Ian Ellis James
Ian Ellis James (aka William Electric Black) is a seven-time Emmy Award winning writer (former writer for Sesame Street). Ian has been writing in the family entertainment television industry for over fifteen years. His credits in family TV include Sesame Workshop, Topstone Productions, Lancit Media, Nickelodeon, Scholastic Productions, Warner Cable, Winchester TV & Film, (London), Voodoo Entertainment, (Vancouver).
His theatre projects, under his stage name William Electric Black, have been seen in New York City, Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles. For the past six years he has been writing, directing, and producing plays at La MaMa ETC, New York City– where he presently runs their Poetry Electric Series. His musical, Betty & The Belrays, was performed at Theater For The New City, March 2007. In 2009 Mr. Black (Ian) directed The Lonely Soldier Monologues (Women at War in Iraq). Ian’s 50’s rock musical,
My Boyfriend Is A Zombie, opened in NYC June 3rd, 2010.
In film, Ian has had two scripts optioned. These include Slave Ball for Silver Pictures/Warner Brothers and Road Runnerfor MCA Records, Jerome Ade, producer and music by Teddy Riley. He has also written, directed, and produced two independent features.
Mr. James received funding from Kenneth Olden and The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences for an animated pilot he created to promote exercise and good nutrition for young children —- Fighters For Fitness/Fitness Fighters. Ian has also received funding from Touro College for a prescription drug awareness cartoon. He is writing, directing, and producing animated videos on stroke prevention with the National Stroke Association and childhood obesity prevention for Harlem Hospital’s Hip Hop H.E.A.L.S. Program under the direction of Dr. Olajide Williams featuring music by Doug E. Fresh, Chuck D, other rap artists.
He has received several Best Play Awards, been published by Benchmark Education, The Dramatic Publishing Co., Smith & Krauss, and received a Bronze Apple for directing (National Educational Video Award).
Interactive media projects include “I Hear What You’re Saying” for Columbia University’s School of Social Work and “Virtual Harlem” (Institute of Learning/Children’s Museum, NYC).
As a professor, Ian is a faculty member at NYU’s Tisch School (Dramatic Writing, Open Arts, and NYU’s Summer High School Program). He has also taught at The Collegiate School, The Riverdale Country Day School, Southern Illinois University, 92nd Street Y, Teachers & Writers, and TheatreWorks USA.