Elaine Bayer Funk, 54, an educator and psychodramatist, died Saturday at the Diplomat Hotel in Washington. The cause of death has not been determined pending results of chemical tests being conducted by the D.C. Medical Examiner.
Mrs. Funk, who lived in Bowie, Md., has been associate professor of theater and communications at Bowie State College since 1968.
Recently she was named coordinator of all communications and theater at the college. Earlier, she served as chairman of the speech and theater department and as director of drama.
Born in Winthrop, Mass., Mrs. Funk was a member of the Women's Army Corps in World War II, serving in England, France and Belgium with the staff of the Air Inspector General of the 9th Tactical Army Air Force.
After the war, she earned a bachelor's degree from New York University. During that period, she also was cofounder of the Greenwish Mews Playhouse Theater in New York City, one of the original off-Broadway theaters.
Before coming to the Washington area in 1958, Mrs Funk was a production secretary to theatrical producer Irene Selznick, a confidential secretary to former Sen. Herbert Lehman (D-N.Y.) and a director with the Woodstock Playhouse in New York and the Pueblo Players in Tuscon, Ariz.
After coming here, she was cofounder of the Washington Theater Club and was director there until 1974.
Mrs. Funk took graduate work in drama and was a teaching assistant at Catholic University in 1960-62. Later she was a teaching assistant and then instructor at the University of Maryland, where she received a master's degree in 1968.
She graduated from the Moreno Institute of Psychodrama in Beacon, N.Y., in 1975 and was a certified director of psychodrama, sociometry and group therapy.
Mrs. Funk who had acted in a number of plays as well as serving as a director, had given numerous demonstrations of psychodramatic techniques at national conventions and conferences in recent years.
She was a member of the American Theater Association, which designated her a "master teacher." In 1970. she was named "Outstanding Woman of the Year" by the Association of Business and Professional Women in Bowie.
Mrs. Funk also belonged to the American Society of Adlerian Psychology, the Individual Psychology Association, the International Association of Group Psychotherapy and the American Society of Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama.
She is survived by her husband, Sherman Funk, a daughter, Kathrine, and a son, Bernard, all of the home in Bowie, and a brother, Harmon Bayer, of Birmingham, Mich.
The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the National Theater of the Deaf in Waterford, Conn.