Elaina Di Monaco is a director, dramaturg, producer, new work enthusiast, and active do-er of "all the things."
Elaina holds a BFA in Directing, Playwriting & Production from the University of the Arts. Around Philadelphia, she can be found directing, workshopping new plays, organizing lady-centric theatre events, hosting readings, freelancing to pay the bills and self-producing to feed her soul. She is a proud PlayPenn dramaturg having worked with James Ijames, Dominic Finocciaro, Jonathan Norton, Lena Barnard, Willie Holtzman, Andrea Stolowitz, and Susanne Bradbeer (among others!).
Elaina recently launched a producing collective: ON THE ROCKS– a collaboration with playwright Haygen-Brice Walker. OTR fulfills the section of Elaina's aesthetic that includes unconventional venues, late-night shows, fake blood, deconstructed horror, bubblegum-social-commentary with acute awareness, offensive characters, BYOB performances, and a lot of queer magic. Haygen-Brice writes, Elaina directs, a bunch of things happen in the middle and nobody remembers who did what, but everything gets done. These days, they've been getting a lot of recognition in the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, after completing The Dead Teenager Trilogy and earning the title of "fringe darlings" from the Broad Street Review.
Elaina is most passionate about developing and directing new work with local playwrights. When collaborating with playwrights, she is most interested in blunt, thoughtful feedback that challenges and pushes the piece towards the writer's ultimate vision. Her collective, ON THE ROCKS, hosts a monthly writer's group made up of Philadelphia playwrights Haygen-Brice Walker, Val Dunn, Jenny Ruymann, David Jacobi, Alisha Beth Adams, Hallie Martenson, Mitchell Bloom & R. Eric Thomas.
As a director, Elaina is grounded in storytelling and social responsibility. Her work is fast-paced, truthful and full of surprises. She is currently into “impossible” stage directions, rapid-fire dialogue, heightened worlds, queer narratives, and the terrifying human interactions that make our daily lives theatrical.
As a human, she loves her herb garden, reading books in coffee shops, the ocean, and margaritas. Elaina is also decidedly over the patriarchy, knows that Black Lives Matter, is uninterested in the gender binary, loves feminism, apologizes when she's wrong, values kindness, practices transparency, and disapproves of being interrupted during production meetings.