Ethelyn Friend | 303-245-4773

Associate Professor
Core Faculty


MFA Theater: Contemporary Performance - Core Faculty


MFA, Theater, Brandeis University
BA, Writing & Poetics, Naropa University

Ethelyn Friend, vocalist/actor/writer is a teaching member of the Roy Hart Theatre of France, (widely considered one the fullest existing authorities on the use of the human voice and its application to modern theatre), and a founding faculty member of Naropa University’s MFA in Contemporary Performance. She met the Roy Hart Theatre of France in 1991, a trained soprano and actress who had been warned "never to sing below middle C". The expansion of the literal and figurative range of the voice which followed profoundly revolutionized the course of her life artistically, physically, and spiritually. She was named a Roy Hart Teacher in 2005, after years of study with many of the original Roy Hart master teachers.

At Naropa, she has developed a two-year pedagogical arc for Masters students applying extended vocal work to both spoken texts and music. Areas of special interest include Shakespeare, new approaches to music-theatre, improvisation in performance, and creating bridges between the speaking and singing voice onstage.

Additional university teaching: Brandeis University, Bennington College, Cornish College of the Arts, Whitman College, University of Colorado-Boulder. She has been training prospective teachers in France at Malerargues in the Roy Hart Teacher Training Program since 2010. In her private practice she works with professional performers, as well as many who are exploring vocal possibilities for the first time.


  • 2010: Boulder Daily Camera, "Songs My Grandmothers Taught Me" Listed in Top Ten                               Theatre Productions of the Decade 2000-2010
  • 2009: Denver's Westword Award, Best Actress in a One Woman Show        
  • 2004: Boulder Arts Commission, Major Performing Arts Grant
  • 2003: Neodata Endowment Grant, Individual Artistic Project
  • 2004: Denver Post “Ovation Award” for Best Supporting Actress,
  • 2003: Westword’s “Best of Denver” for Best Supporting Actress
  • 2002: Denver Post “Ovation Award” for Best Actress, Comedy
  • 1999: Arts & Humanities Assembly of Boulder, Tesser Award
  • 1999: Boulder Arts Commission, Major Performing Arts Grant
  • 1997: Arts & Humanities Assembly of Boulder, Addison Grant
  • 1996: Boulder Arts Commission, Performing Arts Grant
  • 1990-91: Brandeis University, Theatre Arts Fellowship

Courses Taught

  • THR-602 Roy Hart Voice I: Introduction to Pedagogy and Practice
  • THR-652 Roy Hart Voice II: Application to Music
  • THR-702 Roy Hart Voice III: Extended Voice Approaches to Text
  • THR-752 Roy Hart Voice IV-A: Pedagogy Seminar
  • THR-752 Roy Hart Voice IV-B: Music-Theatre-The Extended Voice Meets the Musical Stage                                                 


Friend works regularly as a vocalist, actor and creator of original work. She was recently featured as Cassandra in an experimental aerial production of Troilus and Cressida Baryshnikov Arts Center in NYC, directed by Stephen Wangh with original music composed by Robert Een, and has been featured as an actor with Tectonic Theatre Company in new play development. She played the title role in the musical Calamity! based on the life of Calamity Jane, written and directed by Stephen Wangh,. She is also the creator of several critically acclaimed solo music-theatre productions including Songs My Grandmothers Taught Me,(Top Ten Theatre Shows of the Decade 2000-2010, Daily Camera), Someone Elses Dream, based on the music of songwriter Junior Burke, and More Than Daisy Dares, based on the Master Letters of Emily Dickinson. In regional theatre, she was most recently seen as the lead in Wit at Theatreworks, and in the Arvada Center productions of House of Blue Leaves and Les Miserables. Other credits include several summer seasons in leading roles with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival and Denver’s Curious Theatre.