Emily Rainbow Davis

Emily Rainbow Davis

Emily Rainbow Davis writes for Messenger Theatre Company, which she co-founded and runs in New York City. Her plays include: SEEING INSIDE (at St. Ann’s Warehouse,) PERSEPHONE, ERRORS BEFORE ERRORS, OCHRE PARK, EXIT THE BOOM BOOM ROOM, THE FURYS’ NIGHT OUT, THE GREAT GOD MONEY, THE ENEMY, LITTLE GIRL STEW, DAPHNE (Carnegie Mellon’s radio series,) FIG. A: THE HEART, THE LAST AMERICAN COWBOY, MYTHELLANEOUS, THE...
Emily Rainbow Davis writes for Messenger Theatre Company, which she co-founded and runs in New York City. Her plays include: SEEING INSIDE (at St. Ann’s Warehouse,) PERSEPHONE, ERRORS BEFORE ERRORS, OCHRE PARK, EXIT THE BOOM BOOM ROOM, THE FURYS’ NIGHT OUT, THE GREAT GOD MONEY, THE ENEMY, LITTLE GIRL STEW, DAPHNE (Carnegie Mellon’s radio series,) FIG. A: THE HEART, THE LAST AMERICAN COWBOY, MYTHELLANEOUS, THE KITCHEN PLAY, THE GOLDEN APPLE: FOR THE FAIREST, THE WAITING ROOM and DAUGHTERS OF MEMORY. Her play THE DOOR WAS OPEN was developed through a space grant at Flushing Town Hall. MEDUSA SLAIN BY PERSEUS was a semi-finalist for the 2018 Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center National Playwrights Conference.

Emily has had articles published in THE FELDENKRAIS JOURNAL, SENSEABILITY and VOICES. Her blogs SONGS FOR THE STRUGGLING ARTIST and THE HAMLET PROJECT have around 150,000 views combined. She has a Bachelor’s from Sarah Lawrence College, an MFA from UC Davis and studied at the Wright School in London.

Plays

  • Medusa Slain by Perseus
    From the moment Perseus gets the call to his heroic quest, he’s fated to kill Medusa. Medusa, meanwhile, re-tells her own origin story again and again to the Gorgons on their island. After Perseus beheads her, though, Medusa won’t shut up and Perseus has to come to terms with his actions. Performed by a cast of all women, the play investigates storytelling and asks who gets to tell the story.
  • The Door Was Open
    Based on paintings by Magical Realist Painter, Remedios Varo, The Door Was Open is like a darker surrealist Alice in Wonderland. Mae walks out of her school and finds herself in a house where the walls talk and move, where people roll around on wheels or fly through the air and the whole place could collapse at any moment.

    The play is concerned with the wonders and perils of creativity and...
    Based on paintings by Magical Realist Painter, Remedios Varo, The Door Was Open is like a darker surrealist Alice in Wonderland. Mae walks out of her school and finds herself in a house where the walls talk and move, where people roll around on wheels or fly through the air and the whole place could collapse at any moment.

    The play is concerned with the wonders and perils of creativity and imagination.

    It may be for children. Maybe.

    Developed at Flushing Town Hall through the FCCA Flushing Town Hall Space Grant.
  • Errors Before Errors
    In Ephesus, all the Syracusans are being deported. Mariana, a courtesan, is one of the last to go. When her ship is forced to return to Ephesus, she names herself Odysseus and dresses as a sailor in order to move freely. Calypso, the only courtesan left now that Mariana has gone, falls in love with Odysseus and s/he with her.

    Set two days before the events of Comedy of Errors, Errors Before...
    In Ephesus, all the Syracusans are being deported. Mariana, a courtesan, is one of the last to go. When her ship is forced to return to Ephesus, she names herself Odysseus and dresses as a sailor in order to move freely. Calypso, the only courtesan left now that Mariana has gone, falls in love with Odysseus and s/he with her.

    Set two days before the events of Comedy of Errors, Errors Before Errors features many of Shakespeare’s characters and the effects of a draconian immigration policy on Ephesus. Angelo has to work over time on Antipholus’ gold chain. Nell, formerly Mariana’s servant, now has to work for Antipholus and Adriana – a job secured for her by the Abbess. The women of Ephesus grapple with a patriarchal, nationalistic, capitalist world.

