Ella is a theatre director, dramaturg and actor who grew up on the far south coast of N.S.W, later studying Creative Arts at the University of Melbourne. A founding member of Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre, Ella has been Artistic Director of the company since 2013. During this time Ella has steered the company’s INK writing program which has developed and produced 16 full-length Australian plays to date, many of which have gone on to tour nationally or internationally. In 2014 Ella established PLAYlist, a biennial site-specific festival of theatre, music and new writing that celebrates community and collaboration.

In 2023, Ella directed the world premiere seasons of Monument by Emily Sheehan, and Flake by Dan Lee & Chi Nguyen. Both projects were developed through the INK program. Previous directorial work includes the Australian premiere seasons of Ella Hickson’s Oil and Annie Baker’s The Antipodes, and the world premiere of Caleb Lewis’ The Honeybees. Ella also co-directed the sold out Victorian premiere season of Joanna Murray-Smith’s Fury and the Australian premiere production of Incognito by Nick Payne. During lockdown in 2020 Ella commissioned and directed Watching, an audio play for 18 actors written by Vidya Rajan and Morgan Rose, with composition and sound design by Dan Nixon. Ella has also worked extensively as a stage actor.

Judith Nangala Crispin