A little bit about – Emily Sheehan, CYT Alumni and award-winning playwright
Emily Sheehan is a playwright, actor and dramaturg.
Emily completed her Masters in Playwriting at the Victoria College of Arts (VCA) in 2015 where she was awarded a competitive creative scholarship, and her Bachelor of Arts (Acting) in 2011.
Her first play Hell’s Canyon won the 2015 Rodney Seaborn Award, was shortlisted for the 2016 Patrick White Award, and was a showcased play in Playwriting Australia’s 2016 National Play Festival at The Malthouse Theatre, directed by Sarah Giles. Her short work Eating Sunshine was published by Currency Press as part of the Australian Theatre for Young People’s 2014 Voices Project.
In 2017, Emily is under commission with two theatre companies, writing versions of us for Canberra Youth Theatre, and Daisy Moon Was Born This Way for JSPAC.
As a dramaturg, Emily undertook the Playwriting Australia Dramaturgy Internships in 2014, a six-month traineeship in script assessment and new play development. She has worked as a script reader and script assessor for Playwriting Australia, and as a dramaturgy intern with Melbourne Theatre Company Cybec Electric, and a dramaturgy intern at the National Script Workshops.
As an actor, her theatre credits include Edinburgh Fringe, Perform Educational Musicals, Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Tap Gallery, The Australian Theatre for Young People, New Theatre and Epicentre Theatre. Emily has also worked as an actor in television, commercials and independent film, and was nominated for Best Comedy Actress at the Australian Webstream Awards.
More about Emily’s plays:
Daisy Moon Was Born This Way
Bright eyed and eccentric 14-year-old Daisy Moon is President and Founder of the Little Monsters Club for Misfits, where she holds her club meetings inside the dusty beachside bus stop on her front lawn. She’s the club’s only member.
Her 17-year-old brother Noah couldn’t be more different. An elite athlete on the cusp of cracking national competitions, his world falls apart when he’s caught cheating on a time trial.
The siblings both dream big but are stuck in a world too small. Set in a coastal town, this play draws on Australian iconography of the faded beachside surf club, but turns it on its head by drenching it with pop-culture and contemporary teen attitude. This new Australian play is a coming of age dramatic comedy about making mistakes and learning to love yourself anyway
versions of us
An awkward and offbeat look at adolescence, and the versions of normal we perform for one another. Set in Canberra, the story follows along a chain of twelve young people, seeking out the humanity and humour within the seemingly mundane moments in their lives.
A note from Emily Sheehan
Hi CYT peeps! My name’s Emily and I’m 28 years old. Which means 10 years ago I was doing after school drama at Canberra Youth Theatre, dreaming about becoming an actress.
If I could go back and tell my eighteen year old self that she’d spend the next ten years training to become an actor, traveling to Chicago and study writing, and then move to Melbourne to work as a playwright and dramaturg (a fancy term for script editor) – she probably wouldn’t believe me!
Which is why I was so insanely delighted when I found out I’d be writing this year’s teen production versions of us for twelve amazing young actors at Canberra Youth Theatre.
At the moment of writing this, I’m sending the final draft of versions of us to the directors in five days!
Writing versions of us has been a collaborative process with the actors and directors. Which basically means that I had no idea what I’d be writing until I got in the room with the cast and started finding out who they are. And let me tell you, these little firecrackers did not hold back.
I was blown away by how giving they were of their dreams, their insecurities, and what it actually feels like to be themselves day to day. But I always knew they would. Why? Because drama kids, even the ‘shy ones’, have so much courage.
It takes GUTS to do creative work. It takes a massive heart. All of your joy. And a lot of grit.
And that’s exactly what our versions of us cast brought into the room from day one of our creative development in July. And what I’ve tried to do every day at my computer since.
The quest for perfection is ridiculous. But that doesn’t mean we don’t pour our whole heart into the art we make.
With love, Emily.