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about

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, puppet & mask, and documentary theatre to create pieces that are as dynamic as the living systems they are inspired by.

F
rom 2013-2015, they 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, best known for their original honeybee futurist musical Queen B.

They are the recipient of the Rosa Parks Playwriting Award, second place Paula Vogel Playwriting Award and Mark Twain Comic Playwriting Award, and a Planet Earth Playwriting Award from the Kennedy Center, a finalist for the Jerome Fellowship in Playwriting from The Playwrights’ Center, and a semi-finalist for the Princess Grace Playwriting Award. 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), the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, and the Network of Ensemble Theaters, among others, and has been commissioned by In the Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask Theatre, Walking Shadow Theater Company, and Northern Lights.mn. 


Born and raised on Dahkóta homelands in Minneapolis, Elle is a 2024 MFA Dramatic Writing candidate at Carnegie Mellon University (Jaödeogë - Pittsburgh) as well as a proud member of the Dramatists Guild. They love the Mississippi River, and other movements of water and people. 

Elle with white pine on Anishinaabe land.

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