Elle Thoni

Dramatic Writer
Class of 2024


Elle Thoni (they/them) is a queer femmebeast playwright and public artist from the banks of the Mississippi River on Dakhóta land (currently Minneapolis, MN). In search of wildness amidst this great unraveling, they write plays about shapeshifters, emergent ecologies, and unlikely kinship. Drawing from a divergent background in ensemble-devised performance, large-scale street puppetry, and documentary theater, Elle creates pieces that are as lush and dynamic as the living systems they are inspired by. Their work is often created in conversation with scientists, community knowledge holders, and changemakers of all stripes.

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 joy 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 outdoor 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. They’ve been a finalist for the Jerome Fellowship in Playwriting from The Playwrights’ Center, and a semi-finalist for the Princess Grace Playwriting Award and are a current semi-finalist for the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. Their work has been supported by the New Harmony Project, Everwood Farmstead, 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, Northern Lights.mn, and Walking Shadow Theater Company. 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 keep bees, and vice versa. ellethoni.com

Work Samples

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