Emma Ayres is a teaching artist, playwright, director, musician, performer and activist, native to the Pioneer Valley. Her writing credits include: The Emily Dickinson Project co-written with Brianna Sloane, The Water Project Folk Opera, and Mom Baby God co-created with Madeline Burrows. Her plays have been featured at: The Double Take Fringe Festival, Full Disclosure Festival, Amherst College, Hampshire College, Edinburgh Theatre Festival, Leeds Historic Association, Swift River Valley Historical Society, and The Emily Dickinson Museum. Directing credits include: Eurydice with Detonated Theatre Co., The Emily Dickinson Project with TheatreTruck Co., Mom Baby God, and The Water Project with Eggtooth Productions.
Her writing focuses on bringing visibility to local history that has been depoliticized and forgotten. She is the recipient of The Rand Award for excellence in playwriting and directing, numerous local cultural council grants, and the Club Passim Iguana grant. In addition, Ayres was a Humanities Scholar with The Literacy Project supported by Mass Humanities funding.
Ayres has 3 years of Suzuki Movement training (a traditional Japanese movement-based theater practice) and has co-taught multiple classes at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Ayres sings in Emma June Band, Old Flame, Emma Ayres, and has worked as a freelance composer for Shakespeare & Company, Hampshire Shakespeare Company, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, and Bates College Theater Department. Her music can be listened to at emmajunemusic.bandcamp.com. Ayres completed her BA at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in a self-created major in Arts in Education. She now works as the program coordinator and marketing director at the Shea Theater Arts Center, a collaborator with TheatreTruck, and a peer mentor playwright at Barrington Stage Company.
Ayres joined Enchanted Circle Theater as a performer and teaching artist in the summer of 2015 and is committed to arts integrated education because as Rudolph Steiner says: “Our highest endeavor must be to develop free human beings who are able of themselves to impart purpose and direction to their lives. The need for imagination, a sense of truth, and a feeling of responsibility—these three forces are the very nerve of education.”
Who We Are
” My students are developing a sense of community and “themselves” that without the experience of the theater would not be possible. I see my students grow and shine, and that means the world to me.”
~ ESL Teacher, Holyoke