Emily Trask – Resident Artist/Literary Associate

PCPA   (since 2018): Mrs. Darling/Grown-Up Wendy, Peter Pan;  Viola de Lesseps/Thomas Kent, Shakespeare in Love; Sibella Halward, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder

Other Theatres: Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; Baltimore Center Stage; The Alley Theatre: Resident Company Member (select credits)- One Man Two Guvnors, Hand to God, Around the World in 80 Days, The Christians, As You Like It, Miller, Mississippi, Roan @ the Gates (world premiere); The Folger Theatre: Twelfth Night, The Gaming Table; Utah Shakespeare Festival: Company Member 5 Seasons (select credits): Merchant of Venice, The Secret Garden, Henry V, Great Expectations the Musical, Hamlet, The Matchmaker, Lend Me A Tenor the Musical (world premiere);  The Milwaukee Repertory Theatre: over a dozen productions (select credits) - Armadale (world premiere), Tartuffe, Pirandello’s Yes. No. Maybe So…, Chaps!, A Christmas Carol; Bay Street Theatre: Travesties (opposite Richard Kind); Hope Summer Repertory Theatre: An Iliad (one person show); Yale Repertory Theatre; Yale Cabaret; Pioneer Theatre; The Arden Theatre; Quintessence Theatre Group; Montana Shakespeare in the Parks.

Off-Broadway: The Lincoln Center Theatre: Sarah Ruhl’s The Oldest Boy (world premiere) and  The Chalk Garden   (starring Angela Lansbury);  The Public Theatre/Shakespeare Society; New Dramatists; E.S.T.; 3Day Hangover/Drunk Shakespeare; The Lark; Titan Theatre Co; The Greene Space

Film/TV: Daredevil (Marvel/Netflix);  The Perfect Murder   (Discovery Channel); Get Married! (Lifetime Television Network);  End of a Summer Storm   (Alison Krauss/Boynton Music Video);  The Violinist   (numerous indie film awards); various commercials

Recordings: Simon & Schuster/Folger Library: Juliet,  Romeo and Juliet ; Ophelia, Hamlet; Portia, Julius Caesar

Other: Contributing scholar to Folger Shakespeare/Luminary Inc. interactive app.; nationally/internationally published poet; script consultant; Inaugural Recipient of the Silvia Fine Kay Award for excellence in both Theatre and Musical Theatre – Yale School of Drama

Teaches: Shakespeare I

Training: B.A. Theatre/Literature, Grinnell College; M.F.A., Yale School of Drama

Member: Actors’ Equity Association, SAG-Aftra

 


My philosophy and goal as an educator, as well as a professional theatre artist, can perhaps be best illustrated by considering the slight but significant gap that lies between the words comprehend and apprehend. To comprehend is to “grasp with the mind,” “to perceive” or “understand the nature of” something. To offer and to attain comprehension is certainly a noble pursuit for any teacher-student or actor-audience relationship. But to apprehend is to “take possession of,” “to intuitively understand,” or “to have in one's custody.” Simply put, apprehending involves grasping something strongly with both hands and hanging on to it. Apprehension is physical, instinctual, intellectual, occasionally frightening, and results in a kind of ownership. It is what I strive to give my students and what I aim for in my own work.

As a professional actress and theatre artist for 15 years, having worked in venues from Broadway houses to site-specific Guerilla Theatre, to film, television, voice-over and commercials, I have apprehended a practical understanding of what it takes to be a working theatre professional. And in my experience, this intangible thing called “talent” that we fixate on so often in our field is revealed, not in the way we perform, but in the way we work. My teaching methodology is guided by the core belief that it is not solely “what you learn” but rather “how you learn.” The primary ingredient of this “how” must be rooted in a dynamic and practiced curiosity.

This cultivated curiosity is particularly necessary and potent when it comes to the exploration of Shakespeare. I believe that Shakespeare is the ultimate workout for the actor – demanding every aspect of a performer: the body, mind, voice, and spirit – the perfect theatrical gym. Simultaneously, it is also the ultimate playground. Once an actor apprehends the core structure of Shakespeare’s writing and the opportunities the rhetorical and rhythmic structure provides, the verse becomes an incredible playground for deep, nuanced, playful and excited explorations and performances.