Dr. Ellen Margolis holds an M.F.A. in Acting from the University of California at Davis and a Ph.D. in Theatre History from the University of California at Santa Barbara. An Associate Professor of Theatre, she serves as Chair of Theatre & Dance and Director of Theatre at Pacific.


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 Mile Square Theatre and the Susan G. Komen Foundation. She is a founding member of Playwrights West, Portland’s new-work theatre, of The Forgery Acting Co., and of the Dramatists Guild. Excerpts from her plays can be seen in the Audition Arsenal series, published by Smith & Kraus, and she is editor of Singular Voices, a book of monologues from the International Centre for Women Playwrights. 

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). 

Currently, Dr. Margolis is developing new programs in Applied Theatre for the Department of Theatre & Dance.  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.