Roger Ellis is an assistant professor who teaches courses in music theatre techniques, music theatre dance, and movement for the stage. His creative practice encompasses directing, choreography, movement direction, new works development, dramaturgy, and teaching. As a theatre maker, he cultivates physically driven interdisciplinary stage works that amplify historically marginalized and underrepresented voices. Roger is the director/choreographer of Nikki Lynette's afrogoth musical Get Out Alive, which premiered in a sold-out run in Steppenwolf Theatre Company's LookOut Series.
Roger has worked in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and across the United States with institutions such as Sacramento Music Circus, Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s LookOut Series, Paramount Theatre, American Music Theatre Project, Horizon Theatre Company, Aurora Theatre, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, Pace University, Marymount Manhattan College, Tuacahn Center for the Arts, San Diego Repertory, and Gallery Players Brooklyn. Selected credits include: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (movement director), Parade (director), Fun Home (director/choreographer), A Little Night Music (director/choreographer), LaChiusa’s The Wild Party (director), The Light in the Piazza (associate director/movement coach), the NY Developmental Workshop of Maverick (associate director/choreographer), and the world premiere of Laura Pittenger’s Thou Shalt Not (director).
His teaching is most deeply influenced by his study of the Six Viewpoints with Mary Overlie, the Lucid Body with Fay Simpson, and his ongoing creative research. In the classroom, Roger guides emerging artists in the development of an individualized process that is adaptable to a wide range of projects and styles of direction. Roger has also taught courses in movement for the stage, acting through song, musical theatre scene study, music theatre dance, and collaborative devising process at Marymount Manhattan College, the University of the Arts Summer Institute, and NYC's Professional Performing Arts School.
Roger’s research centers on physical inquiry and embodiment practice as applied to performance pedagogy. He will co-present a workshop entitled Towards A Physical Dramaturgy of August Wilson at the August Wilson Society’s 2020 Colloquium. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Musical Theatre from San Diego State University and is a proud member of Actors' Equity Association, the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (Associate), The National Alliance of Acting Teachers, and the Association of Theatre Movement Educators. He is the recipient of the National Alliance of Acting Teachers' Earle Gister Fellowship (2019).
MFA, Musical Theatre, San Diego State University
BA, Theatre Performance, Oklahoma City University