Alexis Black
(517) 355-6690


Assistant Professor
Acting Movement


Alexis Black received her BFA in Performance from Ohio University and her MFA in Theatre Performance Pedagogy with an emphasis in Movement from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is an educator, fight, movement and intimacy director, performer, and director.

As a movement specialist, Alexis is a certified Intimacy Director with Intimacy Directors and Coordinators (IDC), is a certified teacher in the Michael Chekhov Physical Acting Technique, and has a level one certification in the Margolis Method. She has trained with PUSH Physical Theatre and Anne Bogart’s SITI Company, and is a member of the Society of American Fight Directors, The Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, and the Association of Theatre Movement Educators.

As a fight and movement director she has choreographed in Europe, South Korea, and regionally in the US, including as assistant fight director for Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet for the Tony-award winning Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC.  She has served as resident fight and intimacy director for Hope Summer Repertory Theatre, and Redtwist Theatre in Chicago. In NYC she has choreographed for the NY Fringe, Off-Off Broadway, and Off Broadway. She also served as assistant choreographer for Fool for Love on Broadway, starring Sam Rockwell and Nina Arianda.

As a professional actor and member of AEA, she has worked with regional theaters, on international tours and in numerous shows in NYC. Favorite credits include productions with The Dorset Theater Festival, The Vampire Cowboys Theatre Company and touring with TNT-Britain. On the small screen you can find her performing stunts on AMC and The Discovery Channel.

In other research, Alexis has explored the powerful combination of Meisner and Chekhov for years in the acting classroom, and wrote about it in the Routledge publication, Michael Chekhov and Sanford Meisner: Collisions and Convergence in Actor Training. She also co-authored a chapter on neurodiversity and the actor for an upcoming Routledge publication as a response to research on inclusive teaching methods. Additionally, Alexis and her MSU colleague Tina Newhauser have led an innovative collaboration with IDC, exploring the relationship between intimacy directors and teams that build live performances. A publication that details out practices and protocols for staging intimacy and the creative team is forthcoming, with a release date planned for 2022.   

More information can be found at

University News

MSU Theatre and UCLA Partner on World Premiere of Golden Age Latin American Play
Published September 21, 2023 in College of Arts & Letters
Michigan State University’s Department of Theatre will present the world premiere of the English translation of Love is the Greater Labyrinth by 16th-century Mexican playwright/poet/philosopher…Read now »
Supporting Staged Intimacy
Published March 20, 2023 in College of Arts & Letters
MSU Theatre Professors Advocate for Safety, Boundaries, and Better Storytelling Through Intimacy Direction Education When Alexis Black was a fight director for Broadway and off-Broadway…Read now »
CREATE! Micro-Grant Virtual Student Exhibition Launches
Published January 10, 2023 in College of Arts & Letters
Black photo with the wording, 2022 virtual exhibition. Next to the wording are numerous individual portraits of students.
The 2022 CREATE! Micro-Grant Student Exhibition is now live! This virtual exhibit showcases the 12 student projects that were created based on the winning…Read now »
MSU Theatre Brings Roller Derby to the Arena Theatre
Published November 1, 2022 in College of Arts & Letters
Michigan State University’s Department of Theatre presents For The Love Of (or, The Roller Derby Play) Nov. 11-20 in the Arena Theater of the MSU Auditorium Building. The play, written by…Read now »
2022 Faculty Award Winners Recognized for Outstanding Achievement
Published October 20, 2022 in College of Arts & Letters
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The College of Arts & Letters recognizes its 2022 Faculty Award winners for the work they do to enhance curriculum and student experiences. These four impactful leaders have shown outstanding…Read now »
MSU Department of Theatre Announces 2022-2023 Season
Published August 5, 2022 in College of Arts & Letters
Theatre Poster
Michigan State University’s Department of Theatre announces its 2022-2023 season, which focuses on the exploration and celebration of community.  “These scripts are intended to provoke…Read now »
Theatre Professor Serves as Assistant Fight Director for Broadway Production
Published June 15, 2022 in College of Arts & Letters
Alexis Black is always up for a good fight. And since February 2022, the Assistant Professor of Acting and Movement at Michigan State University has been choreographing stage combat for the…Read now »
Conversations with CAL – Innovations in Modern Choreography Intimacy for the Stage
Published May 11, 2021 in College of Arts & Letters
Alexis black video thumbnail Intimacy Directors and Coordinators (IDC) is an organization that pioneers the best practices for performed intimacy, simulated sex, and nudity for…Read now »
Innovative In-Person Theatre Class Amid COVID-19
Published March 18, 2021 in College of Arts & Letters
man doing a dance move with his arms out with a white spartan head and white words, "Invocative teaching amid a crisis" written on tip of the image
Pre-pandemic, “live and in-person” meant just that. Today, most “live and in-person” events take place via live stream and virtual platforms, which is especially challenging when it comes to…Read now »
MSU Theatre Department Launches First-Ever Actor Warm-Up Podcast
Published February 25, 2021 in College of Arts & Letters
woman on one side and a graphic on the other side
In conjunction with Digital Learning Day on February 25, the Michigan State University Department of Theatre MFA Acting cohort will launch a six-season podcast, entitled “The Moment Before: An…Read now »
CAL in the Classroom
Published November 16, 2020 in College of Arts & Letters Alumni and retired faculty and staff had the opportunity to attend a virtual event on November 7 where attendees got an insider’s look at the…Read now »
MSU Takes Academic Lead in Emerging Field of Intimacy Direction
Published June 3, 2020 in College of Arts & Letters
two actors being coached in an intimate scene
In 2018, the Huffington Post described intimacy directing as “an emerging field in which a small group of professionals are pushing to develop standards and procedures for scenes…Read now »
Department of Theatre Announces 2019-2020 Season
Published September 12, 2019 in College of Arts & Letters
Poster with white background. Theres an outline of a lightbulb with the words "Invention and Reinvention" written across it. There a few wooden puzzle pieces in the bottom right corner, a typewriter in the bottom left corner, and a clock in the upper lefthand corner
The Michigan State University Department of Theatre announces its 2019-2020 Season, which focuses on invention and reinvention, adaptations of…Read now »
Crystal Skillman Awarded Guest Playwright in Residence at MSU with Pulp Vérité
Published February 14, 2019 in College of Arts & Letters
woman wearing a white shirt with two buns looking at the camera
This month, Michigan State University is proud to welcome Crystal Skillman as a 2019 Guest Playwright in Residence for a week-and-a-half-long workshop on her new play Pulp…Read now »
Department of Theatre to Present Sexual Politics Series
Published November 6, 2018 in College of Arts & Letters
a blue ribbon
MSU’s Department of Theatre is proud to present its Sexual Politics Series, a unique and timely performance of published and ensemble-created works exploring how theatre, as an…Read now »
Department of Theatre Announces 2018-2019 Season
Published September 12, 2018 in College of Arts & Letters
Black and white graphic titled "Breaking Down Borders"
Michigan State University’s Department of Theatre is “Breaking Down Borders,” the theme of its 2018-2019 season, in which the department will present plays with meaning and…Read now »
College Welcomes 30 New Faculty and Staff Members
Published August 30, 2018 in College of Arts & Letters
brick building with a blue sky surrounded by trees
This year, the College of Arts & Letters welcomes 30 new faculty and staff members. They include the following:  Qais Assali Qais Assali, Visiting Assistant Professor and…Read now »