Emma Durbin

Emma Durbin

Emma Durbin (she/they) is an early-career playwright, dramaturg, and ameatur sport climber, whose writing centers issues of queerness, safety, and moments of freedom from the male gaze. Their plays landscape, Of Our Own, Inside the Palace Royale, and A Study have received staged readings at The Theatre School (TTS) at DePaul University’s Wrights of Spring new play festival. At TTS they contributed dramaturgy...
Emma Durbin (she/they) is an early-career playwright, dramaturg, and ameatur sport climber, whose writing centers issues of queerness, safety, and moments of freedom from the male gaze. Their plays landscape, Of Our Own, Inside the Palace Royale, and A Study have received staged readings at The Theatre School (TTS) at DePaul University’s Wrights of Spring new play festival. At TTS they contributed dramaturgy for 10 productions, seven of which were new plays. This fall, they are dramaturging hippolytos by Lane Anthony Flores at The Story Theatre’s New Play Festival. They are currently a personal assistant for Regina Victor, a script reader for Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, and a founding member of Cohort 20. They previously interned at the Goodman Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and Ashland New Plays Festival. Emma attended the New Play Dramaturgy Intensive at the Kennedy Center with Mark Bly. Playwriting BFA: The Theatre School at DePaul University (2020). Visit emmadurbin.com to learn more!

Plays

  • landscape
    landscape is a group ensemble play about masculinity’s effect on a sport and the sapphic transit that takes place when femmes take off their skirts for the first time. Set in both 1908 Scotland and a climbing gym in 2019 Boystown Chicago, we see the Ladies Scottish Climbing Club come up against the same issues of marginalization as the queer and mostly-femme rock climbers at the Boystown Climbing Club. As they...
    landscape is a group ensemble play about masculinity’s effect on a sport and the sapphic transit that takes place when femmes take off their skirts for the first time. Set in both 1908 Scotland and a climbing gym in 2019 Boystown Chicago, we see the Ladies Scottish Climbing Club come up against the same issues of marginalization as the queer and mostly-femme rock climbers at the Boystown Climbing Club. As they approach the summit, both groups must confront the white colonialist patriarchy, environmental racism, and the real cost of their view at the top.
  • Of Our Own
    Aimee is Lily’s ex’s best friend. Lily is Aimee’s best friend’s ex. It is the August before their Junior year in high school. Having spoken only once in the three months since the breakup, the two meet. They reflect on past relationships; Tessa who cheated on Lily after the two dated Sophomore year, and Jason, a boy that assaulted Aimee when they dated Freshman year. The two girls discover each other’s never...
    Aimee is Lily’s ex’s best friend. Lily is Aimee’s best friend’s ex. It is the August before their Junior year in high school. Having spoken only once in the three months since the breakup, the two meet. They reflect on past relationships; Tessa who cheated on Lily after the two dated Sophomore year, and Jason, a boy that assaulted Aimee when they dated Freshman year. The two girls discover each other’s never before surfaced wounds. With the earnest vulnerability of sixteen-year-olds, Lily and Aimee fall into the possibility of love. Aimee explores her past trauma and realizes she might not be straight like she’d previously assumed. Meanwhile, Lily struggles to reconcile her decision to be with Aimee as she comes to terms with the true extent of her feelings for Tessa. OF OUR OWN interrogates sexual identities, buried trauma, and what it means (or meant) to become a woman in the 2010’s.
  • Inside the Palace Royale
    Adelaide Gilmore gives up her career in journalism to marry the man of her dreams: her boss and “total sex-god,” Beauregard de Valcourt Kendall. Behind Ada's back, her best friend casts a curse and Beau loses all prior interest in sexual activity the night of their wedding. To reverse the spell, Ada must learn to love herself. Inside the Palace Royale explores romance, betrayal, self-hate, masturbation, and magic.

Recommended by Emma Durbin

  • We Didn't Start The Fire
    10 Oct. 2019
    Fun and entertaining. We Didn't Start the Fire is a riot! Some of Brent's best work, exploring the value of connection despite all chaos, an insight on political turmoil.
  • Villette
    10 Oct. 2019
    Madie brings a deep and insightful perspective to classic literature. A breath of fresh air. Madie's writing is simultaneously batshit crazy and deeply profound. Her unique lens of youth and adolescence brings this story new life and intense theatricality--so often lost in adaptations of classic work.