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 35 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. Since 2015, Ellis has been increasingly in demand as a director by a variety of Tennessee theater companies and he has helmed productions of Picnic (Circle Players), The Last Five Years (VWA Theatricals), The Miss Firecracker Contest, Cabaret, My Fair Lady, Daddy's Dyin'...Who's Got the Will?, South Pacific and Winter Wonderettes (The Larry Keeton Theatre) and The Little Foxes (ACT 1). He will be directing the first production of Mart Crowley's updated script for The Boys in the Band since its Broadway revival for his eponymous Jeffrey Ellis Presents... production company. In 2019, Ellis will direct Singin' in the Rain (Arts Center of Cannon County), The Wizard of Oz (The Larry Keeton Theatre) and The Secret Garden (Center for the Arts, Murfreesboro). He is also slated to direct the world premiere production of Chambers Stevens' newest play, Waking Up Naked in 2019.




MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
LAST 30 DAYS

BWW Review: CFTA's NEWSIES was Swell, But May We Have a Respite Now?Review: CFTA's NEWSIES was Swell, But May We Have a Respite Now?
Posted: Jan. 30, 2019


BWW Review: A BRONX TALE Gets A Warm Welcome At Nashville's Tennessee Performing Arts CenterReview: A BRONX TALE Gets A Warm Welcome At Nashville's TPAC
Posted: Feb. 13, 2019


BWW Review: Nashville Story Garden's Stunning IRONBOUND Closes All-Too-Brief Run TonightReview: Nashville Story Garden's Stunning IRONBOUND Closes Tonight
Posted: Feb. 2, 2019


Third Annual WINTER SHOWCASE On Tap Saturday at KST Studio of VoiceThird WINTER SHOWCASE On Tap Saturday at KST Studio of Voice
Posted: Feb. 6, 2019


SINGIN' IN THE RAIN Opens the 2019 Season at Woodbury's Arts Center of Cannon CountySINGIN' IN THE RAIN Opens 2019 Season at Arts Center of Cannon County
Posted: Jan. 26, 2019


Tennessee Playwrights Studio Introduces 2019 Fellows and AssociatesTennessee Playwrights Studio Introduces 2019 Fellows and Associates
Posted: Jan. 22, 2019


LAST 365 DAYS

The Man Behind the Mask: Quentin Oliver Lee of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERAThe Man Behind the Mask: THE PHANTOM's Quentin Oliver Lee
Posted: Oct. 19, 2018


BWW Review: Spectacular Cast Gives Chaffin's Barn's NEWSIES A Fresh AppealReview: Spectacular Cast Gives Barn's NEWSIES Fresh Appeal
Posted: Sep. 22, 2018


BWW Review: Studio Tenn's New FRANKENSTEIN Is Mesmerizing and StartlingReview: Studio Tenn's Mesmerizing New FRANKENSTEIN
Posted: Sep. 4, 2018


First Night's Top Ten of 2018 Announced in Nashville TonightFirst Night's Top Ten of 2018 Announced in Nashville Tonight
Posted: Dec. 10, 2018


BWW Review: Chaffin's Barn Re-opens With Habit-Forming SISTER ACTBWW Review: Chaffin's Barn Re-opens With Habit-Forming SISTER ACT
Posted: Aug. 6, 2018


BWW Review: Starmaking Performances Lead Belmont University's Exhilarating ON THE TOWNReview: Starmaking Performances in Belmont's ON THE TOWN
Posted: Mar. 21, 2018


Nate Eppler's 'Filthy Rich' To Open At Chaffin's Barn On 9/08
September 3, 2009

Nate Eppler's original comedy Filthy Rich opens Tuesday, September 8, at Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre, directed by David Compton and starring a veritable who's who of Nashville comedy actors. Layne Sasser, Erin Parker, Dietz Osborne, and the playwright himself, Nate Eppler. Described as 'a bright farce full of crosses, double-crosses, false identities and fakery, Filthy Rich is hilarious, lunatic fun.'

