Meet Billy Elliot: Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga (TN)

    The intimate Barking Legs Theatre has a fixed seating capacity of 80, but additional seating may be added, bringing the capacity to 187.

    The Barking Legs Theatre was home to a production of Billy Elliot The Musical (BETM) from December 13-21, 2019.  The show was presented by the Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga (ETC).

    The Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga began as a whim in the imagination of Founder and Producing Artistic Director Garry Lee Posey.  A creator of opportunities for himself and those artists he surrounds himself with, Garry has been producing theatre of some sort since he was an undergraduate theatre student at Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina.  Upon his return to Chattanooga in 2006, having been awarded the ArtsMove grant, Garry decided to give Chattanooga what it needed, a small professional theatre company.  ETC’s goals are simple: artists must be compensated and our productions have to be artistically satisfying for both the artist and the audience.  To that end, they are constantly searching for programming that will serve themselves, their craft and, most importantly, their community.

    Past endeavors have included co-producing (with Chattanooga State Repertory Theatre and Ripple Productions) Chattanooga’s first SUMMER THEATRE FESTIVAL at the Barking Legs Theatre in 2007, and then producing SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD also at the Barking Legs Theatre that winter.  Go here to see a sampling of some of the productions presented by ETC over the past several years.

    Each year, ETC produces 4-7 Mainstage productions, 2-4 Youth and Family Productions, at least one 24 hour play festival, staged readings, and also an international short play festival.

    Kicking off the Mainstage 2019 season, ETC presented the musical Side Show (February), a cult favorite, though short lived, musical from the 1996 season on Broadway.  That production was followed by The Christians (April), Urinetown (June), Dust (July), A Kiss For Cinderella (October) and Billy Elliot The Musical (December).

    Billy Elliot The Musical

    Posey himself directed ETC’s production of Billy Elliot.  Speaking about why it was important for ETC to do this production of BETM, Posey remarked, “What is so fantastic about this show for me is that you have this heavy, dirty underworld of miners juxtaposed with the finesse and artistry of a dance that lives more elevated than grounded.  You have tradition and expectation juxtaposed with hope and change.  At the apex of these juxtapositions sits a child, not knowing where to focus but determined to blur the lines defining those differences.”

    A cast of 22 was led by a young actor who was debuting as Billy in this production.  He is Ellis Stephens.

    To learn more about Ellis, click on the Billy Profiles button (below) to be taken to his detailed profile. 

    Mrs. Wilkinson (Marianna Allen) and Billy (Ellis Stephens)

    billy profiles

    To see a complete listing of the rest of the ETC cast, just click on the Cast Information button.

    cast info

    Note: Dress Rehearsal Photos in this article by Chris Stephens.

    To A List of All Billy Elliot The Musical Articles at

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