Ellyzabeth Adler (Executive Director, Teaching Artist)
Ellyzabteh Adler is a multidisciplinary artist working in the genre of "Tanztheatre," weaving together theatre, dance, film, spoken word, and music. As founder of Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble (CDE) she has dedicated herself to forming partnerships with artists of all genres and generations to create unique, dynamic, engaging, and meaningful ensemble performances. She also teaches and mentors the next generation of performers who, in turn, serve as visiting artists and teachers in schools and community centers through CDE’s Books Alive and Poetry Alive to enhance literacy, numeracy, and arts awareness for thousands of underserved children in the Chicago area, as well as teaching traditional dance, theatre and visual art in the schools.
Ellyzabeth studied dance at William Reilly Academy of Ballet 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 earned a Masters of Arts in Directing and Movement; as her thesis she developed CDE’s techniques for creating multidisciplined, kinesthetic, and socially engaging theatre.
She has created and/or collaboratively adapted, directed and choreographed 10 full-length works including: T.S Eliot’s The Wasteland; Ever Your Own; Edgar; The Yellow Wallpaper; This Is Not A Pipe; Bindis and Bruises; and Touch and Mirrors - one-act plays based on the work of the Persian poet, Rumi. She has also created and choreographed over a dozen concert-length works focused on women’s issues, the female body, the human condition, and pathways to enlightenment. Among these works include HOPE based off the letters of incarcerated men, Unraveling Bill about her friend Theresa Blake who's brother Bill committed suicide after returning from Iraq. While these topic might appear heavy, there is alway a ray of hope and healing in every work that Ellyzabeth created. 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.
Ellyzabeth is also a published author 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 for Between Friends, Light Up The Lakefront, Muslim Women's Association and Columbia College.
Ellyzabeth has one very simple goal in life: to change in the world for the better, one person at a time.
Carly Davis (Managing Director)
Carly Davis is a Chicago-based actress originally from Delavan, Illinois. She graduated from Columbia College Chicago with her bachelor's degree in acting. Passionate about Chicago theatre, she has worked with Court Theatre and Lifeline Theatre as a staff member and has acted at many theatres around the city, including American Blues Theater, The Arc Theatre, and Stupid Shakespeare Company. Passionate about children's theatre as well, Carly has performed with AlphaBet Soup Productions and Chicago Improv Playhouse, where she has traveled to different schools in the Chicagoland area to bring theatre to children. She is also a teaching artist with Mudlark Theatre in Evanston. Carly is excited to start this journey with CDE as their Managing Director, where she can grow in her professional and artistic career! To contact Carly, you can email: email@example.com
Naomi Flores (Community Engagement Director)
In their role, they proudly help CDE grow and re-connect to their community and audience. Originally from Rockford, IL, Naomi graduated with her bachelor’s in interactive and Industrial Design from Syracuse University. Although she loved her program, Naomi has always felt compelled to find ways to directly work with her community. When she first moved to Chicago, Naomi was involved with community groups like Pilsen Alliance. She also worked with smaller groups looking to fight gentrification in the predominantly Latino neighborhood of Pilsen. Now, she is dedicated to mentoring young adults experiencing homelessness at La Casa Norte, and teaching students with Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble.
For Naomi, the most rewarding part of their role is interacting and creating community with students and educators. This is where she truly thrives! Naomi is a mandated reporter, certified in adult and pediatric first aid, as well as adult mental health first aid