The Ten Articles of 2022 I Wish Had Been Read by More People

by John Ellis Over the course of 2022, I wrote 68 articles (not counting this one) – using almost 146,000 words. Looking back over those articles, I’m proud of many of them and only see a few I wish I hadn’t written or that need serious rewriting. Among the article I’m proud of are quite … Continue reading The Ten Articles of 2022 I Wish Had Been Read by More People

The Prophetic Vocation of (Theatre) Artists

One of theatre's great prophets: Augusto Boal by John Ellis Are artists prophets? Specifically, are theatre artists prophets? Your answer, in large part, will depend on how you define prophet (and artist). For me, the controlling definition of prophet is found in the biblical distinction between prophet and priest: Prophets speak to the people on … Continue reading The Prophetic Vocation of (Theatre) Artists

Absurdist Theatre and the Gospel: How Then Shall We Live? (Part 1)

by John Ellis Absurdist theatre has gotten a bad rap within conservative Christian communities. Whether it’s viewed as a postmodern rebellion against God, simply dismissed as some sort of aesthetic version of the emperor’s new clothes, or has never even crossed their radar, absurdist theatre is not the preferred theatre genre of most conservative Christians, … Continue reading Absurdist Theatre and the Gospel: How Then Shall We Live? (Part 1)

Preachiness Doesn’t Damage Art; Bad “Artists” Damage Art

by John Ellis Words are a funny thing. I don’t remember who said it – Winnie the Pooh, maybe? – but the observation has been made that words don’t stay where they’re put. If the Fall and Fall’s Curse (not to mention the Tower of Babel) are true, and I believe they are, this is … Continue reading Preachiness Doesn’t Damage Art; Bad “Artists” Damage Art

Theories of Aesthetic Distance and the (probable) Need to Reform Corporate Worship

by John Ellis Our church does a good job of providing a well-rounded Sunday school “curriculum” for adults. Class topics not only serve to glorify God and edify the students (and presumably the teacher), but the classes are also thought-provoking and practical. Starting this past Sunday, my wife and I began attending a class on … Continue reading Theories of Aesthetic Distance and the (probable) Need to Reform Corporate Worship

Film’s Superiority Over Theatre

by John Ellis I am (was) a theatre artist. But when asked, I always state that I much prefer going to the movies over the theatre, and not just because I can eat popcorn and not feel constrained by the myriad of ridiculous "theatre appreciation" rules audiences are expected to adhere to while watching a … Continue reading Film’s Superiority Over Theatre

Relational Theatre: ‘Boxing God’

by John Ellis Opening the card from Mrs. Doris Harris, my Intro to Dramatic Interpretation professor, I had no idea how consequential a role her words were going to play in my life. “Misguided people have convinced you that you do not possess talent as a performer and storyteller. They are wrong. You are wrong. … Continue reading Relational Theatre: ‘Boxing God’

A Christian Theatre Manifesto: Part 3

(Read Part 1 by clicking here and Part 2 by clicking here) by John Ellis To my slight frustration, many of the directors, teachers, and writers that I look up to seemingly only go so far in practice. Thankfully, in word they’ve shown me the aesthetic path that my theatre practice has taken. For example, … Continue reading A Christian Theatre Manifesto: Part 3

A Christian Theatre Manifesto: Part 2

(Read Part 1 by clicking here) by John Ellis What does theology have to do with theatre? Well, theology and theatre are connected far more deeply than most people might assume. For many, whenever theology and art start being bumped together, one of two conceptual extremes are assumed: Art as a didactic evangelistic tool. Or, … Continue reading A Christian Theatre Manifesto: Part 2

A Christian Theatre Manifesto: Part 1

by John Ellis The prophet Ezekiel was the first experimental theatre artist. The oft-lauded, ancient Greek theatre gurus commercialized theatre. Maybe. To be honest, I can’t prove that the Greeks read the Old Testament prophets and then bastardized Ezekiel’s theatre theory; nor can I prove my claim that Ezekiel was the first experimental theatre artist. … Continue reading A Christian Theatre Manifesto: Part 1