Emily Zemba is a New York based playwright, screenwriter, and occasional puppeteer! Her work has been presented on and off music-stands with places like The Adam Mickiewicz Institute (Poland), First Floor Theater (Chicago), Local Lab (Boulder), Great Plains Theater Conference, Williamstown Theater Festival, LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, Ars Nova, Dixon Place, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Boston Court Pasadena, Exquisite Corpse Company ... and also at places not like them at all. She is a commissioned playwright with Theater Masters, an Affiliated Writer with the Playwrights' Center, a member of the 2020 Two River Theater Emerging Writers Group, and a New Georges affiliated artist.
Emily’s short film OUT OF OFFICE was an official selection of the 2021 Chattanooga Film Festival.
Emily has taught playwriting with The Strasberg Institute, MCC Youth Company, Theater Masters, Wesleyan University, and more. She holds an MFA from Yale School of Drama.
Emily is currently developing a play in collaboration with Society Theatre Company, and working toward producing her play SUPERSTITIONS with the playwright-led collective The Pool 2021. | emilyzemba.com
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Qiana and Peter take a romantic weekend getaway to New Hampshire only to find that a deer has crashed through the window and died. Things really go off the rails when Peter’s brash sister, Marnie, and her daft husband, Felix, show up unannounced. The dead deer, a mysterious animal control officer, and nightfall in the forest expose the harsh truths of each lover's life.
DEER AND THE LOVERS is a bold new farce about being lost in love, lost in the woods, and forging a new path when life veers off track.
Gwen, David, and Denise are each searching for something, though some of them aren't sure what exactly that something is. In a swirl of miscommunication and broken apartment doors, I’m Sorry I Brought Up God investigates three awkwardly lost twenty-somethings as they attempt to navigate recovery, faith, and love, all the while asking: “why is this so weird?”
Richard tries to make meaning out of his reoccurring dream, but he can’t quite crack it. Desperate to uncover this mystery, Richard seeks out just about anyone for answers, starting with his ex-girlfriend. This comedy examines the experience of getting stuck, moving on, and how hard it can be to just leave the bar.
Grieg, a visitor from a foreign country, finds a penny on the ground. When he tries to offer it to a stranger sitting near him—it sparks an absurd and frightening conversation about “bad luck.” Superstitions is an unconventional dark comedy about navigating our personal and national terrors and what happens when we believe in the unknown.
When a killer speech goes horribly awry, Darlene and her team must do all they can to fish her congressional campaign out of the toilet. Clockwork is an absurd political comedy about losing, loss, and how to endure a real shit storm.
When a young girl in town jumps in front of a train, 16- year-old Zinnia embarks on an existential search for meaning. Zinnia’s schoolmates attempt to understand their grief through séances and other witchy-games; Dawn, the town busybody, worries about a teen suicide epidemic; and Zinnia’s mother Janet is trying hard to keep it together. But if the Train Comes to Her is an examination of “to be or not to be,” through the lens of a family feeling trapped by their seemingly small life by the train tracks.
In the face of unemployment and general uncertainty, Audrey and her boyfriend Sam return to Sam's small hometown. An off-kilter comedy written for 6 or more actors, and crafted to be performed easily in any community center, town hall, or small theater across the country, THE DYING TOWN is at once a send-up of provincial politics amidst broken national infrastructure, and a love story about the sweet resilience of small-town America.
Relationships are hard. Mouse infestations are even harder. And as the body count rises, Claire and Hugh struggle to ignore the secrets between them. A dark comedy about love and grief and human-sized mice.
In this dance-workout-meets-existential-play, we take an exclusive immersive and surreal look at the peppy motivator who helped humanity lose 12 million pounds and then abandoned them.
Alice mysteriously falls down the rabbit hole, and her little sister Liddy must take her place in the Little Miss Teacup Pageant. Liddy’s world becomes more and more strange as a barrage of peculiar people parade backstage, along with the queen of all pageant moms. Look Up, Speak Nicely, and Don’t Twiddle Your Fingers All the Time is a new adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s beloved Alice stories—with several twists and tiaras.
Superstitions featured in Boston Court Pasadena's 2020 Reading series.
But if The Train Comes To Her honored as Semi-Finalist 2021 Blue Ink Award.
Clockwork honored as SemiFinalist for 2018 Detroit New Works Festival.
Emily Zemba's play Clockwork has been selected for Local Theatre Company's new play festival, Local Lab 2018. More at www.localtheaterco.org/local-lab-2018
World Premiere - Deer and the Lovers (First Floor Theater in Chicago. Dir. Jesse Roth)