Roger Ellis, a theatre professor at GVSU was elected to represent the American Association of Community Theatre at the meeting of the world congress for the International Amateur Theatre Association.

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Roger Ellis

The International Amateur Theatre Association is a global organization that works to promote understanding and education through theater.  The organization has 60 member nations and hosts festivals and events around the world.

Ellis has been active in the organization for the last 30 years in various capacities.  He served as the vice-president of theatre for four years and chair of the artistic committee for another four.

“As a teacher and a writer, I enjoy bringing culture to many people and sharing my ideas with many people which I have a chance to do as a member of that organization,” Ellis said.

This year’s world congress will be held in Monte Carlo, Monaco.  Ellis will stay for three days and work with delegates from the other member nations to make decisions for the international organization.  During the three days there will also be theater workshops and events held.

“At these congresses every two years we decide on a lot of matters like where the festivals will be held, how much money we allocate to them, which groups need some financial sponsoring for the work they do,” Ellis said. “I work with the (American Association of Community Theatre) to learn what we want and what our members are eager to see and have happen and then try to make that happen with the world organization.”

Bringing this back to his work at GVSU, Ellis said that he uses the connections he makes and knowledge from workshops to add value to his work with students.

“I always include international components in classes because nowadays the world is global. Especially in the world of art we’re seeing arts expanding immensely and being influenced by stuff around the world,” Ellis said. “I’ve made a lot of contacts internationally and get a lot of the skills and information to keep the courses that I teach current.”

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