towards wild futures.
Elle Thoni (they/them) is a femmebeast playwright, performance-maker, and public artist returning to relationship in this time of Great Unraveling. A lifelong student of myth, Elle’s performance works investigate how our sense of belonging, identity, and loss are changing with our climate. Their plays are odes to emergent ecologies, wherein humans are but one of the actors in a much larger drama. Elle draws from a divergent background in ensemble-devised performance, poetry, puppet & mask, and documentary theatre to create pieces that are as dynamic as the living systems they are inspired by.
From Queen B: A New Work of Honeybee Futurism, co-presented by Wild Conspiracy (artist's company) and Tamales y Bicicletas Urban Farm on Dahkóta land in South Minneapolis. Photo credit: Maxwell Collyard. Performers (clockwise from left) Lelis Brito, Or Levinson, Ricky Morisseau
FULL LENGTH WORKS
Monstrous, or A Short Narrative on an Extraordinary Birth of Rabbits
11-20 actors, 90-110 min play
Mary's search for an abortion provider lands them in 1720s England, where they pass as Mary Toft, a historical figure notorious for giving birth to rabbits. A queer exploration of rage in the post-Roe era, Monstrous confronts government control over bodily autonomy with absurdity and magic.
Queen B: A New Work of Honeybee Futurism
6-8 actors, 90-120 min musical
book by Elle Thoni, music by Dameun Strange & Carlisle Evans-Peck
102 years into the future, cities have sealed themselves under holographic domes to protect themselves from the inhospitable climate. Yet, when the robo-bee population begins to die off like their honeymaking ancestors, the fate of this new society rests upon the fading memories of the last living beekeeper, a (former?) revolutionary who goes by the name Queen B.
Bestiary of Rogues
6-8 actors, 70-90 min play
After a fatal fire at communal house in South Minneapolis, a band of urban animals come together to tell the story of what happened - or is it? Part documentary theatre and part punk folklore, Bestiary of Rogues sifts through the wreckage to find the difference between between fact and truth with tremendous heart.
Woolly: A de-extinction play
6-8 actors, 70-90 min play
Woolly is a play about the science of de-extinction and the liminal space between hope and heartbreak. As evolutionary biologist Dr. Robin Slater prepares for her Ted Talk, she and members of her family find themselves disappearing into the so-called "tundra" of their anxious imagination. When - and how - will they be able to find their way back to the present time and moment? Unapologetically weaving together fantasy, science, and documentary, Woolly asks the question: "how much can we stand to loose - and is there any way we can regain it?"
3 actors, 10 min play
Welcome to the first wilderness park on the moon. The first bear is scheduled to arrive on the next shuttle. How will two clueless first-generation "Moonies" make a suitable habitat for her? A sci-fi comedy about so-called "nature."
The First Whale
2 actors, 10 min play
Natural history gets a redux in this queer retelling of the evolution of the whale from a land to sea mammal.
Please visit me on New Play Exchange for select scripts.
For inquiries, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
"Thoni's dramatic voice is laden with a super power. That power is to make you fall in love with plant and animal characters in a magical way. You'll become invested in the flora and fauna, crave their happy endings, and adore them for the beautiful living breathing entities that they are."
Gretchen Suárez-Peña, Playwright
This page is still being built. Please visit my company site Wild Conspiracy to view recent major works.
From Saber, MN, Wild Conspiracy, 2020. Photo credit: Maxwell Collyard.
work with me
Do you have an idea but aren't sure where to start? Are you looking to present your work in a new or non-traditional way? Do you want feedback on something that already exists on the page? Let me support with my 10+ years of experience in writing for performance, cross-sector public art production, teaching & facilitation, and artist support. I've had the joy of working with artists, scientists, activists, policy advocates, farmers, and small business owners to bring boundary-expanding projects to life.
From Seeds to Movements: Feminist Leadership in Climate Justice, Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, March 3, 2020. Photo credit: Bruce Silcox.
film & tv
previous: Walking Shadow Theater Company, Northern Lights.mn, Center for Arts and Society at Carnegie Mellon University
~ sample scripts upon request ~
previous: Carnegie Mellon University, Augsburg University, Byron Public Schools (Byron, MN), Jungle Theater (Minneapolis, MN), SteppingStone Theatre for Youth (St. Paul, MN)
~ sample syllabi upon request ~
conference panel speaker
previous: University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Forecast Public Art
creative writing consultation
public art consultation
previous: Twin Cities Media Alliance, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask Theatre, Open Flame Theater
previous: Teatro del Pueblo, Northern Lights.mn, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask Theatre, Upstream Arts
~ samples upon request ~
Please get in touch with me for a quote.
I am sometimes able to offer sliding scale fees, particularly to prospective clients with marginalized identities.