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Creating warm, saturated, and accessible performance spaces in NYC. Bringing audiences and artists together.


Our Mission

The Elif Collective develops new plays that test the boundary between audience and actor communication, while remaining committed to dramatic storytelling. Every night of an Elif performance is unique – made special by everyone who attended, and their interaction with the story.
Both our rehearsal processes and performances are inherently communal. Actors, directors, playwrights, and more work together to create our plays from their inception. We invite audience members to engage with us throughout a show's development. And our performances give everyone the chance to touch, taste, feel and alter the evening.

Our Values


You feel warm when you’re at home. Elif is committed to making our spaces a home for queer people and people of the Global Majority. This commitment includes not only outreach to queer and BIPOC community members, but also uplifting their stories in our new plays.


We can't expand live theater’s power to build community without opening the doors to everyone. Elif is committed to providing low-cost or free access to all our programming for community members in need.


We pack a punch. We love contrast – we throw in color, lights, music, blaring all at once, and then we display nothing at all. In a world rearing from ecological crises, we play at the connection between our bleak physical lives and our highly sensory digital ones.

Our Story

Elif debuted under the name Pale Fire Theater in late 2022 with a production of Waiting for Godot. At the time, we were a group of NYC students eager to make theater together after two years of isolation. Shockingly, we sold out all three nights of our limited run on the Upper West Side. Something was missing, though. We wanted to build our own plays from the ground up.

Why "Elif"?

Elif is the first letter of the Semitic writing systems used for languages like Arabic, Hebrew, Phoenician, Persian, Swahili, and Ladino. It's a unique letter that lacks its own inherent sound. Diacritic markings on top or below Elif modify its pronunciation.

Elif is our metaphor for collaborative practice. An original project–a story, dance, melody–is an Elif. Only through collaboration does that project come to life.
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