Charles G. Baldwin is the Program Officer for the Mass Cultural Council’s Universal Participation (UP) Initiative, which provides resources for organizations seeking to develop inclusive and equitable tools for policy development and community engagement. For 15 years Charles was the Director of Marketing and Operations at Wheelock Family Theatre, a professional, Equity theatre in Boston committed to affordable, colorful, accessible theatre for children and families. He serves on the Executive Committee of CANE (Cultural Access New England) and is an active participant in the Kennedy Center’s LEAD Conference (Leadership Exchange for Arts and Disability). Charles was a founding member of TAMA (Theatre Artists Marketing Alliance) and CBACT (Consortium of Boston Area Children’s Theatres) and has been a consultant to The Accessible Theater (2012-2015) and the Fenway Alliance Disability Review Board (2008-2010). Currently he serves on the Disability Task Force (Jewish Family and Children’s Services) and the ReelAbilities Boston Advisory Panel. Out of the office, Charles is an educator, illustrator, stage designer, and puppeteer.
Dr. David Chard
David J. Chard, Ph.D., became Dean ad interim of Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development on June 1, 2018. He was previously President of Wheelock College before its merger with Boston University. Prior to that, Dr. Chard served as Dean of the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University (SMU), where he created a strategic vision focused on undergraduate and graduate programs built on evidence-based practices.
Dr. Chard holds a Ph.D. in special education from the University of Oregon and a B.S. degree in mathematics and chemistry education from Central Michigan University. He has held faculty positions at Boston University, the University of Texas at Austin and served as associate dean in the College of Education at the University of Oregon. At Oregon, he oversaw curriculum and academic programs in the College of Education.
A frequent presenter at national and international education conferences, Dr. Chard has taught courses on behavior management, special education reading and writing, learning disabilities, and special education law. He has served on more than 30 doctoral dissertation committees in special education, communication disorders and sciences, literacy and language, school psychology, and cognitive psychology.
In October of 2011, Dr. Chard was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve on the Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Sciences (NBES). He was confirmed in 2012 by the U.S. Senate and was elected chair of the board in 2013.
I have been associated with WFT since 1982 mostly in the recurring role of Assistant to the Director. In my other life, I taught 3&4 year olds in a nursery school in Boston for 47 years. Some of my former students have even been on the WFT stage! I am thrilled to be working on Little Women with Nick, Jon, Laurel, and all the rest if the talented cast and crew.
Ellie Friedland, Ph.D. is Associate Professor in Early Childhood Education at the Boston University Wheelock College of Education and Human Development and has been a teaching artist for the Wheelock Family Theatre for twenty years. As a teaching artist for the Wheelock Family Theatre she leads workshops for teens and adults in Theatre of the Oppressed and clowning. She is a practitioner of Theatre of the Oppressed, and her book “Come Closer: Critical Perspectives on Theatre of the Oppressed” was published in 2011. Her chapter “Image Theatre as Reflective Practice in Teacher Education” was published in Warren Linds and Elinor Vittrano’s book Playing in a House of Mirrors: Applied Theatre as Reflective Practice in 2015.
Ellie studied and trained with Augusto Boal, the originator of Theatre of the Oppressed, and with Allen Schoer of The Actors Institute, in New York and Boston. She is a past secretary and past president of Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed, and has presented at every Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed annual international conference since 2003.
Ellie integrates her background in theatre in her teaching in early childhood education and in her professional development work with teachers. At Wheelock College she taught Clowning for Social Change and Education and Theatre for Social Change, as well as other theatre courses. Ellie frequently presents at state, national and international conferences and provides professional development for early childhood education professionals on anti-bias education, integrating drama and movement throughout the curriculum, and creating welcoming environments for LGBTQ families and staff and for children with gender expansive behavior. She does Theatre of the Oppressed and professional development for teachers in Guatemala, with the Safe Passage program, an enrichment program for children and families who live and work in the Guatemala City Dump, with UPAVIM (United for a Better Life) a women’s collective in Guatemala City, and with CEIPA, a not-for-profit organization in Quetzeltanango that educates and advocates for child laborers.
Eric Hermanson is an attorney and a partner at the Boston office of White and Williams LLC. He lives in Cambridge and is an active supporter of the arts.
Susan Kosoff is a theatre director, playwright, author, and professor emerita at Wheelock College. She is a founder of the Harwich Winter Theatre and the Wheelock Family Theatre, and takes pride in its reputation for ground-breaking work in nontraditional casting, arts access, and theatre education. Ms. Kosoff’s plays have been performed on stages around the country. Her most recent publication is the two-volume set, The Young Actor’s Book of Improvisation: Dramatic Situations from Shakespeare to Spielberg, co-written with Sandra Caruso. She serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board for Boston University’s Wheelock College of Education and Human Development, and is a member of the boards of StageSource, Cape Cod Theatre Company/Harwich Junior Theatre, and Wheelock Family Theatre.
A Chicago native, Myran Parker-Brass is a music educator, administrator, consultant and professional musician with thirty years experience providing access to quality arts and education. In 2009, Myran joined the Boston Public Schools (BPS) as Executive Director for the Arts providing strategic vision and systemically building and deepening arts education focused on quality, equity and access for all students. The BPS arts expansion and collective impact strategies are national models for urban school districts. Before joining BPS, Myran was Director of Education for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, in her twenty year tenure she developed model programs to support arts education for all Massachusetts communities. Myran also served as Chair of Experiential Education at Longy School of Music, developing the graduate teaching artist training program. Myran has extensive experience as a strategic and cultural planning consultant and serves on the board of the National Guild for Community Arts Education, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Landmark Orchestra and the Arts Education Council for Americans For The Arts. In 2014 Myran received the Excellence in Arts Education Award from Massachusetts College of Art and Design and in 2016 was selected as a member of Education Week’s class of “Leaders to Learn From”.
Jane Staab is a founder of the Wheelock Family Theatre and the Harwich Winter Theatre. She was Business Manager, Casting Director and Actor Coach at both Theatres as well as resident AEA Actor, Director, Composer and Playwright. Her acting credits include a National tour of Lovers with Art Carney, Broadway production of Prince of Homburg with Frank Langella and several roles with the NJ and CA Shakespeare Companies. She taught Public Speaking and various Theatre courses at Wheelock College for 33 years. She continues her Teaching, Directing and Acting at Cape Cod Theatre Company/Harwich Junior Theatre. Her belief that ‘Live Theatre Transforms Lives’ has inspired her work with young people and adults for over 50 years.
Dr. Harvey Young
Harvey Young’s research on the performance and experience of race has been widely published in academic journals, profiled in the New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal and the Chronicle of Higher Education. As a commentator on popular culture, he has appeared on CNN, 20/20, and Good Morning America as well as within the pages of the New York Times,Vanity Fair and People.
He has published seven books, including Embodying Black Experience, winner of “Book of the Year” awards from the National Communication Association and the American Society for Theatre Research and, most recently, Black Theater is Black Life: An Oral History of Chicago Theater (coauthored with Mecca Zabriskie).
In January 2018, he became Dean of the College of Fine Arts at Boston University. Between 2002 and 2017, Dr. Young was a member of the faculty of Northwestern University, where he was also Professor and Chair of Theatre.
He is the current President of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education and has served on the boards of numerous arts and educational organizations, including the African American Arts Alliance of Chicago, Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, Wheelock Family Theatre (Boston) and the Yale Club of Chicago among others. A former Harvard and Stanford fellow, Dr. Young graduated with honors from Yale and holds a M.A. from the University at Buffalo (SUNY) and a Ph.D. from Cornell.