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Emma Goidel is a Philadelphia-based playwright. 

In 2014 she co-founded the critically acclaimed producing playwrights collective Orbiter 3.

Her plays include Local Girls (Azuka Theatre), A Knee That Can Bend (Orbiter 3), The Gap (development: Ars Nova, Labyrinth, InterAct), and We Can All Agree To Pretend This Never Happened (EST in NYC; Òran Mór in Glasgow; Tiny Dynamite + InterAct in Philly).

Emma is a member of the Ars Nova Play Group, and formerly a Playwrights Realm Writing Fellow, InterAct Theatre Company Core Playwright, Playwrights' Center Core Apprentice, and the 2012 Dasha Epstein Playwright Fellow at New York Stage & Film.

FULL-LENGTH PLAYS

 
 

Local Girls

High school chemistry genius Diskit needs some friends who aren't her dad. High school burnout Riley needs a new screamer for her metal band. The Zombie Fuel Energy Drink Wreak Ruckus Battle of the Bands could transform them both from losers into rock gods. But will that be enough to get them out of Tucker, Georgia? A comedy with live music about searching for big-time glory in a small-time town.

PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT

Azuka Theatre World Premiere, dir. Allison Heishman, Spring 2016

Playwrights Realm workshops & staged reading, dir. Knud Adams, 2015

The Playwrights' Center staged reading, dir. Jessica Finney, June 2014

Developed at Playwrights Realm with the 2014-2015 Writing Fellows, and at The Playwrights' Center in the 2013-2014 Core Apprentice program.

 

LOCAL GIRLS IN THE PRESS

In enlisting Orbiter 3 and Ars Nova Play Group standout Emma Goidel, [Azuka has] got a charmer on their hands with the playwright’s pseudo-musical drama. It’s a little snot-nosed and a little philosophical, like any good punk band ought to be.

... Portrays the punk-rock shtick charmingly, compellingly, and dynamically ...

One of the smartest things that’s happening in Philadelphia right now.
— Philadelphia Inquirer, Review: Azuka Theatre Company Production
Fun, big-hearted, so-serious-it’s-silly ... A delightful daffy romp that leaves a lingering happy glow.
— Broad Street Review, Review: Azuka Theatre Company Production
Among Philadelphia playwrights, Emma Goidel is a rising rock star. ... Goidel, obviously a gifted writer, makes something of the familiar story. She has a good sense of structure — also an ear for flavorful dialogue ... Local Girls definitely has an edge.
— Philadelphia Magazine, Review: Azuka Theatre Company Production

Other press


 

A Knee That Can Bend

When American sociology student Kate stumbles into an underground circle of queers in Sénégal, her semester abroad transforms into an intimate tour of Dakar's hidden gay nightlife. What Kate learns from Aicha, Néné, and their friends could get her into grad school. That is, if she can convince them to consent to being studied. 

A Knee That Can Bend explodes into the ethical sand-traps of Americans telling African stories, falling in love far from home, and searching for people like you in a country that doesn’t believe you exist.

Production & Development

Orbiter 3 (Philly) World Premiere, dir. Kittson O'Neill, December 2015

InterAct Theatre Company (Philly) staged reading, dir. Kate Galvin, June 2014

New York Stage & Film staged reading, dir. Erin Ortman, June 2012

Developed at InterAct Theatre Company with the 2014 Core Playwrights.

 

A KNEE THAT CAN BEND IN THE PRESS

There are few works currently playing in Philadelphia that are as thought-provoking and engaging... Deeply moving, emotionally gripping, and beautifully performed... Utterly intelligent writing... A must-see.
— Philadelphia Magazine, Review: Orbiter 3 Production
Understated, intense, and passionate, Emma Goidel’s play A Knee That Can Bend confronts serious issues on a personal scale. ... Even with all the great theater happening in Philadelphia right now, it’s a must-see.
— Broad Street Review, Review: Orbiter 3 Production
Thoughtful, mature and intellectually provocative work ... [Goidel] is an insightful observer and judge ... This powerful new work similarly reveals Goidel’s own promise ... She will be a bright voice ...
— Philadelphia Inquirer, Review: Orbiter 3 Production

OTHER PRESS


 

The Gap

There’s always been this period of time I felt was missing from my life. I have a memory of terror, but it’s only a feeling. You think that’s normal?

