Emily Duncan is a Dunedin-based writer, copyeditor and teacher, and also acts and directs for theatre.
She first came to notice in Playmarket's New Zealand Young Playwrights Competition with the one-act play Lips in 1999, which marked her as a playwright to watch. Sweet Meats followed, inspired by the slave poetry of the Romantic period, and was produced at the Dunedin Fringe in 2004. Duncan's full-length drama Palliative Care premiered in 2008 during the Otago Festival of the Arts to excellent reviews and audiences.
Playmarket had previously provided British playwright Simon Stephens as her dramaturg in 2006. Duncan's next play Water Baby received a reading as part of Write Out Loud Dunedin at the Fortune in 2007 and a public reading at The Court Theatre in 2008.
In 2010 Duncan was selected for the Playmarket Playwrights’ Retreat. The script she developed there, Southern Comfort, was accepted for the 2010 Dunedin Write Out Loud. In 2013 her play Eloise In The Middle was a winner in Playmarket's Plays For The Young competition and received its premiere at The Fortune Theatre in 2018.
Outside theatre Duncan has written, produced and directed a mockumentary which screened on TV2. She has also written a series of short audio plays for Cadbury World in Dunedin.