Emily Daly from CTC’s ‘Noises Off’ talks about her family of actors

Who: Emily Daly, 24, Chautauqua Theater Company conservatory actor.

Right now, Emily is performing as Poppy in CTC’s season opener Noises Off. She will also appear in CTC After Dark, in which the CTC fellows take the lead on a project, and the interarts “Mango Suite,” which is based on the novel by Sandra Cisneros (Week Four’s Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle selection) and will incorporate elements of theater, opera, literature and dance. Her final CTC role will be as Lady Montague in Romeo & Juliet.

Emily Daly

Where she’s from: Daly is from Milwaukee but is now attending the University of California, Irvine to earn her M.F.A. in acting.

Her parents remain in the Midwest and work in regional theater, her dad as an actor and mom as a dialect coach and playwright, among other roles.

“I spent a lot of time watching rehearsals and just hanging around at the theater when they couldn’t get a babysitter,” Daly said. “Just watching them be a part of that and meeting that community is kind of what got me in.”

Theater credits: Before coming to CTC, Daly performed as Roberta in Danny and the Deep Blue Sea by John Patrick Shanley.

Inspiring artists: “I love Viola Davis, I love Cate Blanchett, I love Tilda Swinton,” Daly said. “I just love kind of force-to-be-reckoned-with women in the industry.”

Dream roles: It was seeing her father play Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream that helped pique Daly’s interest in theater as a career. Daly said she’d like to play as many Shakespearean roles as she can, but Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing is a favorite.

Beyond Shakespeare, she would also like to play the title character in Eurydice.

How she winds down: Daly takes a break from the theater with Netflix and HBO, and right now is watching “GLOW” on Netflix. Her go-to book is She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb, which she first read in high school.

Favorite food: “Any pasta-based dish I could eat for days,” Daly said. “I’m Italian.”

Why Chautauqua: Daly heard about CTC “through the grapevine” from friends who had been part of the conservatory and loved the experience. She also had an idea of what CTC management would be like since CTC Artistic Director Andrew Borba taught at UCI.

What it’s like to have a theatrical family: Daly said her parents were at first a little confused when she said she wanted to pursue acting.

“They were like, ‘You’ve seen how hard this life is,’ ” Daly said. “But they’ve been nothing but supportive and wonderful, and they’re really honest about how hard it is and what I have to expect, so it’s nice to have them as resources.”

Tags : Chautauqua Theater CompanyctcEmily DalyNoises OffThe Artstheater

The author Dara McBride

A recent graduate of Syracuse University’s Goldring Arts Journalism program, she comes to Chautauqua after covering Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, South Carolina, for The Post and Courier. A Delaware native, she spent three years as a lifestyles editor on Maryland’s Eastern Shore writing about local authors, musicians and artists. Her work has also appeared in American Theatre magazine. She can be reached at or @DaraMcBride.