Finding Inspiration On Tour With Colin Donnell Of 'WICKED'
September 2, 2009

Don't tell Marcie Dodd and Helene Yorke (Elphaba and Glinda, respectively, in the second national company of Wicked), but during every performance Colin Donnell, aka Fiyero, has a ritual, 'a tradition' if you will, that he follows. He stands in the wings and watches his two leading ladies in a scene 'and everytime I do it, it gives me chills,' he says, 'it sort of reminds me what's going on with the show and why I'm doing it. They inspire me.'

Tennessee Players To Present Schweitzer/Bach Tribute 8/28-29
August 29, 2009

Tennessee Players will present a theatrical tribute to Albert Schweitzer and composer Johann Sebastian Bach during the weekend of August 28 and 29.

'The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)' Continues Shakespeare in the Park Season
August 28, 2009

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) is described as 'a hysterical exploration of the Bard's great works performed by three frantic men as they attempt to perform all 37 plays in 90 minutes. This classic work is a sheer delight, but leaves the audience with a great appreciation for the fun everybody can have with what is usually thought of as the 'stuffy' poetry of the world's greatest playwright.'

WEST SIDE STORY Opens 41st Pull-Tight Players Season On 8/28
August 28, 2009

Cathie Correia Stamps directs the seminal Broadway musical West Side Story as the 41st season-opening production of Franklin's Pull-Tight Players, opening Friday, August 28, and continuing through September 19. With a book by Arthur Laurents, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, music by Leonard Berstein, the musical is currently reaching new audiences, thanks to the Tony Award-nominated revival on Broadway.

Tennessee Players To Present Schweitzer/Bach Tribute 8/28-29
August 28, 2009

Tennessee Players will present a theatrical tribute to Albert Schweitzer and composer Johann Sebastian Bach during the weekend of August 28 and 29.

Calling All Playwrights: 'Show Us Your Funny' For New Play Contest At Chaffin's Barn
August 26, 2009

According to Martha Wilkinson, artistic director for the historic theatre company now in its 43rd season, 'The late Mr. Lee was a cherished Barn patron, having been a season member since the theatre opened its doors in 1967. Mr. Lee was an avid supporter of all live theatre in the Nashville area, but Chaffin's Barn held a special place in his heart.'

Nate Eppler's 'Filthy Rich' To Open At Chaffin's Barn On 9/08
August 26, 2009

Nate Eppler's original comedy Filthy Rich opens Tuesday, September 8, at Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre, directed by David Compton and starring a veritable who's who of Nashville comedy actors. Layne Sasser, Erin Parker, Dietz Osborne, and the playwright himself, Nate Eppler. Described as 'a bright farce full of crosses, double-crosses, false identities and fakery, Filthy Rich is hilarious, lunatic fun.'

Photo Coverage: Shades of Black Theatre Festival Mixer
August 25, 2009

More than 100 theatre professionals gathered Monday night, August 24, for the kick-off event for the fourth annual Shades of Black Theatre Festival. Nashville's Darkhorse Theatre, 4610 Charlotte Avenue, was the site for the Festival Mixer which opens the month-long event.

Photo Flash: ACt 1's 'The Mikado'
August 23, 2009

ACT 1, one of Nashville's oldest community theatre groups, staged the Gilbert & Sullivan classic The Mikado as the first production of its 20th anniversary season. Running August 7-22, The Mikado was directed by Bob Fish, with music direction by Lee Druce, the cast featured Francine Berk, Whitney Rose Cone, Steven Luboniecki, Valerie Navarre, James Rudolph, Daniel Sadler, Vicki White, John Wilson, L.T. Kirk, Amber Boyer, Megan Hunt, Jamie Janiszewski, Brenda Jones, Tricia Musser, Becca Nelson, Andrew Drumheller, Jamie Helms, Josh Matthews, Danny Proctor and Daniel Vincent. The show was produced by Donald Powell, Jennifer Rybolt and Sue Stinemetz.

