Born and raised in New York, Elana Mirella Mariani is an enthusiastic, curious, and ambitious multi-hyphenate artist. Her work directly reflects her own experiences and the experiences of those whose voices have long been diminished through oppressive systems in our society. Elana strives to create accessible theatre for everyone by incorporating many of her widely-varied skills and interests in her work; she often finds the driving principles of her art to center around themes of political activism and social criticism, and her work has been described by many as articulate, truthful, and evocative.
Working with collaborators at Off-Broadway, regional, and developmental houses in the north east including New York Stage and Film at Vassar’s Powerhouse Theater, National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, and The Civilians, Elana holds an immense and deep love for new works and classics, alike. As a musical theatre creator and director, she highly values music as a storytelling device to further develop characters’ thoughts, feelings, and actions, and works towards creating narrative-driven experiences for audiences to connect to in a variety of ways.
Elana trained and competed internationally as a figure skater on Team USA through the end of her high school education; her creative nature and self-motivation are ever-present in her artistic processes as a result of this. Elana brings the attention to detail, focus, and musicality that she developed as an elite athlete straight from the ice into the rehearsal room. With a strong background and understanding of the power of storytelling through performance both conventional and unconventional, Elana works to bring life to stories through new, innovative, and under-explored avenues.
While her primary area of artistic expression lies in theatre, Elana can be seen in a variety of TV/Film works as a performer, including Amazon Prime’s "Mozart in The Jungle" and "Bel Canto" as a violinist, and in the 2018 Official Olympics Commercial as a figure skater. She also loves composing music and writing for video games, and hopes to do more of this in the future since participating in several game jams in the past year.
Elana has volunteered with several political campaigns including those of Hillary Clinton, Tom Wolf, Elizabeth Warren, Jaime Harrison, and Mondaire Jones, and has become increasingly more passionate about working to elect young progressive leaders to local, state, and federal government positions.
A graduate of the University of The Arts in Philadelphia, PA, Elana received her BFA in Directing, Playwriting, and Production (focus in Directing) with a minor in Music at the end of the Fall 2020 semester. Though Elana recently completed her undergraduate degree program, she remains eager for new challenges and continues to actively seeks opportunities to learn and grow.