Emma Goldman-Sherman

Emma Goldman-Sherman

Emma Goldman-Sherman is a playwright living in New York City. ZEN & the Art of Mourning a Mother was recently named a finalist for The Bridge Initiative's Bechdel Test Festival. The Last Date will be produced at Alumnae Theatre in Toronto in 2019. Neighbors by the Sea will be seen in Sydney. Recent work in The Capital Fringe and The Philadelphia Women's Theatre Festival. MAN & WIFE, one of...
Emma Goldman-Sherman is a playwright living in New York City. ZEN & the Art of Mourning a Mother was recently named a finalist for The Bridge Initiative's Bechdel Test Festival. The Last Date will be produced at Alumnae Theatre in Toronto in 2019. Neighbors by the Sea will be seen in Sydney. Recent work in The Capital Fringe and The Philadelphia Women's Theatre Festival. MAN & WIFE, one of the most recommended 2-handers on the NPX, was workshopped this year at New Circle Theatre Company, and Smith & Kraus published 2 monologues from it in Best of Women's Stage Monologues for 2018. Tamar (The Two-Gated City) was recently seen at Marble Collegiate Church, the Museum of Jewish Heritage, and in the Renegade N.O.W.Festival in Michigan. FUKT and Tamar monologues will be published in Smith & Kraus' Best of Women's Stage Monologues 2019. Other work seen in NYC at Dixon Place, New Ohio, WP Theatre, New Georges, Manhattan Theatre Source, The Clemente, and Circle Rep Lab. Regionally her work was part of The Every 28 Hours Plays, a response to Ferguson that has been seen nationwide (The Goodman, ISF, ACT, Trinity Rep, etc) and other work at E.S.T. - the LA Project, Greenbriar Valley Theatre, The Hall Gallery in Kansas City and produced internationally in London, Zagreb and recently in Queensland, Australia. Emma is a 3-time semi-finalist w/Cutting Ball's Risk is This Festival with Why Birds Fly, Abraham's Daughters and Whorticulture which was short-listed with Owl & Cat in Melbourne and The Unicorn in Kansas City. Counting in Sha'ab was included in The 2015 ReOrient Festival of plays about the Middle East at Golden Thread in San Francisco. 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. Emma is the Resident Dramaturg at 29th Street Playwrights Collective where she runs the Write Now Workshop. Member: LPTW, New Circle Theatre and the Dramatists Guild.

Plays

  • FUKT
    FULL-LENGTH, 3 women tell an oddly uplifting personal tale of incest, murder & private parts!
    What starts off as Emma's very own one-woman show gets busted into by Barbara and Bobbie. They refuse to let Emma control the narrative trying to out-tell each other their dark history and deeply stored demons. An immersive and fearless journey to bare all, for anyone with a secret.
  • Man & Wife
    FULL LENGTH As mannequins on their own wedding cake, Ron and Missy Merriweather start out as 1-dimensional creatures on display, but as their lives unfold from the 2016 election forward, we spend 25 years with them as they navigate their BiPartisan marriage in the current climate for better or worse!
  • ZEN & the Art of Mourning a Mother
    FULL LENGTH In ZEN & the Art of Mourning a Mother, Sarah wants to be seen as a loving daughter to her impossible mother, Angie who wants to make a deal: Angie will tell Sarah the story of why she never loved her, if only Sarah will leave her alone to die in peace. But Sarah has a story of her own to tell, and maybe after all the stories are told, Sarah will be able to mourn. 


    3 generations...
    FULL LENGTH In ZEN & the Art of Mourning a Mother, Sarah wants to be seen as a loving daughter to her impossible mother, Angie who wants to make a deal: Angie will tell Sarah the story of why she never loved her, if only Sarah will leave her alone to die in peace. But Sarah has a story of her own to tell, and maybe after all the stories are told, Sarah will be able to mourn. 