  • fig. a: The Heart
    When the play begins, Ruby Teale has just had a heart transplant. Upon waking, she discovers she no longer knows herself and she doesn’t know whose heart she has. Simultaneously, Luca wakes up to find he no longer has a heart, and is, in fact, dead. Escorted by Wepwawet (an Egyptian god), Ruby ends up in the Egyptian Underworld where the weight of the heart determines what will happen in the afterlife. Finding...
    When the play begins, Ruby Teale has just had a heart transplant. Upon waking, she discovers she no longer knows herself and she doesn’t know whose heart she has. Simultaneously, Luca wakes up to find he no longer has a heart, and is, in fact, dead. Escorted by Wepwawet (an Egyptian god), Ruby ends up in the Egyptian Underworld where the weight of the heart determines what will happen in the afterlife. Finding that her heart is not her own, the gods send her back up to life to find her own heart. Luca arrives in the Egyptian underworld soon there after and is also sent back up because of his absence of heart.
    The quest of finding their hearts takes Ruby and Luca on circuitous but parallel paths. Ruby tries to understand the heart through her “real life” in the hospital with her doctors and fellow patients, while Luca investigates the afterlife. Ruby ends up in Venice, Luca’s family’s home and the Heartbreak Hotel. She meets Cupid, Kama and other mystical creatures. Luca has his chest split open by an Aztec priest. Dr. Al-qalb, who performed the transplant, is a key figure in both characters’ searches and reconciles the conflict between her scientific mind and romantic heart. Doctor Bloomset sets the historical stage occasionally.
  • The Golden Apple: For the Fairest
    The Golden Apple: For the Fairest is a Trojan tragic-comedy featuring love, war, swords, sheep, a wooden horse, family, romance and death. Starring Aphrodite, goddess of love, Athena: goddess of wisdom and Hera: Queen of the Gods. See goddesses haggle over a golden apple at the expense of human lives! See Paris steal Helen, Queen of Sparta and bring war (and a thousand ships) to Troy! See Cassandra’s prophecies...
    The Golden Apple: For the Fairest is a Trojan tragic-comedy featuring love, war, swords, sheep, a wooden horse, family, romance and death. Starring Aphrodite, goddess of love, Athena: goddess of wisdom and Hera: Queen of the Gods. See goddesses haggle over a golden apple at the expense of human lives! See Paris steal Helen, Queen of Sparta and bring war (and a thousand ships) to Troy! See Cassandra’s prophecies of death and destruction fall on deaf ears! Watch touching love stories unfold, betrayal unfurl, order unravel and tragedy descend!
  • Persephone
    This romantic comedy and coming of age story moves between the worlds of gods and goddesses, mortals and creatures. On the earth, Demeter rules nature with her daughter, Persephone, while Zeus seduces mortal women. Demons inhabit the underworld, ruled by their master, Hades. Hades abducts Persephone and hilarity ensues. Beneath the snappy dialogue lie themes of transformation, grief, rebirth and nature’s cycles.
  • The Apotheosis of Victoria Woodhull
    Inspired by the true story of the first woman to run for president, The Apotheosis of Victoria Woodhull follows the spiritual development of the ambitious medium, stockbroker, actress, newspaperwoman and presidential candidate. The voices of the dead speak so loudly to young Victoria that she has to be trained to filter them out. Her sister, Tennessee, shares the same gift/burden and they begin to perform on...
    Inspired by the true story of the first woman to run for president, The Apotheosis of Victoria Woodhull follows the spiritual development of the ambitious medium, stockbroker, actress, newspaperwoman and presidential candidate. The voices of the dead speak so loudly to young Victoria that she has to be trained to filter them out. Her sister, Tennessee, shares the same gift/burden and they begin to perform on the spiritualist circuit, staging conversations with the dead. The family appear and reappear - some to support her, others to capitalize on good fortune. When the spirits feel she is ready, they send her forth to become the next president of the United States. They assure her that, even though women don’t yet have the right to vote, she will still be elected in 1872. She is invited to visit President Grant and sits in his presidential chair, assured it will be hers in the future. Her spirits rejoice.

    The next we see Victoria, she is in a prison cell, along with her sister. She hasn’t eaten in days and cannot remember how they ended up there. Spirits take her on a journey of memory and offer her the choice of martyrdom or anonymity.

    *

    Inspired by the true story of the first woman to run for president, The Apotheosis of Victoria Woodhull follows the spiritual development of the ambitious medium, stockbroker, actress, newspaperwoman and presidential candidate. The voices of the dead speak so loudly to young Victoria that she has to be trained to filter them out. Her sister, Tennessee, shares the same gift/burden and they begin to perform on the spiritualist circuit, staging conversations with the dead. When the spirits feel she is ready, they send her forth to become the next president of the United States. She is invited to visit President Grant and sits in his presidential chair, assured it will be hers in the future. Her spirits rejoice. The next we see Victoria, she is in a prison cell, along with her sister. She hasn’t eaten in days and cannot remember how they ended up there. Spirits take her on a journey of memory and offer her the choice of martyrdom or anonymity.
  • Waiting Room
    Two teens are stuck in a waiting room while their parents attend a Single Parent Support group. It seems like they have just normal teen issues but then it turns out that Ike is the kid who flew too close to the sun and Persy is the Queen of the Underworld.
  • The Daughters of Memory
    Mnemosyne (the goddess of memory) birthed nine goddesses known collectively as The Muses. The Muses each get a chance to speak in this series of nine monologues wherein they seek their own inspiration.
  • The Great God Money
    THE GREAT GOD MONEY is a mythological musical that explores Dot's journey from a boring office job to a world of magical money themed lands. Developed out of community workshops and audience questionnaires, the show wrestles with one of the thorniest issues of contemporary life with humor, catchy songs and office supplies.

    Note: Because this show was devised the way it was, it became a...
    THE GREAT GOD MONEY is a mythological musical that explores Dot's journey from a boring office job to a world of magical money themed lands. Developed out of community workshops and audience questionnaires, the show wrestles with one of the thorniest issues of contemporary life with humor, catchy songs and office supplies.

    Note: Because this show was devised the way it was, it became a musical late in the game. It's more play with music than musical. While about half of the songs have the music written out - some of the songs only have lead sheets and others have nothing but the recording the composers made for the actors to learn them.
  • Exit the Boom Boom Room
    Cassie and Melissa have to rehearse their scene for their class but Melissa’s not so comfortable with the content. When they perform the scene for the class, acting teacher guru, Reg, has a lot to say about it but their fellow student Maya is not so sure he’s giving them good advice. A tiny feminist revolution follows.
  • Open the Box (Don't) Open the Box
    Pandora's been given a box. She's not supposed to open it. Guess what she's going to do?
  • The Furies' Night Out
    The Erinyes try to relax at a bar after a long day of hounding people but it's not easy.
  • The Apothecary's Daughter
    THE APOTHECARY’S DAUGHTER pulls on two different threads of Middleton and Rowley’s THE CHANGELING. The titular daughter is mentioned by Deflores as an alternate candidate for the bed-trick plot and Vial M is the test for virginity that Alsemaro uses on Beatrice. In this prequel, Alsemaro purchases Vial M at the apothecary’s shop.