Professor Roger Ellis wins educational theater award

Professor Roger Ellis

Roger Ellis, professor of theatre at Grand Valley State University will be awarded the Michigan Educational Theatre Association’s Standing Ovation Award. The award is presented to a member of the theater community who has given unconditionally to the theater students of Michigan and high school students in particular.

Director of the Michigan Educational Theatre Association Erik Hart said Ellis was chosen for this award for his continual commitment to theater education.

“Roger has been connected with our organization since our very first Festival back in the 70s,” Hart said.  “He has continually shared his expertise with students throughout the state by presenting workshops, judging events, and providing scholarship opportunities.  We truly value his wisdom and open heart.”

For the last 35 years, Ellis said he has demonstrated his commitment to educational theater through publishing educational materials, running workshops, and working as a drama instructor.  Ellis served as a drama instructor at Grand Rapids City High-Middle School for three years.

“I’ve published 12 books about the modern theater selection that teacher’s use in school, so they’re using plays in my anthologies that I’ve put together,” Ellis said.  “I’ve done a lot of workshops for the organization over the years and I served as the drama director here in Grand Rapids.”

Ellis said he was not expecting to be recognized with an award.  The award will be presented to Ellis at the organization’s annual Michigan Thespian Festival on Dec. 3 at Saginaw Valley State University.

“I was really surprised and I’m very proud to have received it because I have done a lot of work for these folks over the years,” Ellis said.  “It’s nice to know that your work is appreciated in some formal way.”