In the theater, Elissa most recently played the Baroness in the US Premiere of Lermontov's Masquerade, directed by Sam Helfrich. It was performed in concert with the 50-piece String Orchestra of Brooklyn, playing Aram Khachaturian's Masquerade Suite. Elissa directed and starred in the premiere of Meredith Anthony's grim noir, Murder on the Main Line at Manhattan Repertory Theater in the Fall of 2015. She directed the world premiere of Bambi Everson's Neither Here Noir There at Manhattan Rep in early 2017.
Elissa played Helena Marais Rosenthal in James Bosley's play BROAD CHANNEL with UP Theater Company in NYC in 2014. In January of that year she also revived William Leavengood’s one-woman play SPECIAL (about autism) at the American Stage in St. Petersburg, which she had premiered at Theatre Row on 42nd Street, NYC. In November 2013, Elissa played Sunny in Sally Nemeth’s play MILL FIRE, in an Ivy Theater production that was part of two NYC festivals: EstroGenius and the Harvest Theater Festival. She also played the lead in Craig Lucas’ Reckless on East 4th St, directed by her husband Clark Middleton with the wonderful actor Matthew Cowles playing her many shrinks.
Elissa recently Executive Produced Clark Middleton's short film My Milonga, in which she also played opposite Ewen Bremner. A clip from the film can be seen on her reel, here.
Training includes Meisner work with William Esper and Maggie Flanigan; scene study with Austin Pendelton, Laura Esterman, Susan Aston and Deborah Hedwall; voice, speech and Shakespeare with Shane-Ann Younts; and movement in several styles, including extended Martha Graham workshops. She has also studied with Jon Shear for the last year or two.
Elissa has published non-fiction about travel, politics, film, and art. She speaks conversational Spanish, Portuguese, French and Czech; co-directs Apt 929; and occasionally sings jazz at Smalls, NYC.