Directing: New Works

Kathi frequently directs new works -- helping to create devised work as well as directing full productions and staged readings of new plays.  

As a company member of Looking for Lilith Theatre Company, Kathi has both directed remounts of the company's original work as well as being part of the devising team and directing Fabric, Flames and Fervor: Girls of the Triangle, which premiered on the 98th anniversary of the fire. This production toured to NYC as part of the centennial remembrances of the fire, March 25, 2011.

Other world premieres include Robin Rice Lichtig's Alice in Black and White (also for Looking for Lilith),  Jo Morello's E.G.O.: The Passions of Eugene Gladstone O'Neill for Balagula TheatreNancy Gall-Clayton's The Snowflake Theatre, for The Bard's Town Theatre and the Pleiades Theatre Company's collaboratively-conceived Alice Moments: Echoes, Ripples, and Light.

Kathi was the assistant director for Ken Weitzman's As If Body Loop, a Humana Festival of New American Plays production at Actors Theatre of Louisville.


Looking for Lilith Theatre Company

Looking for Lilith's world premiere of Robin Rice Lichtig's Alice in Black and White2013 Alice in Black and White world premiere

Robin Rice Lichtig's elegant exploration of Staten Island photographer Alice Austen

 Arts-Louisville reviewed the production. And here are more photos.

Touring to NYC August 2016 for 150th anniversary of Alice's birth.


2009, 2011 Fabric, Flames, and Fervor: The Girls of the Triangle
devised work by company members

Telling the stories of the immigrant women who worked at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory.

Photos from the original production, and from the New York production, part of the Centennial Remembrances of the Triangle Factory Fire.  Backstage article about the latter production.


SW arrival of SandySidewinders by Basil Kreimendahl

Louisville native Kreimendahl deconstructs gender identity and the myth of the American West in this quirky, tender play. Playwright Basil Kreimendahl was interviewed on WFPL's Strange Fruit (segment begins at 11:20), Insider Louisville wrote a preview and Arts-Louisville sent a reviewer


LFL prevailing winds-36Prevailing Winds

An originally-devised production about the intersection between the environment, race and gender in Louisville's Rubbtertown and surrounding neighborhoods. LEO sent a reviewer and later ran a story focusing on the issues within the production.


CM3Crossing Mountains


Lilith's inaugural production, telling the story of the Hindman Settlement School in Eastern Kentucky through oral histories.

More photos of the revival.



BBM1Beyond the Blue Mountains
(stage adaptation of Jane W. Joyce's book of poetry of the same name)

Photos of the production.


HANDS Working IWhat My Hands Have Touched




 Looking for Lilith original productions are available for touring.



Balagula Theatre

E.G.O.: The Passions of Eugene Gladstone O'Neill
by Jo Morello
Winner of the Kentucky Women Writers Conference Biannual Playwriting Prize

O'Neill's prodigious literary work and tempestuous personal life through the eyes of Agnes and Carlotta.

More photos of the production.



 Pleiades Theatre Company

Alice 3Alice Moments: Echoes, Ripples, and Light
(NEA-funded original work)

Created by Kathi E.B. Ellis, playwrights Nancy Gall-Clayton and Anne Shelby, musician Sue Massek and designer Christe Lunsford, Alice Moments explores the specific and universal stories of five Kentucky Women.

The Courier-Journal said, "A Pleiades Theatre collaborative production that could be called 5 Women 5…Clad in black slacks and gray blouses, five compelling actresses work smoothly together, inhabiting and interchanging male and female roles with the slightest of props (hats, pipes, aprons, lace collars.) Five women also put together “Alice Moments,” seeking to create echoes between the juxtaposed stories of their five chosen [Kentucky] women—so called “girls who are different.”



The Bard's Town Theatre

The Snowflake Theory
by Nancy Gall-Clayton

A quirky family navigates widow-hood, marrying outside the faith, and having a baby as a single mom.

 WFPL FM reviewed the production. More production photos.



ShoeString Productions

IMG_5152aWomen of Will
Adapted and directed by Kathi E.B. Ellis

WFPL FM says, "Though the show is stitched together from many sources, Ellis creates an arc, starting with more romantic, lighthearted fare, then transitioning to a darker tone...then coming back to the light...The actors switch characters on a dime, using small costume touches like scarves, hats and shawls to suggest changes in station and age...“Women of Will” will leave you with a deeper appreciation for the human side of Shakespeare’s plays, as his most vulnerable characters show incredible strength, grace and humor..." This version of the script was produced by ShoeString Productions for Kentucky Shakespeare Festival's Community Partner Week, summer 2014.


Finnigan Productions
(Annual New Play Festival)

Fluffy [Nancy Gall-Clayton]                                                                                        Finnigan Productions, Louisville, KY
Sympathy for the Techno [Ben Unwin]                                                                        Finnigan Productions, Louisville, KY
The Librarian [Nancy Gall-Clayton]                                                                            Finnigan Productions, Louisville, KY
The Chocolate Girl [David Clark]                                                                                Finnigan Productions, Louisville, KY
Zimy and Zog Visit Earth [Nancy Gall-Clayton]                                                         Finnigan Productions, Louisville, KY
A Deal [Nancy Gall-Clayton]
                                                                                       Finnigan Productions, Louisville, KY



Other Productions

Six Women Turning 60 in 2006 (a national touring festival of original works)           Kentucky Festival
Here Am I Send Me [Benard Cummings]                                                                      Juneteenth Festival of New Works, Louisville, KY
Mother of Civil Rights [Be Boyd]                                                                                   Juneteenth Festival of New Works, Louisville, KY
Faith, Hope & Charity: Mary McLeod Bethune Story [Samuel Kelley]                        Juneteenth Festival of New Works, Louisville, KY
Kentucky Women (adapted and directed)                                                                     Public Radio Partnership (WFPL), Louisville, KY

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