the reviews are in:
“This is one you truly don’t want to miss…”
Broadway World Seattle / Feb 25, 2024

“We defy anyone to take their eyes from Mx. Ellis…”
Drama in the Hood / Feb 26, 2024

“Ellis demonstrates almost uncanny ability. . . so specific and so believable.”
Seattle Gay Scene / Feb 28, 2024

See Sunam Ellis in The West Coast premiere of Memoirs of a Forgotten Man at 12th Avenue Arts, February 22 – March 9, 2024.

ACTOR

Sunam Ellis is a classically trained actor based in Seattle and the 2018 winner of the Theatre Puget Sound Gregory Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play. She has a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Washington’s Professional Actors Training Program (2015) and was selected for the Guthrie Experience for Actors in Training (2014).

Recent regional credits include Catherine Dickens in the world premiere of Mr. Dickens and His Carol (Seattle Rep) and Anne Steele / Mrs. Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility (Village Theatre). In front of the camera Sunam has experience in a feature film, regional and national broadcast television, and industrials for regional and national clients.

Known for her deep character work in shows like Uncle Vanya (Seagull Project), The Revolutionists (ArtsWest), and Mrs. Caliban (Book-It Repertory Theatre), Sunam has established a reputation for her excellent comedic timing, including her award-winning role as Margery in Hand to God (Seattle Public Theater).

DIRECTOR

Sunam’s artistic vision and appreciation for character work brings to life productions of all sizes, shapes, and ages. Past work includes her own solo shows, two-handers like Same Time Next Year (Green Bay Community Theater), a six-person bilingual adaption of Julius Caesar (Seattle Shakespeare), and a cast of 75 grade-schoolers in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Jr.™. Since receiving her MFA in Acting in 2015, Sunam has directed a variety of work in the Seattle area including staged readings, audio productions, devised works, and university main stage shows.

Recent Productions

  • November 8-11 and 16-18, 2023
    Hookman
    Seattle University
  • May 25—June 4, 2023
    The Wolves
    University of Washington
  • Spring 2023
    Julius Caesar
    Seattle Shakespeare (Touring Production)
  • October 2022
    Two Minutes of Your Time
    Pratidhwani
  • May 2022
    Eurydice
    Seattle University

EDUCATOR

Over the course of her career Sunam has had the opportunity to teach acting at all levels, from large groups of non-actors, to mentoring individuals, all the way to coaching professionals. Currently, Sunam is an instructor at Seattle University, has previously instructed at University of Washington and Pennsylvania State University, and served as guest lecturer at Cornish College of the Arts. In addition to her university work, Sunam has led classes for Freehold Theatre, Pratidhwani, and Jack Straw Cultural Center, and offers private coaching for audition preparation.

I am a teacher because I love this work, and it brings me joy to ignite that sense of wonder in others. It is a privilege every time to be present as a student overcomes an obstacle, widens their perspective, or discovers something new about a role (or about themselves). They are regular reminders of why I fell in love with what I do in the first place.
Sunam Ellis

Sunam received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay with a double major in Human Development and Theater Performance. She studied Human Development and Family Systems at Pennsylvania State University along with Social and Behavioral Sciences at Friedrich-Schiller Universität in Jena, Germany. Sunam graduated with an MFA in Acting from the University of Washington in 2015.

Engaged Theater
Engaged theater is an opportunity to put the words of Brené Brown into practice: “…your worthiness is a birthright and not something you have to earn.”
Worthiness is a birthright

Theater can be a tool for social change and community building. Theater can help foster empathy and understanding and promote social justice. Theater can change lives.

Sunam has seen first-hand the powerful impact theater can have. Thanks to the amazing work of organizations like Freehold Theatre and Jack Straw Cultural Center, she’s had opportunities to bring theater and creative performance to culturally underserved populations—from prisons and schools to disadvantaged neighborhoods and underrepresented cultural groups. Whether it is a hands-on workshop with students or Shakespeare in the park, engaged theater creates opportunities to share stories and experiences with others, and to view our own experiences through a different lens.

To learn more about engaged theater and how it’s changing lives in the Pacific Northwest, check out the following organizations.

AWARDS AND NOMINATIONS

  • 2019
    • Lead Actor (Small Theater)
      Seattle Theatre Writers Gypsy Rose Lee Awards
      Sheathed
    • Outstanding Performance in a Play
      Theatre Puget Sound Gregory Awards
      Sheathed
      (Nominee)
    • Supporting Actor (Any/Small Theater)
      Seattle Theatre Writers Gypsy Rose Lee Awards
      The Christians
      (Nominee)
    • Supporting Actor (Any/Large Theater)
      Seattle Theatre Writers Gypsy Rose Lee Awards
      Uncle Vanya
      (Nominee)
  • 2018
    • Best Supporting Actress (Play)
      Theatre Puget Sound Gregory Awards
      Hand to God
    • Lead Actor (Female/Small Theater)
      Seattle Theatre Writers Gypsy Rose Lee Awards
      Hand to God
  • 2017
    • Supporting Actor (Female/Large Theater)
      Seattle Theatre Writers Gypsy Rose Lee Awards
      The Realistic Joneses
      (Nominee)

LATEST NEWS

  • 4 weeks ago

See Sunam as Natalya Berezina in the Thalia's Umbrella production of Memoirs of a Forgotten Man by D.W. Gregory. Running at 12th Avenue Arts, February 22 – March 9, 2024. Tickets available now. Early reviews in Broadway World Seattle call it “one you truly don't want to miss,” and Drama in the Hood states, “this is a Master Class in acting.”

  • 10 months ago

Sunam will appear in Gidion's Knot by Johnna Adams as part of this year's Fairhaven Summer Repertory Theatre at Bellingham TheatreWorks. Performances June 28–July 22, 2023. Tickets available now.

  • 12 months ago

Sunam will direct The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe for the University of Washington School of Drama. The show runs May 25–June 4, 2023 at the Floyd and Delores Jones Playhouse. Previews May 20 and 23.

  • 1 year ago

See Sunam as Mrs. Dashwood / Anne Steele in Village Theatre’s production of Sense and Sensibility by Kate Hamill, based on the novel by Jane Austen. This playful mashup of 18th-century propriety and 21st-century Instagram culture is smart comedy at its best. Running Feb 1–Mar 12, 2023 in Issaquah and Mar 17–Apr 9, 2023 in Everett.

  • 1 year ago

In this weekend’s Seattle Times, Jerald Pierce features an interview with Sunam in Get to know 5 actors who’ll light up Seattle stages in 2023. Read the full article on seattletimes.com.

  • 1 year ago

Catch Sunam Ellis as Catherine Dickens in the world premiere of Mr. Dickens and His Carol. Adapted from the novel by Samamtha Silva, it is a fictional take on the origins of Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol. The show runs November 25th–December 23, 2022 at Seattle Rep’s Bagley Wright Theater.

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