Roger Ellis

chicago : directors

ROGER ELLIS (they-them) is a stage director and filmmaker whose projects center on Black interiority, queer performance, and the digital. Ellis is currently in production on a docu-musical series about mental health. Credits include: Get Out Alive (NAMT Festival, Steppenwolf LookOut Series, The Den Theatre) and [re: CLICK] a devised digital performance in response to the play Click by Jacqueline Goldfinger. Following its pre-pandemic run in Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s LookOut Series, Ellis directed the award-winning film adaptation of Get Out Alive, which screened in the Black Harvest Film Festival (Gene Siskel Film Center), Pan African Film and Arts Festival (Los Angeles), Melbourne Lift-Off Film Festival, San Francisco's Decibels Music Film Festival, and the African Diaspora International Film Festival (NYC, DC). Ellis’ movement direction for AntigoneNOW was presented at the 27th Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theatre. Based in Chicago, Ellis has also worked in New York, Atlanta, Southern California, and across the United States with companies such as Sacramento Music Circus (CA), Paramount Theatre (IL), American Music Theatre Project (IL), Horizon Theatre Company (GA), Aurora Theatre (GA), Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma (OK), Tuacahn Center for the Arts (UT), and San Diego Repertory (CA).

Ellis holds an MFA in Musical Theatre from San Diego State University, a BA in Theatre Performance from Oklahoma City University, and is a designated teacher of The Lucid Body. Ellis is a member of Actors' Equity Association, the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (Associate), and the National Alliance of Acting Teachers.

Ellis is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre at Northwestern University, where they serve as a member of the Music Theatre and MFA Acting faculty and co-curator of the Kelsey Pharr Jr. Speaker Series. Ellis has taught song acting, psychophysical techniques, and movement for the stage at Marymount Manhattan College, the University of the Arts Summer Institute, and NYC's Professional Performing Arts School. Ellis is the recipient of the National Alliance of Acting Teachers' Earle Gister Fellowship (2019). Ellis has taught guest workshops at Boston University, Dell 'Arte International School of Physical Theatre and has been a guest speaker at the  School of Sound (UK), Victorian College of the Arts at University of Melbourne, and the  August Wilson Society Colloquium at Howard University. | Instagram: @rogerellis

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