Ellie is a theatre practitioner and academic, with interests in experimental, interdisciplinary, multi-sensory modes of theatre using digital technologies such as projection mapping and binaural sound. She is a senior lecturer at Plymouth Marjon University, where she leads the undergraduate programmes in Performing Arts.
Ellie is currently a MyWorld fellow, undertaking a practical research project for 6 months with Condense to explore performer stage presence and performance delivery in virtual worlds, experimenting in their virtual venue The Blueprint.
"I am really looking forward to helping troubleshoot practical issues. For example, a performer might feel disembodied in the virtual space and unable to really connect with their body, and somatic exercises that they usually use to warm up and prepare in the space might start to become unusable or obsolete. How do they ground themselves in a virtual world? What other senses can we use? What new exercises can we come up with to help them prepare to perform in such a different and even alien environment?"
As a resident at the studio since 2016, Ellie has focused on developing multi-sensory, experimental, theatrical experiences with Sleight of Hand. Her current project, Trace of Us, began as an online R&D supported by the Pervasive Media Studio's Future Themes fund and has since presented work at the Tate Modern as part of their Women in Art Tate Lates. This ongoing, ever-evolving project explores the future of theatre via developing a new hybrid and flexible body of work about the life and art of Ana Mendieta, a Cuban-American artist who made provocative work utilising her body, natural materials, and photography/film. The Trace of Us team is made up of an international collective of women creatives: director Ellie Chadwick, writer Abi Zakarian, dancer/choreographer Depi Gorgogianni, designer/artist Ana Inés Jabares Pita, performer Gaël Le Cornec, curator/artist Gabriela Román González, and actor Amanda Guardado.
Ellie completed her PhD with Warwick University in 2018, and has also worked for Bristol University, firstly on Dr William Pooley's Creative Histories of Witchcraft Project, and then as a Research Fellow in the Theatre department, supported by an Expanded Performance Research Fellowship with Bristol+Bath Creative R+D and investigating digital audiences, immersion, and collective wellbeing.
Much of Ellie's work explores interdisciplinary approaches, in particular the use of digital technologies in performance. She previously worked as Impact Officer on the Mask and Avatar project at The University of Warwick, part of a larger research project undertaken by Labex and Université Paris 8 entitled La scène augmenté (The Augmented Stage). Mask and Avatar engaged with the Perception Neuron motion capture system and involved collaboration between computer engineers, software programmers, digital designers and theatre makers; and interaction between avatars and masked actors, bringing together old and new technologies of corporeal representation.
Ellie is also interested in cross-cultural dialogue and intercultural approaches to art and education. In 2016 she launched an annual intercultural exchange programme in Bali, and has given talks and workshops in the UK, Europe, and Asia on universal storytelling, archetype, and the use of technology in performance. In 2019 she undertook an AHRC-funded research fellowship in China at the Shanghai Theatre Academy, exploring tradition and innovation in intercultural China/UK practice, and in 2020-21 worked on the New Nordics Festival, which involved cultural exchange via travelling to Nordic countries and directing a Norwegian play at the Yard Theatre and Jackson's Lane in London.