“Stealing Home is a superior cabaret that has layer upon layer of meaning wrapped up in it. It is warm, but it is also sharp, poignant, sad, dreary, hopeful, and joyous. . But Hemphill sings these songs in a way that lends new meaning to them. You will not hear these songs sung in just this way again – but you will wish you could.” – 2011 Alan Hall

” Archipelago’s projects can be exciting, outrageous…,introspective, all consuming…and always worth having taken the journey.” – Orla Swift, Raleigh N & O

“You go to some plays to watch. You go to Ellen Hemphill’s plays to experience.” – Miriam Sauls, NCAC Growers

“Snow,” the stunning 2000 [Archipelago] production, felt like an evening spent in the dizzying dream state of a person about to freeze to death.” – Orla Swift, Raleigh N & O

“With her Glenn Close looks and emotive voice, Hemphill is a seasoned performer whose emotional voice and wistful body language are all the enhancement the songs need…Stealing Home is .. a first-rate show.” – Zach Smith, 2011 Raleigh N & O

“Director Ellen Hemphill, one of the region’s true theatrical auteurs, combines these staging elements [of Torry Bend] with composer Allison Leyton-Brown’s similarly atmospheric score for a small ensemble and theremin to achieve a sharp, distinctive vision of Ibsen’s work” – Byron Woods, 2011 Indy Week

“Sigmund Freud is notorious for, among other things, asking the question, “What do women want?” The Archipelago Theater production of A New Fine Shame reminds us that some women of Freud’s time weren’t afraid to answer that question directly. But their ideas have been lost to history just the same.” – Maria Pramaggiore, Independent Weekly

“Archipelago stages this gripping work with telling imagery that reveals the real emotions behind the smiles and the terrible silences. Morris and Hemphill allow Rose (Williams) a voice.” – Bill Morrison, News & Observer, November 1998, on “Blue Roses”

“The imaginative and resourceful director, who routinely wows Triangle audiences with her Archipelago Theater productions, scores a triumph in here with a cast of student actors. Chambers, whose sinister set and wonderfully lurid costumes simply have to be seen to be believed, is also at the top of her game in this must-see collegiate presentation of The Trojan Women.” – 2004 Robert McDowell

“Eulogy for a Warrior” is an emotional bloodbath – angry, painful and never less than riveting. The hour long drama eventually becomes a reflection on the Vietnam experience. Hemphill is our premiere theater artist, who reaches her zenith with this play. Bill Morrison News and Observe” – Bill Morrison, News and Observer, May 1998, on “Eulogy for a Warrior”

“The actors’ versatility, agility and commitment to ensemble work (in “And Mary Wept” ) are apparent in the charged musical numbers. By turns energetic and lyrical, amusing and harrowing, such selections form the heart of the performance. During performances of traditional music from Sicily, Japan, Norway, Bulgaria, Africa, sometime in three and four part harmony, the levels of tension, emotion, and engagement among the audience increased palpably. The actors voices conveyed the haunting strains of lullabies and laments, in a variety of languages, becoming at points pure sound.” – Maria Pramaggiore, Independent Weekly 2001

“…one of the most satisfying theatrical experiences this reviewer has seen in years .” – Alan Hall, Chapel Hill News, April 1996, on “Those Women”

“Only rarely have I seen performances where all the elements were so tightly knitted into one artistic whole. All the components in “The Woman in the Attic”: the poetic language, the dramatic vignettes, the emotive dances, the series of images like a film, the music and songs, which are as well-ordered as a record album, are equally well-developed and complete in themselves, and all are equally necessary to the integrity of the piece. But perhaps the most remarkable thing about this work is that, although it has no narrative arc, it does have a fully developed dramatic arc. The Woman in the Attic by Archipelago Theatre is a remarkable achievement. Working theater, music, movement, and visual effects into a seamless mesh, this piece is a deeply satisfying hour and a half of performance art.” – 2004 Kate Ariel Dobbs

“Well, lets face it: There is nobody quite like Ellen Hemphill, the actress-director-producer-author who brings reason and rhyme to the world of avant-garde theater. She’s as intriguing as Jeanne Moreau’s voice and just as authentic” – Bill Morrison

“Legend has it that when the founders of this company prayed to the muse to give them a theater, the muse said ‘Only if you astonish me’. They did and have for the last several seasons.” – News and Observer

“Transformation is an irresistible subject for theater…auteur director Ellen Hemphill’s accomplished new work, Out of the Blue, is concerned with human transfiguration.” – Byron Woods, 2010 Independent Weekly