Emily Duncan

Emily Duncan is a Dunedin, New Zealand-based writer, director, and dramaturg.

Duncan’s early one-act play Lips, which takes the form of a series of monologues in which a self-harming teenager gradually accepts her situation, was runner-up in the New Zealand Young Playwrights’ Competition in 1999. This was followed with a poetic examination of the Anglo-Caribbean 19th century slave trade, Sweet Meats (Dunedin Fringe 2004). Duncan’s full-length drama Palliative Care dealt with the timely issue of war veterans and their relationships with their families, and premiered in the 2008 Otago Festival of the Arts.

Duncan has won Write Out Loud Dunedin three times with Palliative Care (2006), Water Baby (2007), and Southern Comfort (2010). In 2013 her play Eloise In the Middle won Playmarket’s Plays for The Young competition, and in 2014 she was runner-up in the same competition with Le Sujet Parle: And Then He Shot Me. Her one-act play When You Were Mine premiered at Allan Hall Theatre in 2015.

In 2016 Prospect Park Productions produced two of Duncan’s works at BATS Theatre: Hold Me and Shaken (Short + Sweet Festival). Next, she was commissioned to write Fallen Angels for the 2017 Young and Hungry Festival.

In 2017 Duncan was artist in residence at St Hilda’s College in Dunedin, during which she wrote In Our Shoes.

Recent dramaturgical work includes Journey on the Jura (Wow! Productions and Toitū), Peach Rug (Dunedin School of Art Honours project), and the Fortune Theatre’s Studio 4×4 Emerging Playwrights Initiative.

In 2018 Eloise in the Middle will have its premiere production (extended version) at the Fortune Theatre as part of the inaugural NZ Theatre Month.

In addition to playwriting, Duncan has trained as an actor at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, NY (1996-1997) and the RADA summer school (1997). She holds a BA in English and Theatre Studies from Victoria University of Wellington, an Honours degree in English from Massey University, and a PhD in Theatre Studies from the University of Otago.

Emily is represented by Playmarket: