Award-winning playwright Emma Goldman-Sherman creates timeless yet relevant, feminist work that engages on multiple levels to heal what our culture denies.
Emma’s first memory of live theatre was Peter Pan at Philadelphia’s Playhouse in the Park in the round. At age five, this was life-changing – to be able to help save Tinker Bell with collective applause. She is compelled by the power of theatre to confer healing and agency on audiences.
Emma tries to create timeless yet relevant, queer, feminist work that engages on multiple levels. She builds from her own experience as a trauma survivor w/chronic illness, a parent and citizen of the world. She has documented human rights abuses and writes as if female experience matters. Rarely naturalistic her work is inspired by visual artists and philosophers. She uses myth (making new/deconstructing known), metaphor, and language/ composition. She expects a strong collaborative approach. Though she’s broken the 4th wall, these days she’s extending the 4th wall to include the audience in new ways.
Produced on 5 continents, her work has been seen at Golden Thread, WP Theatre, New Georges, UNESCO’s City of Literature Festival in Dunedin (NZ), EST/LA, Dixon Place, The Philadelphia Women’s Theatre Festival, The New Ohio, Manhattan Theatre Source, All Out Arts at CSV, Circle Rep Lab, Guild Hall, New Circle Theatre Co, The Bernie Wohl Center, The Chain, Capital Fringe, Alumnae Theatre Toronto, Short + Sweet Gold Coast and Sydney (AU), Seoul, Sasebo, Renegade N.O.W. Festival, The Loft at Marble Collegiate Church, Astoria First Presbyterian’s Brown Tree Theatre, Union Theological Seminary, The Museum of Jewish Heritage, Yiddishe Folksbiene Theatre, Greenbriar Valley Theatre, Canal Cafe Theatre (London), Camilla’s, The Culture Project, and others. FUKT was a 2019 finalist at Unicorn; ZEN & the Art of Mourning a Mother was a finalist for The Bridge Initiative’s Bechdel Test Festival. She is published by Smith & Kraus, Applause and others. Her work was commissioned by Experimental Bitch Productions and is being workshopped in 2020 at WOW, and by OSF in 2016 for The Every 28 Hours Plays, a response to Ferguson seen nationwide (The Goodman, ACT, Trinity Rep, etc).
Emma is a 2020 finalist at BAPF with FUKT and a finalist at Unicorn with Why Birds Fly. She was a three time semifinalist at Cutting Ball with Why Birds Fly, Abraham’s Daughters and WHORTICULTURE which was also a finalist at Campfire, short-listed with Owl & Cat in Melbourne and will be produced at The Tank in NYC in 2021.
She earned an MFA from University of Iowa where she won the Maibaum Award for plays addressing social justice for Antigone’s Sister and received a Jane Chambers Award for Perfect Women. Residencies at Millay Colony for the Arts, Ragdale and twice at WordBridge where she returned a third year as a dramaturg. She has taught and been a dramaturg at the Great Plains Theatre Conference (2015, 2016). Emma is the Resident Dramaturg at 29th Street Playwrights Collective where she runs the Write Now Workshop. Member: LPTW and the Dramatists Guild.
Her work is available at NPX: https://newplayexchange.org/users/1088/emma-goldman-sherman
ABRAHAM’S DAUGHTERSis now a podcast on TheParsnipShip.com – listen here: https://www.theparsnipship.com/#listen-now
COUNTING IN SHA’AB about a community in Iraq is now a podcast on PlayingOnAir.org – listen here: https://playingonair.org/new-releases/counting-in-shaab