Ellyzabeth Adler is a multidisciplinary artist who weaves together theatre, dance, film, and music to engage and inspire audiences in the genre of "than theatre."
Believing that art can bring communities together, create dialogue, and change humankind, Ellyzabeth Adler, at the age of 26, founded the Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble in 2001. Inspired by Tanztheatre, “which unites all art media to achieve an all-embracing, radical change in humankind,” she took this definition further by believing that the arts should be equitable as a foundation for her art-making progress and approach to arts education. Adler’s first production for the company was a physical theater adaptation of T.S. Eliot’s “The Wasteland,” which was highly received as “gently joins artistic forces, making the walls of theater speak with a visceral adaptation.” Since then, Adler has developed her social justice multidisciplinary style and has gone on to adapt “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and create ten original full-length productions about the human condition. Listening and learning from people in the community, she takes stories about people and brings them to the stage. “Unraveling Veteran,” underwritten by the Boeing Company, was inspired by Theresa Blake, whose brother committed suicide returning from Iraq; it included stories of veterans from Vietnam to Afghanistan and the struggles of leaving their loved ones to their return home. Partnerships have been vital to CDE’s performance history. Collaborating with Priya Narayan, “Bindis and Bruises” brought to the stage the topic of domestic and dating violence received as “Vocabularies for Empathy: Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble Prompts Audiences to Take Action for Social Change.- New City” In 2017, she teamed up with long-time colleague Lucy Vurusic Rhiner of RE Dance to create Ethereal Abandonment based on the photography of Chicagoan Candace Casey about a group of friends who explore an abandoned theater and item they find tells a story of long ago.
In 2017, Ellyzabeth and Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble won a MacArthur Award for International Collaborations, who she teamed up with Erica Mott (USA) and Ezzat Ezzat (Egypt) for Mycelia.
Ellyzabeth is also published with her short stories Full Moon Soulmate and Last Chapter. As a domestic abuse survivor, she has spoken at several conferences and activism events, including Between Friends, Light Up The Lakefront, Muslim Women's Association, and Columbia College.
Ellyzabeth has one straightforward goal: to change the world, one person at a time.
Ellyzabeth's Training and Early Days
Ellyzabeth studied dance at William Reilly Academy of Ballet in Milwaukee and danced with the Springfield Ballet Company before earning a BFA in Performing Arts with a minor in Broadcast Journalism at Roosevelt University. In 2000, she gained a Master of Arts in Directing and Movement; as her thesis, she developed CDE’s techniques for creating multi-disciplined, kinesthetic, and socially engaging theatre.