Posted: Feb. 9, 2015


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

Posted: Dec. 11, 2014

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

COLLEGIATE THEATRICS: Belmont University's Lauren KnoopCollegiate Theatrics: Lauren Knoop
Posted: Jan. 13, 2015

HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA: Harley Seger of Christ Presbyterian AcademyHIGH SCHOOL DRAMA: CPA's Harley Seger
Posted: Nov. 20, 2014

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!
WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Michael EdwardsWHERE ARE THEY NOW? Michael Edwards
February 27, 2015

Now making his home in Florida - while continuing to pursue his almost 50-years-long (he's currently on year number 49) career on stages all over the country, Michael Edwards tells us this week all about his time spent in Nashville and where those years have led him
COLLEGIATE THEATRICS: Trevecca Nazarene University's Amanda Grace CreechCOLLEGIATE THEATRICS: Trevecca Nazarene University's Amanda Grace Creech
February 24, 2015

Amanda Grace Creech is one of a kind: Beautiful, talented, outspoken, irreverent - and yet another example of the wealth of talent to be found on college campuses all over the USA and someone of whom Nashville theater can rightfully boast. A native of Stone Mountain, Georgia, she's a student at Nashville's Trevecca Nazarene University and a 2014 First Night Most Promising Actor.
Photo Coverage: Lakewood Theatre's ASHLAND FALLSPhoto Coverage: Lakewood Theatre's ASHLAND FALLS
February 24, 2015

A school receives a mysterious script about a girl who died long ago. The director disappears. A new director arrives just in time and knows all about the story of the play. In fact, she seems to know it too well. And how did she get the dead girl's ring? Are the students of Herbert Hoover High too wrapped up in miscues, awful accents, and stolen boyfriends to notice? Revenge is coming. Who will pay the price when the real world and the play collide?
Circle Players' PICNIC Poster Art UnveiledCircle Players' PICNIC Poster Art Unveiled
February 19, 2015

Initial artwork for Circle Players' upcoming production of William Inge's Picnic, with art by Arthur Henry Kirkby IV and graphic design by David Arnold, has been released just as rehearsals get under way for the show's March 26-April 4 run at Nashville's Hillsboro High School.
HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA: Hume-Fogg's Caitlin OdenHIGH SCHOOL DRAMA: Hume-Fogg's Caitlin Oden
February 19, 2015

Today's spotlight falls upon Hume Fogg Academic Magnet High School's Caitlin Oden, who could have been the inspiration for every fictional princess ever: She's blonde, pretty, poised and self-possessed. Even her name - Caitlin Mirabel Oden - has the ring of royalty to it (say it slowly: Princess Caitlin Mirabel...sounds ideal, right?), although Caitlin's down-to-earth and focused on her longterm goals in the theater.
Nashville Theaters Do Battle With Winter StormNashville Theaters Do Battle With Winter Storm
February 18, 2015

Frigid temperatures that have accompanied this week's ice and snow throughout the South continues to wreak havoc on performance schedules at Middle Tennessee theaters, with some companies already cancelling performances Tuesday and Wednesday nights, and even one Thursday night performance already shuttered.
TPAC Cancels Tonight's JOSEPH... PerformanceTPAC Cancels Tonight's JOSEPH... Performance
February 18, 2015

The Tennessee Performing Arts Center announces the cancellation of this evening's, Wednesday February 18, performance of the national tour of JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, previously scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in Andrew Jackson Hall. TPAC had previously cancelled the Tuesday evening performance.
February 18, 2015

Today, our spotlight falls on Johnson West, one of the most likable actors to ever walk onto a Nashville stage. Johnson is the type of actor you cannot help but fall a little in love with every time he enters stage left, the kind of guy you can just imagine being the best friend you've always dreamed of when he exits stage right, or the fellow you will tell all your closely held secrets to over a cold beer after the curtain has been rung down.
COLLEGIATE THEATRICS: University of Evansville's Rachel WoodsCOLLEGIATE THEATRICS: University of Evansville's Rachel Woods
February 17, 2015

Make no mistake about it: Rachel Woods is a remarkable young woman. One of the finest young actresses to come out of Nashville theater - she's performed on such diverse stages as Nashville Shakespeare Festival and Franklin's Pull-Tight Players - she's currently spending a semester abroad at Harlaxton, the University of Evansville's British campus, having new adventures every day and adding to her magical bag of theatrical tricks that will serve her well as her career progresses.
What's Nashville's Favorite Love Song from a Musical?What's Nashville's Favorite Love Song from a Musical?
February 13, 2015

In a town where everyone from your next-door neighbor to your favorite barista - from your dental hygienist to your manicurist, your seatmate on the bus, your friendly neighborhood bartender and maybe even the guy who does your taxes - is a songwriter, you'll find that there's never a shortage of opinions on the topic of favorite songs. Ask a cross-section of Nashville theater-types what their favorite love song is from the annals of musical theater and you're going to get a barrage of answers.
Photo Coverage: University School of Nashville's THE ADDING MACHINEPhoto Coverage: University School of Nashville's THE ADDING MACHINE
February 13, 2015

Elmer Rice's play The Adding Machine premiered on Broadway in 1923, yet it speaks to the issues of the day: mechanization, corporation, immigration, sexism and bigotry--all at the expense of the individual human being. Fast foward: 2015. Nearly 100 years later, we're still there. So says Catherine Coke, director of The Adding Machine at University School of Nashville.
Photo Coverage: Lipscomb Theatre's SEUSSICAL THE MUSICALPhoto Coverage: Lipscomb Theatre's SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL
February 12, 2015

Now one of the most performed shows in America, Seussical is a fantastical, magical, musical extravaganza! Tony winners Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Lucky Stiff, My Favorite Year, Once On this Island and Ragtime) have lovingly brought to life all of our favorite Dr. Seuss characters, including Horton the Elephant, The Cat in the Hat, Gertrude McFuzz, Lazy Mayzie and a little boy with a big imagination--Jojo. The colorful characters transport us from the Jungle of Nool to the Circus Mcgurkus to the invisible world of the Whos.
Photo Coverage: Springhouse Theatre's SABRINA FAIRPhoto Coverage: Springhouse Theatre's SABRINA FAIR
February 12, 2015

Opening Friday night in Smyrna, Sabrina Fair is the perfect show to warm those cold winter nights. Featuring a wonderful cast, beautiful period costumes of the 1950s, delightful wit, and a love story that is part Cinderella, part Oscar Wilde, and part Love Actually this is a show you don't want to miss.


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