Eli hails from a small rural farming community in Northern Illinois called Winnebago. She grew up in a  town of unlocked doors, cornfields, and Take-Your-Tractor-to-School-Day. Feeling equally comfortable in a Princess Dress as she did in overalls, she always felt a bit out of place in Winnebago, however, and dreamt of exotic cities and skylines; yearning for a little less hay and a little more sparkle.

After discovering that she had a hearing loss at the age of 3, Eli underwent surgery to salvage what hearing remained in her one good ear. As a result, she had developed poor speech and was enrolled in speech classes. Eli found the teacher to be boring and elected not to learn anything from the classes. Instead her mother found a local high school drama teacher who would give private "acting lessons" in which she coached Eli on her diction and acting... but mostly her diction.  Eli fell in love and began acting all over Northern Illinois in professional and less professional settings (barns and old graineries were not uncommon).  

Eli began singing at age 11 and landed the title role in Oliver! Her love of musical theatre was born.

While studying at a college prep school where she studied French and Latin, eventually Eli yearned for a little less Minerva and a little more Dionysus and applied to the Interlochen Arts Academy boarding school in Northern Michigan. She was accepted with a large talent scholarship and attended Interlochen for her junior and senior year of high school.  At Interlochen, she studied singing, dance, and acting; landing leads in both musicals and plays alike.

After Interlochen Eli moved on to focus on acting at The Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University under the tutelage of Barbara Marchant and Kevin Kittle. Mason Gross affords the unique opportunity to study abroad for the entire junior year at Shakespeare's Globe in London under Tim Carroll. (Twelfth Night / Richard III Broadway) as well as the entire Globe faculty and staff.

After graduating Eli moved to New York City in the fall of 2013, after attending the Williamstown Theatre Festival apprenticeship on full scholarship. Since being in NY, Eli has worked with The Apothetae, The Lark, Less Than Rent, UglyRhino Productions, BAM, The Public, Playwright's Realm, The O'Neill Theater Center, UNICEF, and Barrington Stage Company. 

Eli loves working on both smart and silly stories as she embraces finding the vulnerability and humor of every character; believing everything should be a little bit funny and a little bit magical. 

Eli very much looks forward to her next adventure; joining the Yale School of Drama Class of 2020 to achieve her MFA in Acting. 

Links to Eli's Writing:

Growing Up in the Midwest: Let Me Tell You About My Heart

Audicus Blog About Hearing Loss