A dark new comedy about sisters, alien abduction, and solo performance art that asks what’s ultimately worse: forgetting, or remembering?

DEVELOPMENT

Ars Nova workshop & staged reading, dir. Erin Ortman, April 2016

Labyrinth Theater Company staged readings, dir. Erin Ortman, 2015

InterAct Theatre Company staged reading, dir. Maura Krause, June 2015

Developed at Ars Nova with the 2015-2016 Play Group.

 

OTHER PLAYS


 

We Can All Agree To Pretend This Never Happened

A mischievous one-act farce about Americans scientists faking research results in a Siberian lab.

PRoductionS

Ensemble Studio Theatre (NYC) production, dir. Abigail Zealey-Bess, 2015

Òran Mór (Glasgow) production, dir. Joe Douglas, 2015

Tiny Dynamite & InterAct Theatre Company World Premiere, dir. Kittson O'Neill, 2014

Commissioned by Tiny Dynamite, Artistic Director Emma Gibson

 
[A] wild farce in all its scientific nerdiness, personal infidelities, and professional misconduct with spot-on comedic timing and full-out physical humor for a fun-filled hour of laughs.
— Phindie.com, REVIEW: Tiny Dynamite production

 

Safe Space

written with Emily Acker & Douglas Williams

An interactive South Philly house play about environmental science students and their live-action, role-playing, global warming game.

PRODUCTION

Apocalypse Club, world premiere, dir. Maura Krause, 2014 FringeArts Neighborhood Fringe Festival

CityPaper Pick, "15 Must-See Fringe Shows"
Philadelphia Magazine Pick, Fringe Buzz
Uwishunu Pick, "Fringe Festival Neighborhood Performances"

 
Who wants another fantasy of apocalypse when we can have a play (within a play) like this? ... Safe Space keeps establishing its own artificiality while casting its spell over you. This is great theater in the deep sense of that word.
— CityPaper, REVIEW: Apocalypse Club production

Other short plays have been produced and presented at:

Philadelphia Theatre Company
Horizon Theater (Atlanta)
Playwrights Realm
University of Pennsylvania

 

HONORS

Fellowships & Residencies

Ars Nova Play Group, 2015 - 2017

Playwrights Realm Writing Fellow, 2014 - 2015

InterAct Theatre Company Core Playwright, 2013 - 2015

The Playwrights' Center Core Apprentice, 2013 - 2014

The Foundry (Philly playwrights lab) Member Playwright, 2012 - 2015

New York Stage & Film/Powerhouse Theater Dasha Epstein Playwriting Fellow, 2012

 

HONORS & AWARDS

Sundance Theater Lab Semi-Finalist for The Gap, 2016

New Harmony Project Finalist for The Gap, 2016

Harold & Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award Nominee for A Knee That Can Bend, 2016

L. Arnold Weissberger Award Nominee for A Knee That Can Bend, 2016

Princess Grace Award Finalist for Local Girls, 2015

L. Arnold Weissberger Award Nominee for Local Girls, 2015

Kilroys "The List" Honorable Mention for Local Girls, 2015

National New Play Network Smith Prize Nominated by PlayPenn, 2015

Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference Semi-Finalist for A Knee That Can Bend, 2015

Tiny Dynamite/A Play, A Pie & A Pint Commissions, 2014 & 2015

Horizon Theatre New South Young Playwrights Contest Winner, 2012

 

Education

Barnard College BA with honors in Theatre (playwriting + dramaturgy), Phi Beta Kappa, 2012

Columbia University Graduate School of the Arts coursework in dramaturgy (NYC) & contemporary French theater (Paris), 2010

School for International Training: Dakar, Senegal study abroad, 2011

Master Classes Erik Ehn, Quiara Alegría Hudes, Lisa Krohn, J.T. Rogers, Paula Vogel

 

CONTACT

emmagoidel [at] gmail.com

represented by

Jonathan Mills, Paradigm Talent Agency
212.897.6400 / jmills [at] paradigmagency.com