People - Educational Theatre

Dana Edell

Dana Edell, PhD, is the co-founder and executive director of viBe Theater Experience, a nonprofit performing arts education organization that offers free after-school arts programs to underserved teenage girls in New York City. Since 2002, Dana has produced and co-directed more than 50 plays, 6 CDs of original music and 3 radio episodes all written and performed by girls. She has over 15 years of experience as a teacher and leader in arts and advocacy programs with teenage girls. Before moving to New York City, she co-founded and directed Inside/Out Performing Arts, a theater-making program for girls affected by the juvenile justice system in San Francisco and directed the SF Running Crew, a technical theater job-training program for low-income youth at Brava! For Women in the Arts. She was a theater artist-in-residence in NYC public elementary and middle schools.

Dana has published “Girl Uninterrupted: Using Interactive Voice Diaries as a New Girls’ Studies Research Method,” in Difficult Dialogues About 21st Century Girls (forthcoming), "Poetry of Desire: Teenage Girls Challenge the 'Dilemma' and Write about Sexuality," in Reflections Journal, "World Savvy: Mapping a Creative Path to Global Education," "Transcending Words: Dance for Tolerance," "Ripples of the Fourth Wave: New York's viBePoetry" in Community Arts Network and her dissertation, “Say It How It Is”: Urban Teenage Girls Challenge and Perpetuate Cultural Narratives through Writing and Performing Theatre. 

Dana’s work with teenage girls has been the focus of articles in the Village Voice, Sadie Magazine, Time Out New York, Womens eNews and has been profiled in Ruth Nicole Brown’s Black Girlhood Celebration: Towards a Hip-Hop Feminist Pedagogy, and Arlene Goldbard’s New Creative Community: The Art of Cultural Development. She was selected as a featured artist for a MADE HERE documentary about the lives and work of New York City artists, to be released in March 2011.

Dana teaches “Power Plays: Politics, Theatre and Social Change” and “Theatre in Education and the Community” as an adjunct assistant professor at Manhattan Marymount College and “Narrating the Self: Female Solo Performance” with the Bard College Prison Initiative at Bayview Women's Prison. She has also led theater for social change workshops with MFA students at Columbia University. She has a BA with honors in Classics/Ancient Greek from Brown University, an MFA in Theater Directing from Columbia University and a PhD in Educational Theatre from NYU Steinhardt.