Ellen Hemphill
Professor of the Practice Emerita of Theater Studies

Ellen Hemphill is a Professor of the Practice in the Theater Studies Department and former Director of Undergraduate Studies for six years in the Department.  She is also Artistic Director of the professional theater company Archipelago in Chapel Hill and has taught at Duke since 1992. She was also on the Faculty of the American Dance Festival where she taught Voice and Gesture for over 20 years. Ellen performed in She Didn’t Like the Moon Without Clouds , and wrote and performed in Cassandra’s Lullaby , Binky Kite and the Oxymorons , and Another Time . . .Another Place . . . Someone Else , Those Women , and A New Fine Shame . Ellen directed The Crucible for Duke Players in February 2000. For Archipelago she directed, among others, Escurial , The Abdication , Landscape , Silence and Night , Ten in One , Eulogy for a Warrior , Blue Roses , Amor Fortuna , Snow , A New Fine Shame , Mary Wept,and Women in the Attic and Out of the Blue. In 2013 she wrote and directed "The Narrowing" and is currently working on the film version of this piece. She also directed "The Trojan Women" for the Duke Theater Studies Department and directed "Exit the King" in the Spring of 2009 and "A Doll's House" in 2011. Ellen has received the NC State Arts Council Fellowship for choreography in theater, and was awarded a writer’s fellowship from the Wildacres Retreat. In 2010 directed and produced a new piece, OUT OF THE BLUE for which she received the Duke Collaborative Arts Award. Ellen was a Franklin Scholar with the Franklin Institute for 2010-2011 and created a solo/vocal and film performance, "Stealing Home: The Architecture of Intimacy" in 2011 at Manbites Dog Theater in Durham, NC. She recently wrote, directed and produced a new work for Archipelago Theatre a multi-disciplined piece of theater, film and music called "The Narrowing". Ellen co-directed the short Film "It Had Wings" in 2014/15 and it has been accepted in 13 film festivals and won Best in North Carolina and overall best film at the Longleaf International film festival. She directed BOB and Dancing at Lughnasa for the Theater Department in the last years s and created the films "The Reckoning" in 2019, and recently North: A Love Letter for her company Archipelago Theaatre/Cine which was produced by Theater Studies and show at the Rubenstein Arts Center. She has also created a private consulting company, Cardea Creative Consulting offering  Personal Communication seminars for companies and for Arts consulting for arts groups.  Her current research is a continuation of a project called  "Legacy"..interviewing artists in mid-late career and working on a retrospective/book for her own work of the last thirty years.

Office Hours

On leave fall 2020 semester.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Contact Information

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