Originally from Los Angeles, Emma studied literature at Sarah Lawrence College before relocating to London. She has an MA in Shakespeare Studies from Kings College London and Shakespeare’s Globe. She then trained in MFA Advanced Theatre Practice at the Central School of Speech and Drama.
She works as a director, dramaturg, and researcher across many disciplines, from opera to Restoration theatre to early modern theatre to new writing. Recent directing credits include Amy Beach's chamber opera Cabildo at Wilton's Music Hall, eco-noir socialist operatic film The Agency by Sarah Sigal and Matthew Olyver at Tête-à-Tête, and a livestreamed, OnComm award-nominated production of Gian Carlo Menotti's The Telephone.
Emma has directed and taught at drama schools including RADA, Central School of Speech and Drama, LAMDA, Guildhall, Mountview, Rose Bruford, and Oxford School of Drama. Drama school directing projects include The Awakening of Cheerful Feelings Upon The Arrival Of Single Men of Good Fortune (CSSD, MA MT); Love's Labour's Lost (Rose Bruford, MA Acting); The Basset Table (RADA, BA Acting); and The Rover (Oxford School of Drama, BA Acting). Emma is passionate about empowering the next generation of artists to make radical work safely and inclusively, as well as interrogating and deconstructing canonical material for the present moment.
As director/dramaturg, Emma is developing new writing with playwrights and makers including Nick Cassenbaum, Aneesha Srinivasan, Hugh Wyld, and Naomi Westerman. She has directed workshops and R & Ds at venues including the Bush, artsdepot, the Kiln, and the Gate.
Dramaturgy and research consulting credits include: dramaturg on Watch on the Rhine (Donmar Warehouse, directed by Ellen McDougall); research consultant on Venice Preserved (Royal Shakespeare Company, directed by Prasanna Puwanarajah), and research assistant on Absolute Hell (National Theatre, directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins). Emma is currently working as dramaturg to develop an opera based on the music of Barbara Strozzi with CN Lester and Sarah Dacey, beginning with a 2022 Snape Maltings residency at Britten Pears.
Emma is co-founder of Global Origins, a network and platform for international, diasporic, and multicultural artists that she runs with Aneesha Srinivasan. In 2019, Global Origins Theatre curated Are We There Yet ?, a two day festival of multidisciplinary art by international and multicultural artists, at the CLF Art Cafe (Bussey Building). Global Origins generated an open-source, collaboratively authored reader on decolonising the canon. Global Origins leads workshops on decolonising theatre, writing with identity, and ethical representation in theatre at drama schools and theatres including CSSD, Guildhall, Mountview, and the Young Vic. Global Origins partnered with the Gate Theatre on REROUTED: a free digital discussion group for international plays and performance intended to decolonise the canon and expand the limits of British theatre.
Emma is the recipient of a Global Talent visa.