    3 generations of women, 3 different moments in time. . . 5 women try to come to terms with their losses while traveling to New York City on a train that breaks the time/space continuum, and this makes all the difference.
  • TAMAR, The Two-Gated City
    FULL LENGTH An adaptation of two rape culture stories in the Bible - this play does not change the stories themselves, but by viewing them from a different lens, we are inspired and changed by them. Young Tamar goes to the House of Amnon to find out the truth about her Aunt Tamar for whom she was named. Abida, Amnon's servant, doesn't remember what happened, and even if she did, she would never want...
    FULL LENGTH An adaptation of two rape culture stories in the Bible - this play does not change the stories themselves, but by viewing them from a different lens, we are inspired and changed by them. Young Tamar goes to the House of Amnon to find out the truth about her Aunt Tamar for whom she was named. Abida, Amnon's servant, doesn't remember what happened, and even if she did, she would never want to talk about it. Instead Abida tells Young Tamar the story of the Concubine. But Young Tamar asks so many questions, Abida can't sing the story the way she knows it and has to question it herself. The rules that Abida internalized begin to unravel as Young Tamar changes the way Abida sees the world. Aunt Tamar exists on stage as a ghost in this highly theatrical -- yet simple to produce -- play with 3 songs sung a capella for 3 women.
  • WHORTICULTURE
    FULL LENGTH Cum and See - LIVE GIRLS in Pop-Soil! This Confrontational TragiComedy is performed by Lark and her grad school friends (Riley and MIa) who are helping her present her Gender Studies Thesis on how Girls Grow rooted in social media, pop music, and racist rape culture. With Spoken Word and Masks, the 3 female actors play various roles including Poisonous Flowers and a Hater Chorus, as Lark confronts...
    FULL LENGTH Cum and See - LIVE GIRLS in Pop-Soil! This Confrontational TragiComedy is performed by Lark and her grad school friends (Riley and MIa) who are helping her present her Gender Studies Thesis on how Girls Grow rooted in social media, pop music, and racist rape culture. With Spoken Word and Masks, the 3 female actors play various roles including Poisonous Flowers and a Hater Chorus, as Lark confronts her past to put her best face forward.
  • ABRAHAM'S DAUGHTERS
    FULL LENGTH Abraham believes he will become The Father of Nations, even though he only has one daughter, Maxine, and she only has one daughter, Racie. Abraham takes them to Tel Aviv to bury his wife Sarah and make aliyah. He seeks out Haajar, his first love, and discovers he has 5 grandsons! How can he get his American Jewish family to accept his Palestinian Muslim family? 1 man, 4 women, 90 min, unit set...
    FULL LENGTH Abraham believes he will become The Father of Nations, even though he only has one daughter, Maxine, and she only has one daughter, Racie. Abraham takes them to Tel Aviv to bury his wife Sarah and make aliyah. He seeks out Haajar, his first love, and discovers he has 5 grandsons! How can he get his American Jewish family to accept his Palestinian Muslim family? 1 man, 4 women, 90 min, unit set (This play is based on the playwright's documentation of human rights abuses during the Intifada in 1993 in the West Bank and Gaza.)
  • Why Birds Fly
    FULL LENGTH After a devastating storm, Grace tries to rebuild, but Mary is desperate to escape. A two-hander, mother-daughter, director picks whether it's a tragedy or a comedy, but in the Beckettian sense it's both. Runs in real time beginning to end with optional intermission. Physical comedy, emotional rollercoaster -- a tiny play in an enormous world or is it an enormous play in a tiny world...
