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Roger Ellis 

Movement - Director

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 sound installation Interstitial (creator-director), and the series Emergency Contact (director/executive producer).

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 Black Harvest (Gene Siskel Center), Melbourne Lift-off (Australia), School of Sound (London), San Francisco IndieFest’s 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 (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 is interested in the synthesis between voice, movement, and identity 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 extended study 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. Roger is the movement coordinator for Northwestern’s MFA Acting Program. IG: @rogerellis | movementdesignchicago.com

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