Theatre Department

Faculty & Staff

Elliot Leffler

leffler1.jpgDirecting, Devising, Improvisation, Theatre History, South African performance, Performance & Activism, Theatre of the Oppressed.
BA 2002 Northwestern University
MA 2008 University of Cape Town
PhD 2014 University of Minnesota
Reed College 2014-.
(503) 517-5134 | | Website

Elliot Leffler is a scholar, director, performer, and facilitator of socially-engaged theatre projects. In his research and in the creative projects he leads, Elliot primarily explores how theatre can be used as a catalyst for intercultural and interfaith dialogue. He has led theatre projects with white, black, and coloured South Africans, with Jews and Palestinians in Israel, with Kurdish and Arab Iraqis, with urban US high school students, and with racially-diverse houses of worship. These creative and scholarly projects frequently take Elliot away from traditional theatre spaces: he has worked in summer camps, prisons, rural villages, and urban high schools. However, he has also worked closely with many prominent theatre companies, including Sojourn Theatre and Portland Playhouse (in Portland), Theatre J (in Washington DC), Magnet Theatre (in Cape Town, South Africa), and Lifeline Theatre (in Chicago).

He frequently presents at national and international conferences, and has published in TDR: The Drama Review, Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre, and Theatre Topics. His chapter, "Bursting the Bubble of Play: Making Space for Intercultural Dialogue," will soon appear in Megan Lewis's and Anton Krueger's book, Magnet Theatre: Three Decades of Making Space. He has won several awards, including a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship and a Dorot Fellowship. His teaching interests include acting, directing, devising, improvisation, 20th century South African theatre, performance of religion, and Theatre of the Oppressed.