Alex Ates is a theater artist from New Orleans. He is a writer, teacher, actor, and director. Currently, he is a writer for Backstage magazine and is the incoming director of Theater at Westtown, a progressive Quaker school in Pennsylvania.
Previously, he has directed in NYC (Off-Broadway), New Orleans, Boston, Atlanta, and Alabama. Alex has been a guest director at Agnes Scott College, Emerson College, and Tulane University.
His research on theater at Black Mountain College can be found as a chapter in the forthcoming Theatre Symposium 28: Theatre and Citizenship. Alex's research on theater and activism in the Jim Crow South was honored with the Graduate Young Scholar Award from the Southeastern Theatre Conference, SETC.
Alex's essays and articles can be found in American Theatre, Howlround, and Scalawag. For Backstage, Alex has written widely-circulated guides on the techniques of Konstantin Stanislavski, Lee Strasberg, Stella Adler, Sanford Meisner, Uta Hagen, acting styles and casting direction. His reporting focuses on American theater, Southern activism, theater for young audiences, the entertainment industry, policy, organized labor, industry-related diversity and inclusion, #MeToo, Time's Up, and COVID-19.
A theater education advocate, Alex is a member of the board for the American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE), where he is also the editor of the organization's publication of practice, Incite/Insight. He spent four years as the education and engagement director of The NOLA Project, where he directed the company's flagship high school intensive. Alex also spent four years as an elementary school theater teacher at Lusher Charter School.
During the summers, Alex teaches with Teachers College at Columbia University. At The University of Alabama, he instructed Directing, Teaching Theater, and Intro to Theater. Alex's teaching methods have been featured on the university's Faculty Teaching Hub twice.
As a director of new works, Alex collaborates with Lisa D'Amour, James Bartelle, Ayla Miller, Dan Pruksarnukul, and Mark Galarrita. His direction of Quinn Marcus in her one-woman show Chasing Ballerinas: A Coming of Gay Story won Best Stand Up at NYC's United Solo and traveled to universities around the country. Alex's collaboration with Donnie Welch has been cited in the book Theatre, Social Media, and Meaning Making by Bree Hadley.
He has been mentored by Melia Bensussen, Kristin Horton, Jim O'Quinn, Rob Orchard, Annie G. Levy, Dr. Maureen Shea, and Dr. Merinda Simmons.
Alex has performed regularly at the New Orleans Shakespeare Festival for over a decade.
Member of Actors' Equity and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. Graduated Magna Cum Laude from Emerson College. MFA from The University of Alabama under Annie G. Levy. Dean's Graduate Scholarship recipient at NYU Gallatin. Product of Orleans Parish Public Schools.