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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

MARY POPPINS Flies Onstage at Nashville's Christ Presbyterian AcademyCPA's MARY POPPINS Opens 4/16
Posted: Apr. 10, 2015


GODSPELL Onstage at Keeton Theatre Through 4/25Keeton's GODSPELL Runs Through 4/25
Posted: Apr. 10, 2015


BWW Reviews: Lipscomb University's Lyrical and Sentimental DANCING AT LUGHNASABWW Reviews: Lipscomb's DANCING AT LUGHNASA
Posted: Apr. 17, 2015


Jeremy Benton Directs SWEET SWING! Reading in New York 4/20Jeremy Benton Directs SWEET SWING! Reading in New York 4/20
Posted: Apr. 15, 2015


BWW REVIEWS: Keeton Theatre's GODSPELLBWW REVIEWS: Keeton Theatre's GODSPELL
Posted: Apr. 10, 2015


THE FRIDAY FIVE: Jenna Pryor from DISNEY'S TARZAN THE MUSICALThe Friday Five: TARZAN's Jenna Pryor
Posted: Mar. 20, 2015


LAST 365 DAYS

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


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 Reviews: Lipscomb University's Lyrical and Sentimental DANCING AT LUGHNASABWW Reviews: Lipscomb University's Lyrical and Sentimental DANCING AT LUGHNASA
April 17, 2015

Now onstage through this weekend as part of Lipscomb University's theatre department's 2014-15 season, the Beki Baker-directed rendition of Friel's exquisitely written play is brought to life by an impressive cast of eight student actors who are given ample opportunity to show us exactly what they have learned in the classroom. With performances that are richly nuanced and significantly heartfelt, Baker's ensemble bring their characters to the stage, mostly free of artifice and in so doing create a memorable theatrical experience that is affecting and compelling.
THE FRIDAY FIVE: Adkins, Campbell and Pitt from THE PHILADELPHIA STORYTHE FRIDAY FIVE: Adkins, Campbell and Pitt from THE PHILADELPHIA STORY
April 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. This week the spotlight shines on Maggie Pitt, Jaymes Campbell and Susan Adkins - The Philadelphis Story's Tracy Lord and C.K. Dexter Haven and the director of Lakewood Theatre's production opening in Old Hickory this weekend.
BWW REVIEWS: Nashville Rep's Starry VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKEBWW REVIEWS: Nashville Rep's Starry VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE
April 15, 2015

Now onstage at TPAC's Andrew Johnson Theatre as the season-ending production from Nashville Repertory Theatre, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike has a lot to say and, for the most part, it does so with vigor and bite. Durang's play somehow remains an artful blending of hilarity and gloom that succeeds on many levels, credit for which is due both writer and director, in this case Nashville's own imaginative visionary aka Nate Eppler.
Jeremy Benton Directs SWEET SWING! Reading in New York 4/20Jeremy Benton Directs SWEET SWING! Reading in New York 4/20
April 15, 2015

Broadway triple threat Jeremy Benton adds the role of 'developing director' to his already laudable resume when he stages an upcoming industry reading of the new musical, Sweet Swing!, in New York City next week. Benton directs and choreographs the six-person musical, which has book and music by Diane Tauser (Notre Dame de Paris and Stone Cold Beauty), and tells the real story of a wartime romance during World War Two.
BWW REVIEWS: Keeton Theatre's GODSPELLBWW REVIEWS: Keeton Theatre's GODSPELL
April 10, 2015

Its Vacation Bible School vibe aside, Godspell - the Stephen Schwartz musical from 1971 that grew from a class project at Carnegie Mellon University that most recently was revived on Broadway in 2011 - relates the parables of Jesus Christ in a sprightly, colorful way that can be entertaining and elucidating. Now onstage at The Larry Keeton Theatre, Nashville's theater home for classic musical comedies, Godspell features a winning cast led by Wesley King and Elliott Robinson under the direction of musical theater veterans Jamie London and Ginger Newman.
Act Like A GRRRL Fundraiser Set for Darkhorse 4/17-18Act Like A GRRRL Fundraiser Set for Darkhorse 4/17-18
April 10, 2015

For two nights only, on April 17 and 18, they will speak, sing, dance, and shape-shift their stories to life as part of GRRRLS NIGHT OUT: an all-star fundraising performance for GRRRL scholarships, to be held at the Darkhorse Theater, 4610 Charlotte Avenue in Nashville.
THE PHILADELPHIA STORY Next Up In Lakewood's 2015 SeasonTHE PHILADELPHIA STORY Next Up In Lakewood's 2015 Season
April 10, 2015

Lakewood Theater Company presents its second show of the 2015 season with the classic The Philadelphia Story, beginning Friday, April 17, and running through Sunday, May 3.
MARY POPPINS Flies Onstage at Nashville's Christ Presbyterian AcademyMARY POPPINS Flies Onstage at Nashville's Christ Presbyterian Academy
April 10, 2015

Next week, theater students at Nashville's Christ Presbyterian Academy (CPA) will hit the stage in one of childhood's most beloved stories, penned by P.L. Travers and adapted for the stage: Disney and Cameron Mackintosh's Mary Poppins. This musical tale features a family in disrepair; a family in need of rescue that comes in an astonishing form.
GODSPELL Onstage at Keeton Theatre Through 4/25GODSPELL Onstage at Keeton Theatre Through 4/25
April 10, 2015

Godspell features the talents of Wesley King as Jesus, Elliott Robinson in the dual role of John-Judas. Playing themselves as "disciples" are Keeton Theatre regulars Tonya Pewitt, Stella London, Christina Redden, Santyana Harris, plus two newcomers to the Keeton Theatre family: Lisa Graham and Rachel Wilson.
Nashville Rep's 2015-16 Season AnnouncedNashville Rep's 2015-16 Season Announced
April 9, 2015

Nashville Repertory Theatre's 2015-16 season includes "a hot Pulitzer Prize-nominated contemporary play, a famous classic, the world premiere of a new play, and a great American musical," according to producing artistic director Rene Dunshee Copeland.
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!


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