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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

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


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


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


BWW Reviews: Circle Players' RAGTIME THE MUSICALBWW Reviews: Circle Players' RAGTIME THE MUSICAL
Posted: Jan. 16, 2015


Nashville Actor/Director Marianne Clark Dies After Heart AttackNashville Actor/Director Marianne Clark Dies After Heart Attack
Posted: Jan. 14, 2015


COLLEGIATE THEATRICS: Lipscomb University's Jonah JacksonCOLLEGIATE THEATRICS: Lipscomb University's Jonah Jackson
Posted: Jan. 6, 2015


BWW Reviews: Nashville Shakes' TWELFTH NIGHT Casts Off Winter's ChillBWW Reviews: Nashville Shakes' TWELFTH NIGHT Casts Off Winter's Chill
Posted: Jan. 9, 2015


LAST 365 DAYS

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


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


Collegiate Theatrics: Emma Jordan of Wright State UniversityCollegiate Theatrics: Emma Jordan
Posted: Dec. 2, 2014


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


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


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


WHITE CHRISTMAS Cast Celebrates 100th Year of New Haven's Shubert TheaterWHITE CHRISTMAS Cast Celebrates 100th Year of New Haven's Shubert Theater
Posted: Dec. 23, 2014


TPAC's 2013-14 Season Has Record Impact on Nashville EconomyTPAC's 2013-14 Season Has Record Impact on Nashville Economy
January 22, 2015

Nashville's non-profit Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) created a record-breaking economic impact of more than $64 million during its 2013-14 season. The impact, based on the nationally accepted formula from Americans for the Arts, is one of four records broken by the organization during the banner year, according to its annual report released today at a partnership event
BWW Previews: Nashville Theater Heats Up With 2015 OpeningsBWW Previews: Nashville Theater Heats Up With 2015 Openings
January 22, 2015

With a new year comes a lot of new theater in Nashville and in 2015, area theater companies are heating up winter with some of the most compelling and challenging productions to grace local stages in quite some time. Already, Circle Players and Nashville Shakespeare Festival have upped the ante with their respective productions of Ragtime the Musical and Twelfth Night (NSF traditionally kicks off the dramatics with their winter production at Belmont University's Troutt Theatre), and in the coming weeks theater-goers will be treated to even more, top-notch, high-quality theatrics.
HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA: CPA'S Holly HillHIGH SCHOOL DRAMA: CPA'S Holly Hill
January 22, 2015

This week we introduce you to one of Paula Flautt's outstanding actors: Holly Hill, an 18-year-old senior at Christ Presbyterian Academy, who is busy doing her college auditions while preparing for what could well be the most challenging role any young actress could aspire to: Mary Poppins in CPA's April production of the Broadway musical. In addition, she is a member of the Tennessee State Thespian Conference advisory board
BWW Reviews: A GENTLEMAN & A SCOUNDREL at Chaffin's BarnBWW Reviews: A GENTLEMAN & A SCOUNDREL at Chaffin's Barn
January 20, 2015

Much has been made of late about a reviewer for the Wall Street Journal - by the name of Joanne Kaufman - who recently wrote a column in which she fairly chortled about regularly sneaking out of shows she was being paid to review in order to go home early, rather than sit through sub-par productions of questionable quality.
NASHVILLE THEATER 101: James Rudolph & Shawn KnightNASHVILLE THEATER 101: James Rudolph & Shawn Knight
January 20, 2015

Why do you do theater? We've been putting that question to members of the Nashville theater famiy for the past month to find out what it is that motivates creative types to pursue an illusory and challenging career, while for others the theater gives them a creative avocation that helps keep them sane. Today, in our latest installment of Nashville Theater 101, we introduce two more members of our wildly divergent, almost prototypically dysfunctional theater family: James Rudolph and Shawn Knight.
COLLEGIATE THEATRICS: Boston Conservatory's James Spencer DeanCOLLEGIATE THEATRICS: Boston Conservatory's James Spencer Dean
January 20, 2015

One of Nashville's favorite young actors is quickly growing up. As a teenager, he was onstage for countless area theater companies, but now he's known as James Spencer Dean and he's pursuing his bachelor of fine arts degree in musical theater at The Boston Conservatory. Who'd have thought that Spencer Dean, who delighted audiences in numerous Act Too productions and was a 2012 First Night Most Promising Actor, would now be known as "James Spencer Dean" and wowing audiences in the northeast just as did back home?
BWW REVIEWS: ACT 1's Daddy's Dyin'...Who's Got the WillBWW REVIEWS: ACT 1's Daddy's Dyin'...Who's Got the Will
January 17, 2015

If you're in need of some intense family drama leavened with heaping helpings of laughter - just like the kind Mama and them can dish up along with the grits and the gravy - then look no further than ACT 1's cracklin' production of Del Shores' Daddy's Dyin'Who's Got the Will?
BWW Reviews: Circle Players' RAGTIME THE MUSICALBWW Reviews: Circle Players' RAGTIME THE MUSICAL
January 16, 2015

Celebrating its 65th season, Nashville's Circle Players is Middle Tennessee's oldest community theater organization and I can think of no better way to celebrate that milestone than with the company's current show, the Tim Larson-directed version of Ragtime, the musical adaptation of the acclaimed E.L. Doctorow novel.
THE FRIDAY FIVE: Joy Tilley Perryman, y'allTHE FRIDAY FIVE: Joy Tilley Perryman, y'all
January 16, 2015