WEST SIDE STORY Opens 41st Pull-Tight Players Season On 8/28
August 24, 2009

Cathie Correia Stamps directs the seminal Broadway musical West Side Story as the 41st season-opening production of Franklin's Pull-Tight Players, opening Friday, August 28, and continuing through September 19. With a book by Arthur Laurents, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, music by Leonard Berstein, the musical is currently reaching new audiences, thanks to the Tony Award-nominated revival on Broadway.

Shades of Black Theatre Festival Opens Monday 8/24 with Mixer at Darkhorse Theatre
August 24, 2009

Seeking 'to provide an artistic outlet to Nashville and surrounding cities, as well as to provide a platform for actors, directors, producers, writers and theatre enthusiasts to network and learn,' the fourth annual Shades of Black Theatre Festival begins Monday night, August 24, with an opening mixer to be held from 6 to 8 p.m. (CDT) at Darkhorse Theatre, 4610 Charlotte Avenue, Nashville.

'Jesus Christ Superstar' at The Boiler Room Theatre
August 23, 2009

Green has long been heralded as one of the region's finest music directors, while Ditty has gained a justifiably stellar reputation as one of the best choreographers around. With this production, which exemplifies the term 'all-singing, all-dancing,' it's apropos then that the two would share the directing credit. Obviously, from the first notes of the overture to the final tormented moments of Jesus Christ's death on the cross, the shared vision of the two men is vividly portrayed and stunningly realized. The work, widely considered the first 'rock opera,' is movingly exhilarating, taking audiences on a veritable rollercoaster ride of emotional highs and lows.

Shades of Black Theatre Festival Opens Monday 8/24 with Mixer at Darkhorse Theatre
August 21, 2009

Seeking 'to provide an artistic outlet to Nashville and surrounding cities, as well as to provide a platform for actors, directors, producers, writers and theatre enthusiasts to network and learn,' the fourth annual Shades of Black Theatre Festival begins Monday night, August 24, with an opening mixer to be held from 6 to 8 p.m. (CDT) at Darkhorse Theatre, 4610 Charlotte Avenue, Nashville.

Jesus Christ Superstar at Boiler Room Theatre Opens 8/21
August 21, 2009

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's historic rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar bows at Boiler Room Theatre Friday night, August 21, continuing through September 19 at the Franklin theatre. Directed by Jamey Green, with choreography by Billy Ditty, Jesus Christ Superstar is widely regarded as the first rock opera, originally created as a concept album at the end of the '60s.

Between the Lines: Coming Back Home
August 19, 2009

Since returning to the world of theatre via BroadwayWorld.com about a month ago, after an almost seven year absence, I've had the invaluable opportunity of reconnecting with a number of old acquaintances and renewing long-dormant friendships and relationships with people connected to the theatre scene in Nashville and throughout Tennesseee.

'That's Country!' Debuts As Millworks Theatre's First Production 8/18
August 18, 2009

Lebanon's Millworks Theatre today unveils its first production for a run that continues through September 26. The curtain goes up at 1:30 p.m. (CDT) on That's Country!, a two-hour variety revue that managing director Kevin Raymond says 'is a must if you're a country music fan-or even if you're not!'

Jesus Christ Superstar at Boiler Room Theatre Opens 8/21
August 18, 2009

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's historic rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar bows at Boiler Room Theatre Friday night, August 21, continuing through September 19 at the Franklin theatre. Directed by Jamey Green, with choreography by Billy Ditty, Jesus Christ Superstar is widely regarded as the first rock opera, originally created as a concept album at the end of the '60s.

'Disney's Beauty and the Beast' at Nashville Dinner Theatre
August 16, 2009

If you ever needed any evidence that musical theatre is alive and well in Music City USA, you need look no further than Nashville Dinner Theatre's production of Disney's Beauty and the Beast, which this weekend wraps up its run at the Senior Center for the Arts. It is superbly acted, beautifully sung and confidently staged. It remains a compelling piece of theatre, as moving as any I've ever seen.

The AC's Fixed and FAME, The Musical Plays Additional Performances 8/14-16
August 16, 2009

Due to the prompt action of Metro Nashville officials, Circle Players will be able to stage its final three performances of Fame, the Musical this weekend at the Z. Alexander Looby Theatre.



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