James Ingagiola, Artistic Director
James is one of the co-founders of the Brass Tacks Ensemble and has been involved in every BTE production in some capacity or other. James came to Ann Arbor in 1990 to attend college and fully expected to leave after four years (or so) with a degree in mathematics; he ended up with a degree in Drama from U of M’s Residential College instead. Most of his work over the past sixteen years has been with BTE, but he has worked with Ann Arbor Civic Theatre, the Michigan Classical Repertory Theatre, and the Performance Network (both on their professional stage and in children’s plays that he has written for PN).
Isaac Ellis, Executive Director
Isaac joined The Brass Tacks Ensemble as an actor in 2006. Since then he has also directed, designed, written, and translated plays for the ensemble. Isaac started doing theater at age 14 when he was cast as the youngest person in an adult role in Damn Yankees. He went on to receive a B.A. in Theater with a second major in Spanish from Adrian College, and moved to Ann Arbor to accept an apprenticeship position at Performance Network Theater. He has worked with other local theaters, including The Ann Arbor Civic Theater, The Michigan Classical Repertory Theater, and the theater troupe at The Center for Research on Learning and Teaching at U of M.
Rachel Robbins Toon
Mary is one of the newest members of the BTE. She started working with the group in 2014, acting in A Midsummer Night’s Dream – but she worked with Isaac and James on shows with other groups (A2CT). She’s had a great love for theatre since she was thrust onto the stage in a Builder’s Club production of Rumpelstiltskin, where she took over the lead for someone else that had some sixth grade emergency or another. Mary holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan (double major in Organizational Studies and Theatre & Drama), and almost (but not quite) completed a Master of Arts degree at Eastern Michigan University in Theatre Arts. Her more recent educational pursuit is in Improv; she is enrolled in the program at the Planet Ant Theatre in Hamtramck.
If you would like to work toward becoming an ensemble member: get involved in a production, help us with administrative needs, and check out the Membership page!
Want to learn about the 2017 Acting and Assistant Directing Troupe? Check it out here!