EMMA LOUISE PURSEY
Emma has 23 years industry experience as a professional actor, performer and producer on stage and screen.
From 1997 to 2007 Emma trained exclusively in the Suzuki Actor Training Method with repertory ensemble, Frank Theatre under the direction of Jacqui Carroll and John Nobbs. Performances with the company include: HAMLET STOOGED, UP JUMPED THE DEVIL, OEDIPUS REX, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S ROMEOS, DOLL SEVENTEEN, THE TALE OF MACBETH: CROWN OF BLOOD, RASHOMON, SALOME and HEAVY METAL HAMLET.
International festivals with the company include: 1999 2nd International Theatre Olympics in Shizuoka; 2000 Shizuoka Spring Arts Festival; 2001 6th International Festival of Youth Theatre, Croatia; 2003 Toga Spring Arts Festival; 2003 European Regions Festival, Czech Republic; 2004 Adana International Arts Festival, Turkey; 2006 Aberystwyth University Theatre Festival, Wales; 2006 London Festival.
Emma played Lady Macbeth in multiple seasons opposite acclaimed Suzuki actor Okubo Noriaki, and performed in an exclusive showcase for Tadashi Suzuki’s second only visit to Australia at La Boite Theatre in Brisbane in 2007.
She also trained with Tadashi Suzuki’s company SPAC/SCOT in Japan, attended masterclasses with Ellen Lauren of the New York SITI Company, and former principal Suzuki actor, Ichiro Nakayama in London. In 2016 she co-taught a masterclass with former principal Suzuki actor, Okubo Noriaki in Melbourne.
From 2003-2013, Emma was co-director of The Brides of Frank, a dynamic ensemble of five female actors and dancers (Lisa O’Neill, Neridah Waters, Caroline Dunphy and Leah Shelton) who created critically-acclaimed, satirically absurd and subversive comedy performances by parodying popular culture, music and personae.
Other theatre includes: RIOT (Thomas Doyle); MADAME TULALAH’S MAGNIFICENT BOX (Brisbane Festival); TERMINUS (North of Eight Co.), THE PROCESS (John Gauci); THE TEMPEST (Melbourne Shakespeare Co.); THE MAN OF MODE (Chapel Off Chapel); THE FOUR ACCORDIONISTS OF THE APOCALYPSE (La Mama Theatre); GRIMM TALES (Queensland Theatre Co.); OODGEROO, ATTACK OF THE ATTACKING ATTACKERS (La Boite Theatre Co.); ‘TIL DEATH DO US PART (The Brides of Frank); THE GREATER PLAGUE (Restaged Histories Project); THE PILLOWMAN (23rd Productions); THE LARAMIE PROJECT (Springboard Theatre Co. & Forward Movement); CORPORATE (Loulabelle Productions); THE WAISTED GIRLIE SHOW with MARTIN MARTINI and the BONE PALACE ORCHESTRA (Strut’n’Fret); MYRRAH (Diane Cilento); WHERE IS JOY? (solo work).
In 2017 Emma designed and directed Helen Smith’s performance of Lady Macbeth in EVOCATION OF BUTOH for the Asia-Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts.
Television includes: PROJECT S.E.E.D. (TeePee Studios), NEIGHBOURS (Channel 11), WINNERS AND LOSERS (Channel 7), UNDERBELLY SQUIZZY (Channel 9). Films include: THE SOUND OF LOVE (Alex Richter); VENTURE (Michael Irwin); HIDE & SEEK (Cecilia Rossiter).
As a vinyl DJ, Emma composed and live-mixed numerous soundscapes for Australian contemporary dancer, Lisa O’Neill. Most significantly, FUGUSAN which opened the Visy Theatre at the Brisbane Powerhouse in 2000, then toured to Dancehouse, Melbourne, Performance Space, Sydney, the New Moves Festival, Glasgow and the Asian Contemporary Dance Festival, Osaka.
Emma also produced and starred as the lead in Australian photographic artist, Peter Milne‘s ‘film stills from a film that doesn’t exist’ series THE ODDFELLOW’S DAUGHTER for MICF 2015 at ACMI featuring select names in Australian comedy. It has now been turned into a book.
Emma produced and cast short film THE LAST TIME I SAW YOU directed by Damian McLindon. It was Third Prize Winner at Tropfest 2018, Best Film at Port Shorts Film Festival 2018, made Director’s Top Ten Pick’s at Encounter’s Short Film Festival (Bristol, England) 2018, Best Short Film at Peninsula Film Festival 2019, and featured at Glasgow Film Festival 2019. It is currently streaming on Ozflix. She was also third assistant director on Jordan Giusti’s short, Grevillea starring Lucas Pittaway that premiered at the 2020 Berlinale.