Kathi is the co-founder and resident director of Josephine SummerStage, an annual Shakespeare Production integrating visual and performing arts through the incorporation of a sculpture into the interpretation of each year's script.
Kathi has also directed Shakespeare productions for New Theatre, Miami; Public Theatre of Kentucky, Looking for Lilith Theatre Company and ShoeString Productions. She has also had the honor of being assistant director to Dennis Krausnick of Shakespeare and Company for The Winter's Tale and Titus Andronicus.
Josephine Sculpture Park
Sculpture: The Crucible – Doug Schatz
This first year was an all-female version of Macbeth in which the four elements were lifted up and the world of the three sisters was normative. Live fire torches provided the lighting as the sun set.
Sculpture: The Clarity Vehicle – Mollie Rabiner
Year two brought the inherent power and magic of the island to the foreground, with the sculpture doubling as the ship in scene one and becoming the seat of the island's magic for the rest of the play.
Arts-Louisville reviewed the production.
Sculpture: Make It Writhe – Andrew Marsh
The first year that the sculpture was commissioned, these sculptures embodied the tension between organic love and sophisticated Romance; the production's visuals were inspired by Medieval tapestries and Romance literature.
Sculpture: Threshold – Melanie VanHouten
Exploring the liminality between the human form and the art form, the production lifted up the seasonal, natural cycle of redemption and renewal.
Arts-Louisville reviewed the production.
For the fifth anniversary production an all-female cast explored the cost of war, the inherently masculine arguments put forth for war against the backdrop of the Vietnam War. 2015 marks the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt and the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon.
From the Sun Sentinel, "The Winter’s Tale practically amounts to a Miami premiere, with no professional staging on record in a generation...Guest director Kathi E.B. Ellis bring(s) fresh eyes to the [Shakespeare] tradition that Martinez has revived. The [Winter’s Tale] features the festival’s best performances...this weightier play is the more interesting of the two [productions.]"
And from the Coral Gables Gazette, "“The Winter’s Tale” is a flawed, uneven play...Fortunately this New Theatre production is in the hands of talented artists who are able to salvage the play’s better virtues. The play has been adapted and directed by Kathi E.B. Ellis who leads a talented cast in an effectively moving, infuriating, funny and charming production."
More about the production.
Public Theatre of Kentucky
An audience member wrote to the theatre,"Thanks to Public Theatre of Kentucky for such a fine production…It is always a delight to see anything Kathi E.B. Ellis directs…The play was clear, cohesive and quite understandable. This is a fine way for people to be introduced to Hamlet. Thank you. Your Hamlet is himself, a find…The set and lighting were both effective, making great use of stage space."
Looking for Lilith
Louisville.com says, "Looking for Lilith has assembled a finely crafted production of Much Ado about Nothing, a comedy that showcases the struggles and victories of characters finding the balance of male and female gender roles inside their relationships with each other."
Women of Will is a compilation of scenes and monologues highlighting the diversity of Shakespeare's female characters. Designed for four women to play all the characters, drawn from sixteen of Shakespeare's plays, the additional conceit is that the only male characters that appear in the production are when the women dress up as boys to pursue their own destinies. Women of Will embraces the wit, the verve and the determination of queens, mothers, young women, lovers and adventurers. Ranging from the histories to the comedies and tragedies, these characters are a delightful challenge for actresses everywhere.
"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...” More from WFPL.
Other Shakespeare-related Productions
Dogg’s Hamlet, Cahoot’s Macbeth Theatre 80, Calgary, Canada
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead Theatre 80, Calgary, Canada
Shame the Devil! An Audience with Fanny Kemble (touring production) HerStory Productions, regional tour
Good Night Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) Pleiades Theatre Company, Louisville, KY
I Hate Hamlet Shawnee Theatre of Green County, IN