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.