Ellen Margolis

Professor, Theatre



UC Box: A131

Office: Warner Hall 25

Dr. Ellen Margolis holds an MFA in Acting from the University of California at Davis and a PhD in Theatre History from the University of California at Santa Barbara. At Pacific, she serves as Chair of Theatre & Dance and Director of Theatre.


Dr. Margolis is an award-winning actor and playwright. Her plays, which have been produced throughout the United States, include Trying Not to Stare, Calumnies, American Soil, What We Thought, and A Little Chatter, which appears in a collection of baseball plays from Playscripts, Inc. As a playwright, she has received commissions from Theatre Aloft, Mile Square Theatre, and the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Excerpts from her plays can be seen in the Audition Arsenal series, published by Smith & Kraus.  She is also the editor of Singular Voices, a book of monologues from the International Centre for Women Playwrights.  Her work has been recognized by the Portland Civic Theatre Guild, the New York International Fringe Festival, the Trustus Foundation, the Jane Chambers Competition, and the National 10-Minute Play Contest.


Dr. Margolis’s research areas include theatre pedagogy, the theory and history of acting, and Applied Theatre. She is co-editor of The Politics of American Actor Training (Routledge, 2010).


At Pacific, Dr. Margolis has developed a new program in Applied Theatre in consultation with York St. John University.  In August 2013, she gave a paper at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education on the politics of devising civic theatre.


She also continues to work professionally as a director, dialect coach, and voiceover artist.  Her former students have gone on to work on- and off-Broadway, in television and film, in regional theatre, and in national tours; to manage theatre companies; and to teach.