Who are you? Emily C. A. Snyder
What do you do? I’m a theatre director, teacher and playwright. Occasionally, I act. (Mostly to remember what it’s like on the other side of the stagelights.) As a director, I’m often also producer and designer – but it’s nice when I’m not!
Where are you from originally? All over – Amherst and Worcester, MA, then Portsmouth, NH, then Pompton Lakes, NJ, with a brief stint in Steubenville, OH and an even briefer stint in Gaming, Austria, then back to Marlborough, MA.
How long have you been working in Boston? The length of grad school at Emerson.
Why do you stay? Because there’s something exciting and rich here! There’s a hunger for good theatre, new theatre, or old theatre made relevant today. That’s important.
What’s your earliest theatre memory? Seeing Peter Pan with Sandy Duncan when I was 3. I still remember some of the staging, and the moment when Peter Pan (the first love of my life) flew over me…?!?!!?! Yeah. Magic.
What’s your first theatre memory in Boston? Actually, it was when we first moved back here from NJ. I’d been spoiled rotten by being able to live only 45- minutes west of Broadway for eleven years and I was all “piffle” about theatre anywhere else. Then I discovered the theatre district in Boston and promptly changed my mind. I
What was your first job in the theatre? First theatrical gig was in nursery school when the parents were late for some sort of presenation that day. Since it was way too quiet and there was a hold, little four year old me naturally thought they were all there to be entertained, and I’d better jump into the breach. So I stood up and presented two versions of the “I’m a Little Teapot” song. However, the first PAID gig I had in theatre was a director for a 425-person Wizard of Oz (72 Munchkins…oy!). Stockholm-syndrome-y, I’ve been happily directing ever since.
What’s the best meal you’ve ever had before a show? I generally can’t eat before a show. So, the best meal I’ve ever had AFTER was the cyclone pasta (now sadly removed) from Outback.
What’s your favorite rehearsal snack? Diet Coke
Do you eat before you go on stage or do you wait until after your performance to eat? Again, I generally forget to eat, and then when I’m hungry it’s too late and I’m too full of adreneline.
If you could change one thing about theater, what would it be? The fear artists have about “selling out.” Learn how to entertain AND educate. Art and bums in seats are not mutually exclusive.
What kind of theater excites you? The more immediate, tangible and in-your-face, the better. Out of the doublets and hose and into my face, please!
What advice do you have for artists just starting out? Breathe. Don’t sell out your personal philosophies for a job. Remember, you have the great honor of changing lives. Make sure you can sign up for something that is true, good and beautiful.
The Boston Theatre Conference focused on the lively, lush and local aspects of our theatre community. What do you think? think therefore I am! no, seriously, I think that Boston is a great birthplace of new and developing works that rival – and I say this as one who was a Broadway snob – what’s being done anywhere else in the country. Let’s get the word out, folks!
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