Oh, that wacky and wily Joy Tilley Perrymanshe's one of Nashville's favorite comedic actors and tonight she assays another Del Shores role as she opens Daddy's Dyin'Who's Got the Will? for ACT 1 at the Darkhorse Theater. Because of that, she has our Friday Five spotlight focused squarely on her while she teases her hair high to heaven and creates food props that'll make you want to slap your mama!
NASHVILLE THEATER 101: Recalling a Family FeudNASHVILLE THEATER 101: Recalling a Family Feud
January 15, 2015

Since yesterday afternoon, when news of the death of Nashville theater stalwart Marianne Clark began making its way through the community, people have taken to social media to send their own farewells, to express heartfelt thoughts and to remember warmly the impact of Clark's stage career and the affects of the untimely demise of one of our own theatrical legends. You see, if Layne Sasser is Nashville's Betty White, as I maintain, and Nan Gurley is Meryl Streep, Denice Hicks is Emma Thompson and Vali Forrister is our answer to Susan Sarandon, then it would go that Marianne Clark was probably our version of Elaine Stritch.
HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA: Hume-Fogg's Jessie GholsonHIGH SCHOOL DRAMA: Hume-Fogg's Jessie Gholson
January 15, 2015

This week we introduce the lovely and graceful Jessie Gholson, a 17-year-old senior at Hume-Fogg Academic High School. She recently completed a run in the school's fall production of The King and I, playing the leading role of Anna Leonowens. Her previous roles at HFA include Amber Von Tussle in Hairspray and a Kit Kat Girl in Cabaret. Jessie is also a member of The Blue Notes show choir for the third consecutive year.
THE FRIDAY FIVE (on Thursday!): RAGTIME's Erica PattersonTHE FRIDAY FIVE (on Thursday!): RAGTIME's Erica Patterson
January 15, 2015

Inspired by BroadwayWorld.com's Friday Six, welcome to BroadwayWorld Nashville's latest installment of The Friday Five (on Thursday!): 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 one day early on Erica Patterson, who opens tonight in Circle Players' production of Ragtime the Musical, starring as Sarah Brown.
THE FRIDAY FIVE (on Thursday!): RAGTIME's David ArnoldTHE FRIDAY FIVE (on Thursday!): RAGTIME's David Arnold
January 15, 2015

Inspired by BroadwayWorld.com's Friday Six, welcome to BroadwayWorld Nashville's latest installment of The Friday Five (on Thursday!): 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 one day early on David Arnold, who opens tonight in Circle Players' production of Ragtime the Musical, starring as Father.
Nashville Actor/Director Marianne Clark Dies After Heart AttackNashville Actor/Director Marianne Clark Dies After Heart Attack
January 14, 2015

Marianne Clark, longtime leader of Nashville's theater community, died Wednesday while doctors attempted to bring her out of a drug-induced coma after she suffered a heart attack Sunday night at home.
BWW Previews: CPA'S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Headlines TSTC This WeekendBWW Previews: CPA'S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Headlines TSTC This Weekend
January 13, 2015

When members of the Tennessee State Thespian Conference gather in Murfreesboro this weekend, one of the many offerings they'll be treated to is a performance of The Royal Shakespeare Company's version of Beauty and the Beast, presented by Nashville's Christ Presbyterian Academy.
Midwinter's First Night Taps Nashville Rep, Boiler Room Theatre, ACT 1Midwinter's First Night Taps Nashville Rep, Boiler Room Theatre, ACT 1
January 13, 2015

Bawdy, irreverent, perhaps even unhinged: What better way to describe Midwinter's First Night? Held Sunday night at Backstage at the Barn, the intimate cabaret theater at Nashville's iconic Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre, the slightly offbeat, decidedly more casual younger sibling of The First Night Honors focused on the fun, while honoring some of Middle Tennessee's best and brightest with First Night Awards.
COLLEGIATE THEATRICS: Belmont University's Lauren KnoopCOLLEGIATE THEATRICS: Belmont University's Lauren Knoop
January 13, 2015

Lauren Knoop, a Nashville native, is currently a senior at Belmont University, pursuing her BFA degree in theatre performance in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the university that has helped to transform the term "academic theater" into something far more substantial than it once may have been considered. A 2013 First Night Most Promising Actor, Lauren has her eyes set squarely on her prize: May 2015 graduation.
NASHVILLE THEATER 101: The Gurleys and TamikoNASHVILLE THEATER 101: The Gurleys and Tamiko
January 12, 2015

Today, in our latest installment of Nashville Theater 101, we introduce three more members of our wildly divergent, almost prototypically dysfunctional theater family: Tamiko S. Robinson, Nan Gurley and Wayne Gurley.
BWW Reviews: Nashville Shakes' TWELFTH NIGHT Casts Off Winter's ChillBWW Reviews: Nashville Shakes' TWELFTH NIGHT Casts Off Winter's Chill
January 9, 2015

Denice Hicks' vision for Twelfth Night warmly ingratiates itself with the fluidity of its presentation, enacted by a delightful cast of NSF veterans and newcomers who envelop their audience with genuinely high-spirited good feelings sure to thaw the most frozen of hearts.
THE FRIDAY FIVE: Austin Ryan Hunt of Nashville Shakes' TWELFTH NIGHTTHE FRIDAY FIVE: Austin Ryan Hunt of Nashville Shakes' TWELFTH NIGHT
January 9, 2015

This week the spotlight shines on Austin Ryan Hunt, who not only just started the final semester of his senior year at Lipscomb University, but was also among the opening night cast for Nashville Shakespeare Festival's winter season offering of Twelfth Night.


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