playwright // performance maker // public artist // arts organizer

You belong to joy, dear creature

Recent Posts

Woolly

Woolly

ROBIN: Once upon a time SAMMY: No That’s not how you tell it ROBIN: OK How do I tell it? SAMMY: You say ‘A very long time ago’ ROBIN: That’s right Because it’s not a fairy tale SAMMY: No its completely real —— Robin Slater […]

Queen B: a new work of honeybee futurism

Queen B: a new work of honeybee futurism

  ALONE WE SURVIVE  <<>>  BUT TOGETHER WE THRIVE   The year is 2121. Honeybees are now extinct. Now the only hives are the ones that humans have built for themselves. It’s not the next revolution – it’s the one after. 102 years into the […]

Aquanesia

Aquanesia

It’s the year 2120, and the climate is hot, wet, and volatile. Temperatures have risen–and so have the flood waters. Public infrastructure has been overwhelmed by storms, which are frequent and extreme. Water, while abundant, is often not clean enough to drink or swim in. Despite all of this (or perhaps because of it) our city’s residents remain active and optimistic. With disaster as their common bond, we rise to the challenge of keeping their cherished city above water.

Lately, however, neighbors have been having trouble with their memory. After each storm, murmurs of “aquanesia” circulate as more folks seem dazed, disoriented, and forgetful. What is this mysterious aquanesia? Can you find a cure before you too forget?

Aquanesia is a live, outdoor adventure game set 102 years in the future. Players test their skills at different watershed-based activities to decipher a set of clues, which will help them unlock the mystery of how and why people are losing their memories of the past century. Aquanesia gets families and friends outside to play, learn, and reconnect with their watershed. 

 

Click here to visit the Aquanesia website.

Click here to view more Aquanesia photos on Flickr.

 

Aquanesia is a project of Northern Lights.mn that toured to Grand Rapids, MN Sept 29th-30th and Rochester, MN Oct 6-7th 2018.

Want to bring Aquanesia to your city? Email steve@northern.lights.mn

 

Game Designer: Kim Loken

Art Direction: Donald Thomas

Playwright and Performance Director: Elle Thoni

Modern Anxiety Goes to the Beach

Modern Anxiety Goes to the Beach

Modern Anxiety Goes to the Beach is new performance work that uses the tragicomic world of clown to explore how our own inner chaos mirrors the greater climate chaos. Modern Anxiety is a genderqueer antihero who is just trying to have a relaxing afternoon at the […]

Lost Lake

Lost Lake

Lost Lake is a freshwater fable told through the poetry of mask performance. A Traveller journeys to Lost Lake to reunite with a long lost friend, only to discover that the lake itself has vanished. As the Traveller searches for the truth behind this transformed landscape, […]

Keke the Mammoth

Keke the Mammoth

Thousands of years after her extinction, Keke the Woolly Mammoth has returned to her former stomping grounds to attend public demonstrations abou. By doing so, she hopes to bring greater visibility to the plight of so many non-human species on this planet who are under massive threat due to the impacts of human-caused climate change. Keke implores all humans – regardless of their political affiliation – to listen to the truthful science that will help them keep their only companions on Earth: animals and plants.

Keke is a large puppet built 90% to scale of a real woolly mammoth, conceptualized by Elle Thoni as a companion project the full-length play Woolly, designed by Christopher Lutter-Gardella of Puppet Farm Arts, fabricated by Alison Heimstead, and operated by a full team known simply as the “Woolly Crew.” Keke’s presence in public space serves as both a warning from the past and a call to the future. As arguably the first human-caused extinction, woolly mammoths represent all that we have to lose in the Age of the Anthropocene. Species are going extinct at an alarming rate, to the point where some scientists fear that we have triggered the “sixth mass extinction” in the history of this planet. Yet, woolly mammoths are also a symbol of all that we have to gain by reuniting our human fate with the fate of all other life on Earth. We are not alone on this planet yet, and Keke is a playful reminder that we don’t have to be if we are committed to valuing everyone who’s already here.

Keke is passionate about connecting social justice movements to work in coalition towards the liberation of all marginalized beings. Keke is a non-binary mammoth. She was named after Keke Collier, a 24-year-old trans woman who was murdered in Chicago on February 21st, 2017. Keke’s cause is more than just political; it is cultural. The Woolly Crew believes that together we can build the world we want to live in: a world where both science and art are seen as essential to happy and healthy lives. Collectively, our efforts can make a mammoth impact.

Special thanks to The Awesome Foundation – Twin Cities for funding Keke’s creation.

You can connect with Keke on Facebook.

Do you want Keke at your event? Please contact me!

WOOLLY CREW

Elle Thoni – Conceptor, organizer

Christopher Lutter-Gardella – Designer

Alison Heimstead – Lead fabricator

Eric Hofstead, Allison Osberg, Silas Leasman, Nora Rickey, Beck Rusley, Andrew Young – Assistant fabricators, puppeteers

 

 

Words for Winter

Words for Winter

Words by local artists and poets take over Nicollet Mall January 30 – February 5, 2017 as part of inaugural Great Northern festival in the Twin Cities. Presented by Northern Lights.mn, Words for Winter by 17 local poets make us think about this defining season of the […]

The Water Shed

The Water Shed

The Water Shed is a live art installation that curates unique and personal conversations with Water. The idea for the installation came after two years of research by Porte Parole Productions, Montréal’s documentary theatre company. Collecting interviews for a play about fresh water led us […]

La maison de la lumière

La maison de la lumière

This two-person puppet shanty explores our dependance to oil through the romantic lens of whaling lore. In this mythic world, lighthouses are really fishermen’s wives and the whales are made out of plastic garbage.

Collaborators: Jeanne D-L, Sean Kropveld

Performed at:

Mache-Puppet II, Cafe Touski (Montréal), May 30th 2015

Cafe Concret 21, La Vitrola (Montréal), June 22nd, 2015

Bread and Puppet (Glover, Vermont), August 9th, 2015

you are (t)here

you are (t)here

“If you want to go There, you will have trouble finding it on a map The There-ians occupy space and time in very different ways they take “There time” “There time” is time spent walking slowly or sitting quietly in the kitchen or writing a […]