Meet our team!
Elisabeth Cooper has been with Essential Theatre since 2016. She is a Teaching Artist and Educator with over 20 years teaching and mentoring students of all levels. She has worked as a teacher with summer camps through the Ferst Center for the Arts at Georgia Tech, a guest lecturer at various high schools, was the Education Director for Dad’s Garage Theatre Company, was a member of the Education Advisory Committee for the Georgia Shakespeare Festival, and works with Synchronicity Theatre’s Playmaking for Girls program. Her work in public education includes being the Lead Theatre Teacher at Shiloh High School in Gwinnett County for 10 years and teaching Theatre at The DeKalb Elementary School of the Arts. She is a member of the committee who wrote the most recent version of the Georgia Standards of Excellence in Theatre Arts.
Emily McClain is a theatre educator and playwright. She first became involved with Essential when her play, Slaying Holofernes, was co-winner of the 2019 Essential Theatre Playwriting Award and received its World Premiere production as part of the 2019 Essential Theatre Play Festival. Her short plays have been staged at Out of Box Theatre (Santa After Hours 2018 & 2019, Women’s Shorts 2019), Merely Players (Amplifest 2019), Atlanta AppCo Alumni (Culture Series 2018), Raze The Space (Los Angeles Library Series 2019), Theatre Oxford (Ten-Minute Play Winner 2019), and Actor’s Express (Courtroom Drama Series 2019 & 2020), and the Eden Prairie Players (Ten Minute Festival 2020). She has been a featured playwright with Elephant Room Productions for her play CHEEK BY JOWL June of 2019. In January of 2020, her historical drama about the Booth Family, MY BROTHER’S SECRET KEEPER, was chosen for a staged reading with Pumphouse Players. In February of 2020, her sequel to Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, TERMINUS ANDRONICUS, had a staged reading with Live Arts Theatre. Emily holds a BA in Theatre from Berry College and a MEd in Integrating Arts in the Curriculum from Lesley University and is a proud member of Working Title Playwrights in Atlanta and the Dramatists Guild. She has directed over 40 plays with high school students in her career and is a co-founder of the community theatre group Gwinnett Classic Theatre. Emily lives in Lawrenceville with her husband, two children, and a sweet dog named Walter.