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Photo by Jeff Hanson at The University of Alabama. 

Alex Ates is the first Director of Arts at Kent Denver School.

Prior, he was the Director of Pre-K-12 Visual and Performing Arts and David Mallery Fellow at Westtown School. There, Alex designed the Multidisciplinary Deep Dive, incubated five new plays for teenage theatermakers, added courses on storytelling and verbatim performance, and implemented a multi-genre cycle for productions. 

As a department chair, he animated faculty-led initiatives such as a city arts immersion trip and standards-based assessment. Alex commissioned multiple guest artists and fundraised for Westtown's three-phase renovation of their Center for the Living Arts. At Westtown, he also produced a video series on virtual theater activities, a student storytelling podcast, and a podcast on the intersection of Quakerism and creativity

Since 2017, Alex has designed and led the Arts and Leadership Workshop at the Summer Principals Academy of Teachers College, Columbia University.

He regularly contributes to Backstage magazine and has bylines in American Theatre and Howlround.

Alex specializes in new play development and adapting Shakespeare, typified by conceptualizing and directing The Shakespearean Jazz Show. He has incubated 11 new works. Alex has been a guest artist at Emerson College, Agnes Scott College, Teachers' College at Columbia University, and Tulane University. He is the former Director of Education and Engagement for The NOLA Project.

As a scholar, Alex's research on topics like Black Mountain College, theater pedagogy, new play development, and verbatim performance with youth have been published in several peer-reviewed journals.

As an undergrad at Emerson, Alex was the recipient of the Performing Arts Chair Award and graduated magna cum laude. As a graduate student at The University of Alabama, Alex received the young scholar award from the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC). As a graduate student at NYU, he was a Dean's Graduate Scholar and the graduate representative for Gallatin, the school's highest honor. 

Alex lives in Denver, Colorado, with his partner and dog. But, having been born and raised in New Orleans, that's home.

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