Meet Emma Palzere-Rae who plays Essie in East Lynne Theater Company’s ‘Ah, Wilderness!’

Emma Palzere-Rae with Mark Lazar as her husband and Evan Smilyk as her son, Richard, in East Lynne Theater Company’s “Ah, Wilderness!”

Emma Palzere-Rae is playing Essie Miller, a wife and mother living in Connecticut in 1906, in East Lynne Theater Company’s production of Eugene O’Neill’s comedy, “Ah, Wilderness!” Emma also happens to be a wife and mother who lives in Connecticut. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in acting, with minors in creative writing and speech at Emerson College, and is a member of the Actors’ Equity Association and the Dramatists Guild. As a producer and director, she’s helmed several nonprofit theatrical organizations, including the Manhattan-based Plays for Living, where original dramatic works are created to spark dialogue in the classroom and workplace.

When asked about the relevance of “Ah, Wilderness!,” she said, “It’s a great play for right now, because it reminds us of a simpler time, the beauty within families, and that love may not always be easy but it wins in the end.”

This isn’t her first time working with ELTC’s artistic director, Gayle Stahlhuth, nor is it her first trip to Cape May. Gayle performed in Cosmic Leopard’s Womenkind Festival in Manhattan in the 1990s, of which Emma was one of the producers and performers. Emma last performed for ELTC in 2000 as Harriet Beecher Stowe in her own “Aunt Hattie’s House.” She tours this and other shows throughout the country.

Come see Emma in the rarely produced, cast-of-14, laugh-out-loud production of “Ah, Wilderness!” running Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes St., Cape May, through Sept. 2. For more information and reservations, call (609) 884-5898 or visit

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