As an emerging director, Emma has worked in commercial musical theatre, TYA, opera and indie theatre. Her directorial debut was during her time at St. Lawrence College, when the class was asked to design a show “on paper”. Being naturally curious, and a perpetual rule-bender, Emma proposed that her group mount a full-scale production in the black box studio. Under the mentorship of Brian Frommer, Emma directed her first one-act play, Sam Shepard’s Red Cross. This experience was the beginning of both her directing and producing career.
Spending an hour in The PepTides’s LOVE+HATE was like being in a kaleidoscope:
I was dazzled by all the pretty sights and I left the theatre seeing my own world a little differently.
Members of Ottawa’s pop-noir band The PepTide’s came to support Red Cross, and a few years later brought her on board as their director. This collaboration was a year long process, where Emma helped curate their pre-existing catalogue into three different versions of a song-cycle entitled Love+Hate. Love+Hate premiered at the Ottawa Fringe Festival in the site-specific category. This piece became a Fringe favourite and was subsequently picked up by the Undercurrents festival. In this second iteration, she tested the audience’s expectation of The PepTides as a “larger-than-life” pop band, and explored the For Those Who Hate album. The show was brought to SummerWorks in Toronto, where they exploded into a colourful pop extravaganza celebrating their Love Question Mark album.
From her SummerWorks debut, Emma was noticed by The Lower Ossington Theatre as an emerging director, and worked on several TYA shows with their company. She continued to expand in smaller indie projects, directing Fringe shows, and producing her own work. Most recently, Emma directed and co-produced The Boat Show by Toronto playwright Genevieve Adam, an immersive sailing experience that takes place on Lake Ontario at Toronto’s Harbourfront. Emma and Genevieve have collaborated on three pieces, and continue to find avenues to create new Canadian work. She is focused on developing new Canadian content, creating opportunities for non-union artists, and progressing her directing career.
The PepTides have taken the show to new heights. If you haven’t seen the show, get your tickets early.
Apt613: The PepTides take Love + Hate to new heights
Ottawa Magazine: With LOVE+HATE PepTides pave way to Broadway
“One final show for the evening back in the Theatre, as a Fringe fav’rit from last year made its triumphant return to the stage. Local musical superheroes The Peptides were back with their unspeakably entertaining LOVE + HATE, and there’s just nothing bad to say about this Goddam fun show. To anyone kvetching about Ottawa being a boring town, I present to you this show…watch it, then slink back to whatever desolate Hellhole you come from and bemoan the fact that there are no Peptides there to make life worth living. Tackling a variety of topics on the human condition, with more classical theatrical elements interspersed with a pop-noir rock concert, it’s a sight to see from beginning to end. While each member of the sizeable combo is clearly a musical prodigy in their own right, as a whole the Peptides prove to be a slickly oiled Theatre group to boot, tossing out choreographed dance numbers, comic scenes, live foley sounds and more with seemingly effortless appeal. Kitschy, kinky musical fantasticalness. I said it.”
- Kevin Reid, The Visitorium
“When remounting a Fringe show, most people just re-block the previous production to fit into a new space. If you saw last year’s show, I encourage you to see this expansive remount. The PepTides have taken the show to new heights. If you haven’t seen the show, get your tickets early. Opening night was sold out. There’s still plenty retained from the original Fringe production. It’s still a lavish, energetic spectacle with infectious dancing and social commentary. It is again irresistible.
The transitions between vignettes are so seamless that there is no time for the audience to applaud until the end. Not all performers are playing all the time. But even when singers or instrumentalists are on the sidelines, director Emma Ferrante has still assigned them roles to act out: sipping drinks, actively following the action, encouraging other performers, posing in ways that support a performer’s monologue. Undercurrents patrons should be grateful. This lavish remount is still an entertainment bargain.”
– Brian Carroll, Apt613