Artist Profile - Emily Conbere
Emily Conbere has been a playwright in residence with Youngblood at Ensemble Studio Theater, Mabou Mines Theater, and American Lyric Theater/Opera Company in New York. She is currently the resident playwright at East River Commedia in Brooklyn. Emily has had opera productions at the Kansas City Art Institute, Symphony Space and PS122 in NY. Her plays and musicals have been produced at PS122, Ensemble Studio Theater, Collective Unconscious, and as part of New York’s Undergroundzero Festival; as well as at The Southern Theater (MN) and Williamstown Summer Theater. Emily’s play The Scholar was presented at the State Theater of Bielefeld in Germany and published with S. Fischer Verlag in 2008. Emily was a finalist for the Bay Area Playwrights Festival 2008 and for the Creative Capital Grant, 2009; and she was a recipient of the Sloan grant, a MacDowell Colony fellowship and a Tofte Lake Artist Residency. Her one-act play Slapped Actress is published in the Best American Short Plays Anthology 2008-2009 by Applause Books. Emily was accepted into Seattle Rep’s New Play Program in 2012, and in 2013 was featured in CityArts magazine. She has an MFA in Playwriting from Columbia University.
Broken Dog Legs is a one-act, one-person play that was originally developed with Ensemble Studio Theater in New York. This dark and honest comedy is about a girl coming to terms with the suicide of her brother and the detrimental effects the sudden death has on her family. As a way to cope, the main character visits the local dog park frequently and finds guidance from a loyal and experienced black lab who helps her to face the harsh elements of grieving that come with suicide.
Emily will use her 2011 GAP funds to expand this play into a full-length, fully cast play with developmental and presentation assistance from Playwrights Kitchen, Macha Monkey, and Matt’s House. In expanding the piece, Emily will develop the roles of all members of the family. Each member will have a different relationship with a dog. Their individual journeys with this animal will mirror their journeys of saying goodbye to the family member who was killed. The expansion of the play attempts to frame the emotional and chaotic upheaval that humans deal with in grief, while giving a twist on reality that allows the audience to keep a distance. As they are required to use their imaginations, they are brought closer to their own emotional truths.