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

STAGE TUBE: WBT's BACKWARDS IN HIGH HEELSSTAGE TUBE: WBT's BACKWARDS IN HIGH HEELS
Posted: Aug. 5, 2015


Photo Coverage: BACKWARDS IN HIGH HEELS at Westchester Broadway TheatrePhoto Coverage: BACKWARDS IN HIGH HEELS at Westchester Broadway Theatre
Posted: Aug. 3, 2015


Upcoming Auditions in Nashville 8/3/15Upcoming Auditions in Nashville 8/3/15
Posted: Aug. 3, 2015


Upcoming Auditions in Nashville 8/19/15Upcoming Auditions in Nashville 8/19/15
Posted: Aug. 19, 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: University of Evansville's Rachel WoodsCOLLEGIATE THEATRICS: University of Evansville's Rachel Woods
Posted: Feb. 17, 2015


Kyle Dean Massey to Lead Master Class in Music CityKyle Dean Massey to Lead Master Class in Music City
August 27, 2015

One of Broadway's favorite leading men - Kyle Dean Massey, co-star of the hit ABC series Nashville - will conduct a master class in Music City on Wednesday, September 2. Presented by VWA Theatricals, which made its local debut with the critically acclaimed The Last Five Years in August, and The First Night Honors, the master class will be conducted from 6 to 10 p.m. at Van Wye Vocal Studio, 30 Music Square West, Suite 201.
The 2015 First Night Honorees: Actress and Educator Kaul BluestoneThe 2015 First Night Honorees: Actress and Educator Kaul Bluestone
August 19, 2015

2015 First Night Honoree Kaul Bluestone claimed her place in the First Night record books in the 20th Century: She was the 1996 Outstanding Leading Actress in a Play for her role in Circle Players' production of Dancing at Lughnasa...and she has starred in two critically acclaimed plays directed by First Night founder and executive producer Jeffrey Ellis in the 21st Century: The Last Night of Ballyhoo and Picnic, both for Circle Players.
Upcoming Auditions in Nashville 8/19/15Upcoming Auditions in Nashville 8/19/15
August 19, 2015

Directors and producers in the Nashville region are seeking actors for upcoming productions ofMary Poppins, Bat Boy, August: Osage County,First Baptist of Ivy Gap -and new productions from Actors Bridge Ensemble and Blackbird Theater. We've gathered the details together here to make your planning easier. So now you have no excuse!
First Night MPAs Featured in Sunday ShowcaseFirst Night MPAs Featured in Sunday Showcase
August 18, 2015

Hosted by 2014 MPA Emily Eytchison (a graduate of Nashville's David Lipscomb University) and 2013 MPA Cade Smith (an alumnus of Trevecca Nazarene University), the 90-minute show will feature members of this year's class of promising young actors performing a wide variety of musical numbers and dramatic/comedic monologues for their audience.
VWA Theatricals' THE LAST FIVE YEARS Opens Tonight at DarkhorseVWA Theatricals' THE LAST FIVE YEARS Opens Tonight at Darkhorse
August 13, 2015

VWA Theatricals has found its Cathy and Jamie for the upcoming production of Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years: Delaney Amatrudo and Luke Denison. Amatrudo and Denison will lead the cast for the musical, which opens tonight and runs through August 22 at Nashville's iconic Darkhorse Theater. Amatrudo currently studies at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and Denison is a recent graduate of Indiana University.
Upcoming Audtions in Nashville 8/12/15Upcoming Audtions in Nashville 8/12/15
August 12, 2015

Directors and producers in the Nashville region are seeking actors for upcoming productions of Mary Poppins, Bat Boy, August: Osage County and First Baptist of Ivy Gap - and producers are seeking cast members for The Music Man at the Keeton Theatre.We've gathered the details together here to make your planning easier. So now you have no excuse!
Nashville Theater Calendar 8/12/15Nashville Theater Calendar 8/12/15
August 12, 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.
ACTORS BRIDGE Offers New Fall ClassesACTORS BRIDGE Offers New Fall Classes
August 7, 2015

Nashville's Actors Bridge Ensemble has revealed some new course offerings for this fall, including Level One in the Meisner Technqiue taught by Vali Forrister, producing artistic director and co-founder of the critically lauded company - and includes a buzzed-about Star Wars Study Group, led by David Ian Lee.
Chambers Stevens' IT'S WHO YOU KNOW to Premier at Zoo Town Fringe FestivalChambers Stevens' IT'S WHO YOU KNOW to Premier at Zoo Town Fringe Festival
August 7, 2015

Chambers Stevens is a bona fide Hollywood multi-hyphenate actor-comedian-acting coach-author who somehow has encapsulated all of that and more in his new one-man show It's Who You Know, premiering at the Missoula Zoo Town Fringe Festival August 21 and 22 at the Crystal Theatre.
STAGE TUBE: WBT's BACKWARDS IN HIGH HEELSSTAGE TUBE: WBT's BACKWARDS IN HIGH HEELS
August 5, 2015

The journey from the 21st Century back to Hollywood's glamourous golden age is an inspiring one when your "tour guides" are the legendary Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire - portrayed by Darien Crago and Jeremy Benton in Westchester Broadway Theatre's production of Lynnette Barkley and Christopher McGovern's Backwards in High Heels: The Ginger Musical, running August 13-September 20.
Photo Coverage: BACKWARDS IN HIGH HEELS at Westchester Broadway TheatrePhoto Coverage: BACKWARDS IN HIGH HEELS at Westchester Broadway Theatre
August 3, 2015

Westchester Broadway Theatre is taking audiences back to the glory days of Hollywood's Golden Age with its upcoming production of Lynnette Barkley and Christopher McGovern's Backwards in High Heels: The Ginger Musical, running August 13-September 20. As the cast, under the leadership of director/choreographer Jeremy Benton, got into the serious business of rehearsals, photographer Jake Primmerman was on hand to commemorate the work that goes into bringing the world of the 1930s movie musical to life onstage at WBT.
Class of 2015 First Night Honoree MARTHA WILKINSONClass of 2015 First Night Honoree MARTHA WILKINSON
August 3, 2015

2015 First Night Honoree Martha Wilkinson holds the record for the most First Night Awards with nine. A frequent performer on the First Night stage -- including particularly show-stopping numbers such as her rendition of 'You'll Never Walk Alone,' while clad in a white ballgown and backed up by a chorus of Nashville theater's leading men --she's one of Tennessee'sfavorites for certain. She was first recognized by the First Night Awards in 1989, when she won the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical for her role in Circle Players' production of Pippin.
Upcoming Auditions in Nashville 8/3/15Upcoming Auditions in Nashville 8/3/15
August 3, 2015

Directors and producers in the Nashville region are seeking actors for upcoming productions of Steel Magnolias, 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. We've gathered the details together here to make your planning easier. So now you have no excuse!
Nashville Theater Calendar 8/3/15Nashville Theater Calendar 8/3/15
August 3, 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. Thus, we are happy to present a new feature: The Nashville Theater Calendar, a comprehensive - maybe even exhaustive (lord knows we're exhausted from putting it together, gathering all the info from all over the interwebs!) - listing of theatrical openings for the 2015/16 season. We'll update the calendar every Monday, clearing out the shows that have closed and adding additional information on the shows still to come. Something's missing? That's an easy fix: just send us a message here, on Facebook, or by email at jeffreyellis37215@att.com.
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 7/27/15Nashville Theater Calendar 7/27/15
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.


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