Since 2009 I have worked as a movement educator and coach synthesizing in the link between breath, body, voice, identity, and intention. I am a designated Lucid Body teacher holding an MFA in Theatre Arts from San Diego State University and a BA in Theatre Performance from Oklahoma City University. I am an Assistant Professor and the head of movement in the MFA Acting Program at Northwestern University. I have served on the faculty at Marymount Manhattan College, the University of the Arts Summer Institute, Professional Performing Arts School (Manhattan), Lucid Body Institute (NYC) and taught movement workshops at the Victorian College of the Arts at the University of Melbourne, Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre, Boston University, and Director's Lab North (Toronto).
My work as a movement designer and director has been produced at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theatre, and screened at Melbourne Lift-off Film Festival, San Francisco IndieFest Decibels Music Film Festival, African Diaspora International Film Festival (NYC), Pan-African Arts and Film Festival (LA), Sound Unseen Film and Music Festival (Austin, TX), and Black Harvest Film Festival at the Gene Siskel Center (Chicago).
As a movement designer and embodied acting coach, I draw upon my extensive study with Fay Simpson (Lucid Body), Mary Overlie, Sophia Treanor and Deborah Black (Six Viewpoints and Hamilton Technique), Erika Berland (Experiential Anatomy), Wendell Beavers (Developmental Movement), and Stephen Wangh (Acrobat of the Heart - Grotowski). I have developed a holistic movement design and psychophysical coaching process synthesizing these training methodologies called Meeting the Moment. My focus is on helping you fully express what makes you unique as the brilliant intelligence of the body meets text. Get in touch to learn more, work with me on your next film or stage production, or book a workshop/coaching.
Roger Ellis (pronouns: they/he) is a movement designer/director working across screen, motion, and stage. Current projects include the docu-musical series Happy Songs About Unhappy Things (co-director), the series Emergency Contact (creator-director), and the augmented reality sound installation Interstitial (co-creator-director).
Roger is the original director of Nikki Lynette’s afrogoth musical Get Out Alive (Steppenwolf, National Alliance for Musical Theatre, film adaptation). Roger’s film work has screened internationally at film festivals such as Black Harvest (Gene Siskel Center), Melbourne Lift-off (Australia), School of Sound (London, UK), San Francisco IndieFest Decibels Music Film Festival, African Diaspora International Film Festival (NYC), and Pan African Arts and Film Festival (Los Angeles). Stage work includes Ephemera by Deborah Black, Sophia Treanor, and Mary Overlie (Particalist/Dancer - Clurman MAD series at Stella Adler NYC), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (movement director - Horizon Theatre/Aurora Theatre), and AntigoneNOW (movement designer - Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theatre). Roger has worked across the US with Sacramento Music Circus, American Music Theatre Project, California Center for the Arts, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, Tuacahn Center for the Arts, Paramount Theatre, and San Diego Repertory.
A classically trained actor-singer-dancer turned post-conceptual movement artist, Roger synthesizes voice, movement, identity, and intention in contemporary performance. Roger explores the interplay between the synthetic and somatic through the mixed reality of Black-queer-aspec experience. The conceptual grit of Roger’s work is anchored in xenoqueer and xenofeminist theory. Roger has undergone extensive training with Fay Simpson (Lucid Body), Stephen Wangh (Acrobat of the Heart, Grotowski), Mary Overlie, Deborah Black, Sophia Treanor (Six Viewpoints), Wendell Beavers (Developmental Movement), and Erika Berland (Experiential Anatomy). MFA San Diego State University; BA Oklahoma City University; and certified Lucid Body Teacher. Roger is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre at Northwestern University. Since 2018, Roger has been the head of the movement area for Northwestern’s MFA Acting Program. Roger is a member of Actors' Equity Association, the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, and the National Alliance of Acting Teachers.
IG: @rogerellis | movementdesignchicago.com