Friedland is an activist, teacher educator, writer and performer
specializing in integrating drama, Theatre of the Oppressed, and movement, into early childhood education, teacher education and professional development for educators. Ellie has a Ph.D. in Education and the Arts, and is a Clinical Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education in the BU Wheelock College of Education and Human Development, and also teaches for the BU School of Theatre.
She works with students and educators in teaching for social justice; anti-bias education, especially focused on gender and LGBTQ+ inclusion; and culturally, racially, and linguistically inclusive teaching and learning. Her work with Theatre of the Oppressed focuses on social justice in the US and Guatemala. Currently her primary theatre work is teaching Theatre of the Oppressed at BU and leading a Theatre of the Oppressed group at CEIPA, a not-for-profit organization that serves child laborers, in Quetzeltanango, Guatemala.
She is a past president of the international organization Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed. Ellie is co-editor of the book “Come Closer: Critical Perspectives on Theatre of the Oppressed, and 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.
Ellie studied and performed street clowning with the Cumeezi Bozo Ensemble in New York City; and then founded and led the Clown Jewels Clown Troupe in Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville.