Eli Nixon builds portals and gives guided tours to places that don’t yet exist, or already exist but call for imaginative intervention and DIY translation.
They are a settler-descended genderqueer clown, a cardboard constructionist, and a maker of plays, puppets, parades, pageants, suitcase theaters, and low-tech spectaculah- on their own, and in collaboration with people of all ages, abilities and persuasions. Their performances and installations occur on street corners and stages.
For 20 years Eli has also been concocting theater and puppets with schools, senior centers, and addiction recovery and mental health programs. Eli’s current creative efforts include identifying opportunities to dismantle Manifest Destiny, foster intra and interspecies kinship, probe the ethics, perils and possibilities of anthropomorphization, and co-parent a10 year old human.
Eli is from Rhode Island and is currently based there and in New York City (both!). Eli has an MFA in Writing for Performance from Brown University (2018), an MFA in Interdisciplinary Art from Goddard College (2009) and a BA in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic (1999). They are a founder and co-facilitator of the Anti-Racism Working Group for White Parents at The Gordon School and a member of Art Equity’s 2019 cohort of artist-activists. They are a Coastal Institute Fellow, an Audrey Resident at New Georges Theater and a member of their theater-maker’s group, The Jam.
Some places they’ve shared their work include St. Anne’s Warehouse, HERE, Philadelphia Live Arts, First Person Arts, Philly & Providence Fringe Fests, Pvd Queer Arts Fest, AS220, Andorra International Festival of Women Clowns, The Gabfestry for Creative Dissent, and The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics Encuentro. Their work has been supported by The Independence Foundation, Leeway Foundation, Pew History & Performance Incubator, SPACE on Ryder Farm, HewnOaks Artist Residency, RI State Council on the Arts and The Manitoulin Conservatory for Creation and Performance. Eli has worked with Pig Iron Theater, Bread & Puppet, Spiral Q, and New Urban Arts.
Eli resides as a visitor on Lenape, Pequot, Nipmuc, Niantic, Narragansett, and Wampanoag land.
Reach Eli at: email@example.com or 215-779-8553
Past Work: Eli used to use the name Beth. Their past work is peruse-able at their abandoned website: www.ramshackleenterprises.net
Photo credit (above): Karey Kenst
Photo credit (below): Aarav Sundaresh