‘Kate often talks about the importance of childlike wonder. It is what draws her on the one hand to writing, and on the other hand to children and the vocation of teaching. What cynics might not understand is that wonder for Kate is not ‘nice’. It can be joyous and it can be terrible, but fundamentally it is real and raw and unadorned. This is the key quality in the way she lives, of the career decisions she makes, but it is also the hallmark of the way she writes. I have often found her writing literally breathtaking, in its emotional honesty. It doesn’t describe situations, but makes them shockingly present. Kate knows, even if many other adults have forgotten, that childhood is not ‘nice’: it is now’.
Professor Andrew Metcalfe.
Kate Ellis is an Acting Coach, Writer, Artist and Arts and English Education Innovator.
Guiding her work is the principle that great pleasure can be extracted from detail. That sensory rapture can be cultivated in the everyday.
In 2018 she worked with the young cast of Mia Wasikowska's new film Judy and Punch, was the Feature Poet for Melbourne’s Girls on Key and her work as an innovative teacher of Language and Literature and Drama was recognised by Victoria’s Independent School’s body. ISV filmed her teaching practice as part of a project that aims to start conversations with and between teachers regarding their current innovative practices in curriculum and pedagogy. ISV have also employed Kate to develop & run workshops for 2019’s Arts Learning Festival as well as seminar programs for Victorian teachers.
Kate traveled to Scotland in 2018 for a writers retreat with Patchwork Farm. Here, writers Patricia Lee Lewis, singer Jane Mortifee and New York Times bestseller Jacqueline Sheehan, invited her to use her unique perspective to lead workshops. Sheehan was particularly interested in writers having the opportunity to bring their writing into their body. As an educator and artist whose work and training has centered around body language, Kate developed workshops that allowed writers to get into their character, or discover new characters for new works.
Kate has performed and trained with Zen Zen Zo Physical Theatre in Brisbane, performed at the Queensland Theatre and NIDA, has trained with female macho dancer Eisa Jocson and undertaken PULSE Masterclasses with Director Tanya Gerstle. She has trained with renowned Butoh artists Sankai Juku and trained and performed in Italy with Butoh master Atsushi Takenouchi. She has also appeared in various television shows such as The Saddle Club (series two and three), Winners and Losers, Wentworth and for television commercials.
Kate has run specialised workshops for Neighbours cast members, NIDA students, facilitated a drama program for refugee children at Villawood Refugee Detention Centre, was the Drama Coach for popular children’s television show The Saddle Club (series three) and for Jonathan M. Shiff Productions Lightning Point, Reef Drs and Mako; Island of Secrets (filming at Village Roadshow studios on the Gold Coast).
In 2016 she was the Drama Coach to Alice Foulcher during the production and filming of Australian Film, That’s Not Me which had its world premier at 2017’s Santa Barbara International Film Festival and it’s Australian premiere at the Sydney Film Festival.
Kate has developed and facilitated listening tours for the Abbotsford Convent’s festival ‘Open Spaces’, a tour that saw participants ‘cultivating sensory rapture in the every day’; and has worked with artists Lisa Roet and Jane Karnowski with thanks to a Creative Victoria Arts Grant. Here Kate helped students physicalise the understanding students were gathering on the nature of simians through their work with world renowned sculptor Lisa Roet.
In her 34th year, after being published in 2010’s The Modern Woman’s Anthology and winning various competitions for her poetry, Kate began putting passionate energy and focus into her career as a writer. In 2017 she was named a finalist in the Iceland Writers Retreat writing competition and completed her first poetry manuscript.
She has been published multiple times in the Victorian Association for the Teaching of English’s Idiom (for instance article ‘Sex and Gender in the English Classroom - it’s natural’). In 2019, her piece ‘Intimacy in the Age of noise’ was published in online journal HER HQ; and a poem of hers was recently selected for a piece in London zine Kollide.
She has a Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications) majoring in Film and Sociology (UNSW), studied at Theatre Nepean and has a Masters in Education (Melbourne University).