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Elle Thoni (they/them) is a queer 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, puppet & mask, and documentary theatre to create pieces that are as dynamic as the living systems they are inspired by.

Their plays include From the Ground Up (Rosa Parks Playwriting Award, Planet Earth Playwriting Award, and second place Mark Twain Award for Comic Playwriting - Kennedy Center), Monstrous, or, A Short Narrative on an Extraordinary Delivery of Rabbits (O'Neill Semifinalist, second place Paula Vogel Playwriting Award - Kennedy Center) and Queen B: A New Work of Honeybee Futurism (Minnesota State Arts Board Arts Tour Grantee, Franconia Sculpture Park). TAMARACK, their small town dramady TV pilot about critical mineral mining and green colonialism in Minnesota's Northland, was recently announced as the $25,000 winner of the CMU-Alfred P. Sloan Script Competition. They are currently working on a new musical called THE CO-OP WARS with composer Carlisle Evans-Peck.

Their work has been supported by the New Harmony Project, the Mid-America Theater Conference, the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (Minneapolis-St. Paul), Everwood Farmstead Foundation, the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, and the Network of Ensemble Theaters, among others. Commissions include In Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask Theatre, Walking Shadow Theater Company, and Northern They have taught and/or mentored students at Carnegie Mellon University, Augsburg University, and the Jungle Theater (Minneapolis).

From 2013-2015, Elle apprenticed with playwright Annabel Soutar of Porte Parole Productions (Tiotia:ke – Montréal, Québec) to help develop two freshwater-themed projects for the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto/Tkaronto. In 2017, Elle had the honor of serving as Assistant Curator for the Twin Cities’ annual Northern Spark Festival, animating 70+ public art projects across 7 neighborhoods of Minneapolis/St. Paul under the theme of Climate Chaos | People Rising. Elle has since written, created, and toured original ensemble works with their queer performance project Wild Conspiracy

Born and raised on Dakota homelands in Minneapolis, Elle is now enjoying getting lost in the foothills of Appalachia in Jaödeogë - Pittsburgh. They hold an M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from Carnegie Mellon University a B.A. in Theater for Social Change from Augsburg University. They are a proud member of the Dramatists Guild and an amateur beekeeper. 
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