Emma Workman Bolt is a re-emerging playwright whose passion for theatre is based on a belief that a grass-roots, humble version has the ability to reflect, without pretension or judgement, the monumental decisions faced daily by the quiet amongst us. She believes it is through pared back and inquiring work that greater acknowledgement can be afforded to those who are repeatedly and inadvertently turned away from.
In 2004, living in Melbourne, Emma ran away in a ’78 Bedford van and found herself traveling and working though out Australia. For the last seven years she has been a Disability Support Worker in remote & regional QLD. She has worked in Aboriginal and Islander-specific care, mental health, high needs disability care and disability ageing. These experiences have afforded her a chance to glimpse what it is to live with priorities so pervasive that the idea of heading to the theatre is akin to handing a flute to a tree.
Emma graduated from The University of Tasmania with a Bachelor of Performing Arts in 1997 and co-founded Second Storey Theatre Productions (SSTP) with fellow graduates the following year. Her first professional works, Salmon & GUN were produced in SSTP’s debut year. She received a Writer in Residence grant through the Tasmanian Writers Centre and an Emerging Writers grant through Arts TAS to write and direct Leaving with SSTP in 1999.
Emma has remained involved with Tasmanian based Mudlark Theatre and contributed to their ONE DAY series – a 24hr, blank page to stage production model where writers are given 7 hours to create a one act play that is performed the following night. She continues to participate in the dramaturgical mentoring initiative Enter Stage Write with Cairns based JUTE Theatre and recently collaborated with Anglicare’s Butterflies Theatre – a self devising theatre group for people with disabilities based in Toowoomba.
Her desire to bridge the two disparate paths she has taken drives Emma to make work that respects those who have shared their stories along the way.
WORK WITH METRO ARTS //
2016 Creative Development / Let’s Speak of the Unspoken – Thread, Writer/Director
2014 Creative Development / Let’s Speak of the Unspoken – Yielding, Writer/Director