  • Perfect Women
    FULL LENGTH Rosie starts a youtube channel for her birthday to document the stuff that happens, and a lot happens! This is a romp through early adolescence with lesbian longings, Barbie comes to life and runs off with a stone butch biker chick who used to be Pygmalion's Galatea, you know, just like your own teen years... From body image issues to acceptance -- is it possible?
  • EUPHORIA
    ONE ACT When 15 year old Joe breaks his wrist snowboarding, the doctor prescribes Oxycodone for the pain. Joe's dad, George, didn't think anything of it. Joe's mom, Carol, took the pills away. Now Carol is caught in a constant battle to keep herself from going upstairs.
  • Counting in Sha'ab
    ONE-ACT After a car bomb goes off in a market in Sha'ab (a community in the northern part of Baghdad), the people have to decide how to go on. Is this the new normal, or should they count the bodies? What counts when every day life is disrupted every day?
  • wombshot
    ONE-ACT A young girl shoots herself in the womb to abort a fetus she could not afford to abort legally -- this strange, dark piece imagines what led up to this act, and some of the fall-out afterwards.
  • PETRIFIED
    ONE ACT Etta is too afraid to confront her father, so she lets the truth she remembers in the forest do it for her which causes her father to make a choice of his own.
  • THE LAST DATE
    ONE-ACT Jeff and Alyssa are out on a date or are they? Challenges our assumptions about how we see women and men. Breaks fourth wall. Runs 15 minutes.
  • A Small Attempt to be a Specific Woman, But Really Doesn't Mean Anything, Just Ignore Me
    SHORT A woman not trying to be seen as representative of anything tries to change her life and fix herself and stand up to the crushing hell of her existence while she folds her family's laundry.
  • SUPER-DEATH!
    TEN-MINUTE PLAY Luke and Edward are twin brothers struggling with Luke's impending death. Luke wants to give Edward a superpower to help him avoid the grieving process. Through the metaphor of what we see (Luke wears a Spiderman costume) and who we are (the audience) Edward is able to give Luke the best death possible.
  • SOMEONE
    ONE ACT A 2-hander version of my other piece called Someone only different. NO ONE does the dishes - lots and lots of dishes. And her daughter DOLL. Who does your dishes? Have you thanked her recently?
  • SOMEONE
    Short. A monologue, SOMEONE has been doing the dishes for a very long time. Who does the dishes in your house? If your answer is NO ONE, then you might want to call her.
  • Neighbors by the Sea
    ONE-ACT (short) Neighbors by the Sea is about how we get along with each other.
    While Sai is swimming in the sea, Noa moves Sai's beach chair. When Sai comes back, they argue. They see each other in very narrow ways. The beauty of theatre is that the audience sees something else. People tell me they read a lot into the play, that it can be about many things. So let it be what you want it to be.
  • TOILET PAPER
    ONE ACT: A mother attempts to educate her family, but they refuse to learn.
  • LITTLE WOMEN
    TEN MINUTE PLAY - High School students try to convince their teacher that Little Women should not be required reading but their teacher argues for it with some of her last teacherly breaths.
  • LOVE SHOTS
    TEN MINUTES Ah, friendship! The greatest love of all! Dennis and Rhoda help Pru manage her heartache until she feels better, and then we find out how they really feel.

