is an opera and theater director

Press

press

 

“Emma Griffin knows how to be theatrical…”
- from a profile in Paper Magazine


"Exciting, heartfelt Fanciulla a winner for Opera Colorado... what happens on stage is one of the most lavish Opera Colorado productions in recent memory. The special effects are glorious, especially the depiction of a mountain snowstorm."
- Bolder Daily Camera

LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST


"The good news is that the CCM team delivers on all counts... This production of "The Merry Widow" is led by Emma Griffin, who elicits a great deal of rambunctiousness and contagious enthusiasm from her young and promising cast.... It's hard to believe they are all students."

- Cincinnati Enquirer

"The Merry Widow delivers a classy, hilarious performance. The masterful range of the music and the sheer aesthetic beauty of the set and costumes made CCM’s fall opera a visual joy, as well as a musical one... Physical comedy was a strength throughout the opera... The audience fell in love with this stunning performance."
- The News Record

THE MERRY WIDOW


THREE DECEMBERS

"Best of 2015 - Classical Music Performance"
- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“… director Emma Griffin does not include supertitles above the stage. The main advantage of this is that the show gains in immediacy: The contemporary narrative and the venue of the Alliance give the show a playlike sense of directness and emotional intimacy… “Three Decembers” offers an intriguing and moving portrait of a family’s struggle to connect with one another across the years, as well as a promising glimpse at the Atlanta Opera’s latest move toward occasionally placing smaller opera productions in new venues.”
- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“… this new production, directed by Emma Griffin, was effective in its simplicity.”
- Arts Atlanta


DON GIOVANNI

“The production is one of the company's best offerings in memory. With a score full of hit tunes and a cast that knows how to deliver them, this production is a triumph.”
- South Shore Critic

“Don Giovanni is a life force, comic, witty, intelligent, never mean-spirited.”
- The Boston Globe

“I never knew that opera could be so much fun.”
- The Boston Musical Intelligencer


THE CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN

 

Top 10 Opera Performances of 2013
- The New York Observer

“Ms. Griffin’s staging is deeply resonant… Janacek’s wistful, rich music in the final scene portrays this outcome not as tragic but as an inevitable part of life, a quality that comes though beautifully in this winning production.”
- The New York Times

“Curtis Opera Theater scored another bull’s-eye.  Emma Griffin’s high-energy but never trivial production, brightly clothed by Jessica Trejos (who somehow made a natural world out of gleaming retro pastels), evoked both the opera’s comic-book origins and the autumnal thoughts engendered in Janáček by his work on it.”
- Opera News


OUT COLD / ZIPPO SONGS

“Emma Griffin’s intelligent staging…”
- The New York Times


I CAPULETI E I MONTECCHI

“Curtis Opera offers outstanding ‘I Capuleti’ … this performance needs to be noted as a matter of history … a stylized, melodramatic body language set up exactly the right expectations: This is not theater as a simulation of real life but a simulation of theater from a bygone era. The artifice was there to be enjoyed for its own aesthetic sake, not for what it attempted to represent.”
- The Philadelphia Inquirer


WOZZECK

"The feeling of the production in the Kimmel Center’s Perelman Theater alternated between coldly clinical and sensuously emotional… All of the firm singing, along with muscular playing from the Curtis Orchestra with Corrado Rovaris at the podium, drew additional strength from director Emma Griffin’s vision for the opera.”
- The Bulletin

“unstoppable momentum”
- The Philadelphia Inquirer


STRETCH a fantasia

“Ms. Bernfield, in dialogue that is lyrical and stark at the same time, has [Rose Woods] taking us on a tour through Nixonian history without getting bogged down in the details… the package, under Emma Griffin’s direction, works.”
- The New York Times

“…thanks to Emma Griffin’s direction, the pieces come together with pizzazz.”
- Variety

“In what is the production’s most vivid and effective touch under Emma Griffin’s assured direction, the curtain regularly rises to reveal a band performing musical underscoring for Woods’ from-the-hip, worldly-wise declarations.”
- Theatermania.com


REMOVABLE PARTS

“The first thing wrong with Removable Parts is its duration: too short.  Actually, this might be the only thing wrong with this darkly enchanting musical theater piece.”
- The New York Times

“…at once uproarious and harrowing…”
- The New Yorker

“Bizarre, complex, and strangely moving, Removable Parts is lyrically brilliant and truly original.”
- Flavorpill


MISERY

“The ending is powerful, a beautifully done blend of the happy, the macabre and the horrific…”
- Syracuse Post-Standard

“…as directed by Emma Griffin, Misery is spectacular on stage.”
- Oswego County Today

“Misery is a Syracuse Stage landmark, among the most outstanding of recent years.”
- Syracuse New Times


47TH ANNUAL VILLAGE VOICE OBIE AWARDS

“Marshaling your resources is never easy when you’re an emerging artistic director with a penchant for large-cast plays. Yet, this young company has managed to create a series of feasts: An exuberant piano-filled production of Stage Door with a cast of 27. A fresh and uncluttered production of The Cherry Orchard that traveled across Williamsburg and the Lower East Side, and was even performed in a former fire house. Clearly, Emma Griffin’s actors will follow her anywhere. And why shouldn't they, when their leader demonstrates not only trust in their tales but such shoestring panache as well.”
- citation from the OBIE committee


GYPSY

Voted in the “Top Ten” shows of the year by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Creative Loafing (#2 on the list), and Southern Voice (#1 on the list).

“Staging this large work (125 costumes, 21 actors, six musicians and a dog) in an intimate, 120 seat theater is kind of like carving the show’s libretto onto a single chopstick.  But director Emma Griffin manages to keep the spareribs out of the soy sauce and litchis out of the fried rice – to use the shtick of Mama Rose’s favorite cuisine.”
- Atlanta Journal Constitution

“… the Actor’s Express production’s sharp cast and confident direction should delight both musical-theater purists and those who enjoy seeing the classics deconstructed.”
- Creative Loafing

“.. Director Emma Griffin gets it all right… in the hands of Griffin and the flawless cast, it’s dandy entertainment.”
- Southern Voice


STAGE DOOR

“The first thing you’ll notice about Emma Griffin’s auteurial style is her comfort with physical space. Her production fully exploits an awkward, pole-ridden black box. Transformed into the Footlights Club—a rooming house for Broadway understudies and leading lady wannabes—the playing area is divided into the common living room, an upstairs bedroom, and a visible backstage dressing area, where the young women function as a kind of chorus to the dramatic action. Between scene changes, actors gather around the piano to sing old standards like “All of Me” and “I Can’t Give You Anything but Love.” Salt Theater’s revival affords the opportunity to see an emerging directing talent in the full sway of her passion for the stage.”
- The Village Voice

“Emma Griffin may be the most radical director working below 14th Street. She has disinterred the sudsy, sentimental 1936 chestnut Stage Door not to deconstruct it or heartlessly camp it up, but to genuinely interpret it.”
- Time Out New York


CONQUEST OF THE UNIVERSE

“Making a story about such a despicable character not only watchable but enjoyable, especially while music, food, and sex are exploding all around the characters, controlling their lives in ways expected and surprising, is not easy, though director Emma Griffin is more than up to the task.”
- Talking Broadway


INKY

“Originality-it’s rare. But you can experience the pleasurably sharp intake of breath it brings by seeing Rinne Groff’s Inky; full of deft twists, acerbic quips, and a lunge at your guts. …Emma Griffin directs pungently, with style.”
- The Village Voice