Emily won the inaugural Lilly Award for a Female Composer of $25,000 ("Go Write A Musical"), mentored by Broadway producer Stacey Mindich (Dear Evan Hansen), and a year-long grant at New York SongSpace at the Lilly Awards for women in theatre.
It was a surprise! Many of my family and friends were hiding backstage, then as I was yanked up the aisle towards the stage, they came out for the big reveal. This is a video taken by Sathya Sridharan onstage of Lilly Awards founder Julia Jordan welcoming me to the stage.
WICKEDEST WOMAN at women’s project
In January, Emily will play Caroline in Jessica Bashline’s new play WICKEDEST WOMAN, directed by Melissa Crespo.
This play with music is based on the true story of Ann Trow Lohman, a female doctor (midwife and abortionist) in New York City throughout the 1800’s. When Ann began performing abortions in 1838, they were legal in the United States; when she committed suicide almost 40 years later at the end of her career, they were illegal. Madame Restell (Ann’s alias) became the face of evil that the anti-abortion movement used to rally people to their cause. A cast of 7 actors tells the epic story of Ann’s rise to notoriety, and her struggle to survive it.
recent acting projects
NELL GWYNN at chicago shakespeare
September—November 2018, Emily played Lady Barbara Castlemaine and Louise de Kerouaille in the national premiere of NELL GWYNN by Jessica Swale, a new play at Chicago Shakespeare Theater directed by Christopher Luscombe.
The play transferred from The Globe to the West End, and won the 2015 Olivier for Best Comedy.
RECENT writing PROJECTS
I AM THIS FOR YOU at ars nova antfest
Summer 2018 — A play / EDM concert / animation. Play, music and lyrics by Emily Gardner Xu Hall.
the cardinal for cornerstone theatre company
Summer 2018 — Play by Cusi Cram, music and lyrics by Emily Gardner Xu Hall.
Commission from Cornerstone Theatre Company to write a brand new play with music inspired by stories of the Flushing, Queens community. Directed by Juliette Carrillo, the production featured live puppetry, choreography, a live band, and a cast of Queens residents and was part of Cornerstone's Flushing Initiative program.
As an actor and singer, she acted and sang in a run of a musical at the Arden Theatre Company in which she also played four instruments. She received a great review in Bryony Lavery's two-hander, Stockholm, from Ben Brantley of the New York Times.
Emily is a composer-lyricist, a member of the BMI Musical Theatre Writing Workshop, and a member of the Musical Theatre Factory Writers Group. Studio Tisch held a reading of her original musical Untitled Cherry Orchard Musical at Studio Tisch, and a workshop presentation of her new Cymbeline musical. She also made her debut as a composer at MuseMatch X at 54 Below last July, and performed her own songs at Rattlestick Playwrights' Theatre New Songs Now! where she was selected as a featured singer-songwriter.
As a playwright, Emily was selected as one of four playwrights in Rising Circle Theater Collective's INKtank for her full-length play with music I Am This For You. The play development process culminated in a reading of I AM THIS FOR YOU at Rising Circle's PlayRISE festival, and two weeks later, a fully staged performance with a cast of 8 at Ars Nova ANTFest. For more about the show, click here.
new york times Ben brantley review
In Stockholm, the Blades are Drawn from the Start (click here for the full review).
‘A precision-tooled performance by Emily Gardner Hall…
Ms. Hall gives natural life to Kali’s extreme, lacerating ambivalence. This young performer is remarkably smooth in conveying spikiness...
Todd and Kali are dancing fools and their range of movement swings wide. Sometimes they skip about as blithely as Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds in “Singin’ in the Rain,” but their natural form would seem to be the apache dance, with its all-out brutality.
[They] make us believe that from the moment they met, everything Todd and Kali have done has been charged with dangerous contradiction.’
Ben Brantley, New York Times, August 24th 2013
Or read the full review without visiting the NY Times website here.