Emlyn Guiney

Emlyn Guiney is an actor and director working in physical theater and devised performance. She is drawn to original theater that creates new worlds by twisting our daily reality making it magical, absurd, and profound. Emlyn holds a BA in Theatre from the University of Minnesota, and has studied Butoh and devised theater in Canada and Australia. Emlyn directed WINDQUAKEWAVE in the HATCH Festival of Devised Performance in 2014. Emlyn’s a bay area native who has worked with many local companies including Fools Fury, Rapid Descent, Ragged Wing Ensemble, The Jewish Theatre and more.  Her one-woman show, Red String, which explored her Irish ancestry, was featured at the SFMOMA’s Amid A Space Between, Irish Artists in America in 2012 and was part of the 2010 New Voices Festival at the SF Marsh. She founded TENT, a free Oakland-based performance salon and currently leads artists on explorations into performance making at Wild Theater.

Artist Statement

As a theater artist I have many roles: performer, director, writer, producer, but the one I most identify with is creator. I am passionate about creating new work and I relish the process of making something from nothing. My artistic practice draws on my training in physical theater, improv, Buffon, Butoh, Viewpoints, and Composition. Whether I’m performing or directing, my work is experimental, process-based, and very physical. I create from the body first, finding my way into a theme, concept, or character through physical exploration. I like to see the body move and to create the world of the play through movement. For this reason, I am drawn to simple or mundane props such as large pieces of fabric, card board boxes, or paper parasols. I love to flip realism on it’s head and find ways for these props to become everything instead of what they are.  While I’ve created solo performance pieces, I find collaborative creation the most rewarding. Working with an ensemble to dissect a theme, examining it from many perspectives, and finding the intersection between seemingly disparate elements is my favorite kind of art making.

Artistic community is incredibly important to me and to how I approach art making. The Hatch community is invaluable to me because it embraces and supports the inherent twists and turns of the artist’s journey. In Hatch I can play many roles. I am a leader and a follower, a collaborator and an independent artist. In our HATCH Festival, I performed in multiple pieces and directed a devised piece investigating how natural disasters affect our communities and our sense of place.

The Work