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


BWW Review: KISS ME, KATE Audiences Are 'So In Love' With Chaffin's Barn's Stunning RevivalReview: KISS ME, KATE Audiences Are 'So In Love' With Chaffin's Barn's Revival
Posted: Feb. 15, 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


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


The AC's Fixed and FAME, The Musical Plays On
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.

Tennessee Players To Present Schweitzer/Bach Tribute 8/28-29
August 14, 2009

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

'Warriors Don't Cry' First Up For TWTP This Season
August 14, 2009

The bestselling memoir of Melba Patillo Beals, one of nine African American students chosen in 1957 to integrate Little Rock's Central High School, provides the basis for Warriors Don't Cry, the season-opening production of Tennessee Women's Theatre Project's 2009-10 season.

Photo Coverage: It's Vegas, Baby! at Street Theatre Co.
August 14, 2009

Take one of east Nashville's hottest hot spots, mix in a couple hundred theatre enthusiasts, add a dollop of Vegas-style entertainment and a whole slew of gaming tables and you have the second annual fundraiser for Street Theatre Company: It's Vegas, Baby! Held Thursday, August 13, at Limelight, 201 Woodland Street, just across from LP Field, the event attracted a large sampling of Nashville's theatre community and socialites.

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

Photo Coverage: Nashville Ballet's 2009-2010 Season
August 13, 2009

Single tickets for the upcoming works included in Nashville Ballet's 2009-2010 season will go on sale Monday, September 7.

MNAC Hosts 'Arts in Crisis: A Kennedy Center Initiative' 8/13
August 13, 2009

Michael Kaiser, president of the Kennedy Center, will be the featured speaker Thursday as the Metro Nashville Arts Commission hosts Arts In Crisis: A Kennedy Center Initiative at Nashville Children's Theatre.

Shakespeare In The Park's 22nd Season Kicks Off With 'SHREW' 8/13
August 13, 2009

Nashville Shakespeare Festival's 22nd annual Shakespeare in the Park-featuring two productions this year--runs August 13-September 13 in Nashville's historic Centennial Park, including a special show on Labor Day Monday.

Street Theatre Company To Hold 2nd Annual 'It's Vegas Baby!' Benefit 8/13
August 13, 2009

East Nashville's Limelight will be transformed with some Vegas-style magic on Thursday, August 13, as Street Theatre Company hosts its second annual fundraiser, It's Vegas, Baby!

MNAC Hosts 'Arts in Crisis: A Kennedy Center Initiative' 8/13
August 11, 2009

Michael Kaiser, president of the Kennedy Center, will be the featured speaker Thursday as the Metro Nashville Arts Commission hosts Arts In Crisis: A Kennedy Center Initiative at Nashville Children's Theatre.

The AC's Fixed and FAME, The Musical Plays On
August 11, 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.

'The Mikado' Opens ACT I's 20th Season
August 9, 2009

History tells us that London was caught up in some sort of Japanese fervor in 1885 when Gilbert and Sullivan debuted their newest comic opera, The Mikado or The Town of Titipu at the Savoy Theatre. And now, 124 years later, Nashville theatre-goers may find themselves in a similar state, thanks to a superior production of the entertaining work, which bows as the first show in the 20th anniversary season from ACT 1, one of Tennessee's best community theatre groups.

'Fame, the Musical' From Circle Players
August 8, 2009

Perhaps the most remarkable element of Circle Players' Fame, the Musical is its talented cast--an amazing amalgam of age-appropriate actors assaying the roles in this now-iconic tale of the last four years of New York's High School of Performing Arts. Credit director Tim Larson's casting abilities for this feat which, combined with strong production values, inventive staging and laudable choreography by Kate Adams-Johnson, makes the show an excellent choice to open Circle's 60th anniversary season.

Tennessee Theatre Association's Conference '09 Set For October In Cookeville
August 4, 2009

Cookeville Drama Center will play host to the Tennessee Theatre Association's Conference 2009, which will feature the TTA Secondary School One-Act Play Festival and the Community Theatres' State Festival, October 23-26.

Shakespeare In The Park's 22nd Season Kicks Off With 'SHREW' 8/13
August 3, 2009

Nashville Shakespeare Festival's 22nd annual Shakespeare in the Park-featuring two productions this year--runs August 13-September 13 in Nashville's historic Centennial Park, including a special show on Labor Day Monday.

Street Theatre Company To Hold 2nd Annual 'It's Vegas Baby!' Benefit 8/13
August 3, 2009

East Nashville's Limelight will be transformed with some Vegas-style magic on Thursday, August 13, as Street Theatre Company hosts its second annual fundraiser, It's Vegas, Baby!

'Call Me Home' at MBA's Paschall Theatre
August 2, 2009

The world premiere of a new musical is always cause for excitement, whether the stage is on Broadway or in Nashville, and it was with great anticipation that we approached Call Me Home

Lane Davies To Play Henry Higgins For Lamplighters Theatre
August 2, 2009

Stage and television actor Lane Davies will star as Professor Henry Higgins in Lerner and Loewe's My Fair Lady, the season opening production of Smyrna's Lamplighters Theatre.

Photo Coverage: The Rep's 'Nashville Scenes'
July 30, 2009

Tennessee Repertory Theatre kicked off its 25th anniversary season celebration Wednesday night with Nashville Scenes, a look ahead to the company's upcoming season, held at The Acorn restaurant and co-sponsored by the Nashville Scene.

9 to 5: The Musical to Launch National Tour in Nashville
July 29, 2009

In a historic move for the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, 9 to 5: The Musical will open its national tour in Nashville in September, 2010, it was announced Wednesday.



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