  • A TOUR of The Early 21st Century Reproductive System (The Way We Used to Have Babies) & Real Live Birth Experience!
    Docent Donna unfortunately loses it while giving a tour of our early reproductive system, one of our most popular exhibits! We are very happy to announce her final retirement for which she has opted after so many years of service with The Museum of Evolution.
  • No Bikini
    TEN MINUTE - On Spring Break, when Jess insists on wearing a special bikini, Hanna, Griffin and Steve set out to change her mind.
  • WALLS LIKE CURTAINS
    TEN MINUTE Julie is always walking into walls. Now she's in love with Leah, hoping not to get hurt, hoping the walls she's always walking into might be soft this time, like curtains.
  • REQUIEM for GENOCIDE
    TEN-MINUTE PLAY The Armenian Genocide (1915), The Bosnian Muslim Genocide (1993) and The Palestinian Genocide (1947 on) all converge on one woman, Bushra, as she realizes she has lost her shoes. An American relief worker tries to help her find her shoes until they realize that Bushra has no feet. An absurd tale of American inability to see the problem or to fix it. With actual genocidal texts.
  • Antigone's Sister
    FULL LENGTH Ismene, Antigone's Sister, goes over the events that led to Antigone's imprisonment/death, from her own imprisonment in the same cave where she now faces the same choices Antigone did at her end, and in looking back Ismene shows us the steps that led not only to Antigone's tragedy, but also to Antigone's greatness as she opens Ismene's eyes to the idea that women are also human.
  • Significant Circus
    FULL LENGTH As Sleeping Beauty's castle awakens, the Mayor of the town of Demensia makes plans to host a circus on the Village Green, but the Queen of the Castle wants her Beauty (who has run off) to be married on that day. War and farce ensues... Rapunzel goes rogue. Cinderella robs a department store. And the Prince and his dog search for true love. Then the lesbian circus comes to town to set...
    FULL LENGTH As Sleeping Beauty's castle awakens, the Mayor of the town of Demensia makes plans to host a circus on the Village Green, but the Queen of the Castle wants her Beauty (who has run off) to be married on that day. War and farce ensues... Rapunzel goes rogue. Cinderella robs a department store. And the Prince and his dog search for true love. Then the lesbian circus comes to town to set things straight, I mean, right. If the shoe fits. . . !
  • 800 Miles
    TEN MINUTE PLAY After they drop off their son at college, a couple begin to bicker and end up reassessing their entire marriage now that their nest is empty.
  • KINDERGARTEN
    TEN-MINUTE PLAY Three five year old girls named for poisonous plants (played by grown-up actors) form a clique, but when a fourth girl tries to join them, they find a very dark reason to keep her out.
  • POLYNEICES
    TEN MINUTE PLAY - Have you ever wondered how Polyneices was buried? Andros and Carnos are two guards sent to watch his body rot in the hot summer of 415 BCE, but between the heat and the rot and the stink and the drink, it's a glorious comeday for an epic fail!
  • DATE NIGHT?
    SHORT - an immersive, confrontational, nasty start to any play festival that wants to highlight feminist issues. Before the curtain speech, while the house lights are still up, Jared and Lia look for seats. They are on a date. And stuff happens.
  • Heaven's a Motel
    ONE ACT based on a quote from John Cage, this play imagines a kind of overwhelming loneliness and what it drives humans to do.
  • TOOLS
    SHORT A fight and dance piece to protest Pussy-Grabbing. This super-short piece is a humorous physical take on how to fight back using self-defense physicality to take back our agency and show men that Pussy-Grabbing will not be permitted. Very physical -- needs a fight director and perhaps a choreographer. FOR PROTEST and CELEBRATIONS OF FEMALE STRENGTH!
  • BUG STUDY
    TEN MINUTE PLAY -- After ten years of research in the rain forest, Bob returns to teach, but his ex-wife and daughter show up to confront him in class. Bob uses them to teach entomology, and they teach him a lesson in parenting.
  • ZEN
    ONE-ACT - ZEN is the under-30 minute version of the full-length ZEN & the Art of Mourning a Mother. This version includes 2 of the 5 characters in the longer work. ZEN takes place in 1993 and involves Sarah and Denita, two acquaintances from high school who run into each other at Philadelphia's 30th Street train station on their way to New York City. One is leaving her mother's bedside and the...
    ONE-ACT - ZEN is the under-30 minute version of the full-length ZEN & the Art of Mourning a Mother. This version includes 2 of the 5 characters in the longer work. ZEN takes place in 1993 and involves Sarah and Denita, two acquaintances from high school who run into each other at Philadelphia's 30th Street train station on their way to New York City. One is leaving her mother's bedside and the other is on her way to her mother's bedside. It is a play about impending loss that also highlights micro-aggressions and the entitlements white people take from people of color while blinded by our privileges.
  • BETWEEN TWO RIVERS
    SHORT PLAY -- An Iraqi man reconsiders his relationship with an American while, in Iraq, a young Iraqi male warns a married Iraqi woman that the local leader is upset with her. (A companion piece to another play I wrote about Iraq.)