ELISE MAURINE MILNER, CEO/Founder of Hanging Cow Productions is first a writer, then a producer and a director, occasionally an actress, always a comedienne, and lastly, a model... citizen that is! She began her humble creative endeavors in a small town in rural Nevada with a population of just 600 people. After conquering small town community theater production in high school and college, Elise went on to study writing, acting, theatre/TV production, and broadcasting for 3 years in San Francisco and for 5 years in Los Angeles. She has worked diligently and ambitiously in every aspect of the entertainment industry from performing on stage and on television and film, to being a disc jockey and news producer for KGLE/KPTL Radio (West Coast) and helped launch and develop a television pilot for Universal Studios, Hollywood. When she came to New York City in 1999, she joined a theater company where she helped develop and performed original works on stage. In 2000, she left that company and began writing and producing her own work full time under her newly founded Hanging Cow Productions. (for the story of how the name 'Hanging Cow' came about, see the drop down menu to the left! It is interesting!) Her first full scale Off Off Broadway holiday production, the "ButtCracker"produced in 2002 (and again in 2014 & 2015) was a smash hit, and this encouraged her to continue to write and produce full time, thus leaving the waitressing days LONG behind! Following the first 'ButtCracker' production, she then prolifically began writing/producing/directing audience interactive Off Broadway comedies in the 2000's, giving birth to 5 hilarious shows; "Who Killed Mama Souprano?" "Greased Lightning a 25 Year Comedy High School Reunion," "My Big Fat GEEK Wedding," "Hairy Plotter and the Murderous Stone," and "The Agagamy Award Show!"
Since 2011, Elise began writing traditional plays and musicals again. In 2014 she wrote/directed/produced "The Sixth Session" which opened and performed on Off Off Broadway at the Producer's Club to rave reviews! Then in August of 2015 she wrote/produced/directed the hit dramatic play titled "The Answers to Apathy," an edgy and spiritual story that deals with characters who are on the brink of self discovery, while navigating relationships and choices, all while presenting a BIG twist at the end... (this show being her favorite so far) and one of her BEST hits with audiences in the dramatic genre, received critical acclaim from Yony award winning Broadway producer Hug Hayes who called Elise "the real deal" and compared her to esteemed playwright Beth Henley (Crimes of the Heart.) In 2016, Elise took on her biggest challenge yet when she decided to try her luck at writing songs and an all original, brand new MUSICAL called "12 Steps!" about addiction and recovery. Elise has a way of taking serious subjects and making light of them while still delivering a powerful message, both in song and in dialogue. Her musical '12 Steps' played to sold out crowds for 9 shows in September of 2016 in an off broadway house on 54th Street in NYC and she is now working toward getting the show on a national tour! In May & December of 2017 Elise produced her 11th original play "Angels Among Us," about characters discovering terrible life changing events that eventually evolved their lives for the better at the American Theater for Actors. Her 12th play "All About Infidelity," is set to hit the stage sometime in late 2018.
Elise is completely self made and started her company with 22 cents in the bank, and with no investors or trust funds. She personally raises the funds for each and every one of her productions she produces. She is self taught in graphic and web design and many other theatrical business skills so she could live her dream on a minimal budget! (she even built this website!) From rags to ramen and to one day riches, Elise is a true inspiration and community business leader who's passion and drive is unmatched by most, yet she is humbled and SOO grateful for every step and every person she has encountered along the way to help make her art a success!
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Elise has now produced and directed over 250 theatrical shows from coast to coast, and has also been called "the NEW Neil LaBute!" She is currently licening her shows to theaters and entertainment venues for national and international productions while she currently continues to write NEW and original works for theatre, film, and television. She strives to create material that will be both thought provoking, entertaining, and always with a deeper message, whether through comedy or serious subjects.
Why the affection for livestock? Elise has also been an accomplished, 4-H leader and professional horsewoman since the age of 14, having ridden, trained, & shown horses for over 20 years in English & Western riding, jumping, and equitation. In her spare time she enjoys travel abroad, skiing, ice skating, horseback riding, paranormal investigating, her friends and family, spirituality, and collecting 80's memorabilia. She works and resides in Manhattan, New York City with her husband Chris Berlino and her beloved pets.