"One of the greatest pieces of advice, if i'm qualified to give advice to writers, is to know the context in which you write - both the classical context, in terms of the canon of playwriting, from Aeschylus on, but then also the international context, those great contemporary international writers, and also the local context, so that you're not writing another version of Martin Crimp or Sarah Kane for example. And also knowing what your peers are doing."
Sam Strong
Artistic Director - Griffin Theatre, Sydney

Kia ora <<First Name>>

Currently we are in the middle of our four venue playreading tour of Auckland and Wellington and there is still time to catch one of the readings of this powerful play. See elsewhere in this bulletin for further information.
The next event on our calendar is the Bruce Mason Playwriting Award and the launch of the two Play Series titles for 2011. We will also be presenting certificates to the winners of our Plays for the Young competition. This event will take place later this month at Downstage in Wellington. This is the first time we have held the events on the same evening and I will also be announcing a new annual award that will be won in 2012 and will become part of this increasingly festive joint awards and book launch celebration each year.
The voting for the Bruce Mason Award was a more sophisticated process this year and we had a panel of eight voters who are all artistic directors, literary managers, or script advisors who have read scripts currently on offer. The race was tightly run with some fine contenders in consideration. This year we have decided not to name any shortlist and keep it a real surprise.
It is a shame to dampen the palpable joy of the Rugby World Cup but the fact is there was a negative impact on attendance for theatre during the period. With such fever in the country why would anyone attend a theatre show on the night of a game? Some performances were unable to proceed because of access to the venue, or issues of noise affecting performance because of proximity to a Fan Zone. It is difficult to rejoice when we hear commentators acclaim the success of the Real NZ Festival. It was predictable to some that theatre would not gain particular benefit from attendance by overseas guests. I understand Creative New Zealand is undertaking a scientific look at this issue and I await the results with interest.
Despite this I am pleased to report that Playmarket is running to budget and royalty collection is well on track for the first nine months of this year.
Of course there’s next year in planning and a great range of events and competitions on the way. Don’t forget to send in your entry for the Adam NZ Play Award. This is the first big event for 2012 and to win one of the five categories is affirmation for your writing. I am extremely pleased to announce that the 2012 judging panel includes two guest judges: James Griffin and Brett Adam - see here for their bios and more information.
Keep on playwriting and if you don’t receive an invitation to our November awards event in by the 9th but would like to attend please contact Aneta.

Nga mihi mahana
Murray Lynch
Director of Playmarket


E ono tama'i pato by Maureen Fepulea'i
"I wrote this play to give voice to many women who have had to survive their childhood…”
It is, finally, Wellington's chance to see this award winning play - part of a pilot project: The Playmarket Brown Ink Playreading Tour - directed by Margaret-Mary Hollins and featuring celebrated Pasifika actresses - Mary Pahi (Shortland St, 53i PI announcer), Olivia Muliaumaseali'i (Think of a Garden, Lena), Stephanie Tau'evehi (Shortland St, Russian Snark) and Suivai Autagavaia (Where We Once Belonged - PIPA, Exchange). Maureen, A child of Savaii, Samoa, who now resides in South Auckland. She started writing poetry and songs many moons ago as a way of staying awake at night, but E ono tama’i pato is her first play script. Parents, siblings, and dear friends help to shape her worldview.In June 2010, Maureen attended Matariki Festival Banana Boat Newbie Writers Workshop at Metro Theatre  - she was looking for support and a way into the world of writing for theatre. This was a perfect vehicle to achieve this. Banana Boat encouraged Maureen to apply for the Playmarket Brown Ink Clinics - held in Nov and this work has since won the Adam NZ Play Award for Best Play by a Pasifika Playwright. She is currently working on her newest work 'Lau Lupe'. 
The Auckland readings have played to packed houses and standing ovations.
The Marae, Te Papa, Wellington; 3 November 2011 6pm
The reading is open to the public for koha entry.


Two New Zealand 10-minute plays have been selected for the 2011 Short+Sweet theatre festivals in both Melbourne and Brisbane in November. Falling by Angie Farrow and Taking the Plunge by Rex McGregor will each have five performances at Melbourne's Chapel Off Chapel and Brisbane's Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts.
Four other NZ plays are on the Melbourne program: Lithium Kiss (Peter Larsen), A Stitch in Time (Nic Sampson, Ryan Richards and Barnaby Fredric), Supercide (Carl Smith) and Surrender (Mike Loder).
Albert Wendt - awarded the 2011 University South Pacific (USP) Press Literature Prize  for his collection of short stories, Ancestors.
Barbara Else whose book The Travelling Restaurant has been chosen for inclusion in the 2012 Honour List published by the International Board on Books for Young People.
Philippa Werry (PLAYMARKET Plays for The Young finalist 2010) - runner up in the 2011 Cultural Icons & The Vernacular Lounge Non-fiction Writing Competition.
Dan Bain (
Forbidden Birds Embarrassed Bees and Drones), Chris Cessford (Harden Up Miss Havisham) and Sunil Narshai (Pedantic Schmedantic) who attended the PLAYMARKET/Radio New Zealand workshops earlier in the year and whose scripts are winners in the RNZ New Shorts competition.


Creative science writing is ‘an epic tale of ingenuity propelled by curiosity’ according to British author Ian McEwan. Locally, it has been gaining popular traction with readers keen to explore this absorbing corner of the literary landscape. Literary science writing has also been encouraged in recent years by competitions such as those run by The Royal Society of New Zealand. Next month, a unique festival sees scientists and storytellers parley in Dunedin, with guests such as Jay O'Callahan (US) featuring alongside New Zealand writers such as Arthur Meek, Bill Manhire, Fiona Farrell and Raymond Huber.
Arthur Meek will be detailing the reasoning behind why he structured his play about Darwin, Charles Darwin: Collapsing Creation, the way he did to create the most effective story. There will also be a reading of the play in the Otago Museum's Animal Attic as part of ScienceTeller. Poet Bill Manhire will be talking about how accidents and constraints influence stories, and author Fiona Farrell about how fiction and non-fiction influence each other. 
November 15 – 19 2011
For the full ScienceTeller programme visit their website


Is it possible to have a career, busy life and still find the time to write?
Four top New Zealand writers and working professionals say it is and will tell you how at Trading Places, a unique literary event to be held in Auckland this month. A panel of high-profile New Zealanders - Gareth Morgan; Tessa Duder; Geoff Walker and Juliet Bergh - share their insights into how they balance their working lives with writing, how they make time to write, nurturing their creativity and contributing to the creative economy, and avoiding procrastination.

Trading Places is a free public event.
Auckland Central City Library, Level 2, 44-46 Lorne Street
15 November 2011, 7pm


For several years now Rebecca Mason (theatre critic, dramaturg, script assessor, executive coach, and the daughter of playwright Bruce Mason), has been offering an executive coaching scholarship to playwrights. She wants to work with playwrights who would benefit from setting and realising their playwriting goals. Rebecca is based in Nelson but is happy to work with playwrights remotely.
Most recent recipients were Sarah Delahunty, David Geary, Briar Grace-Smith and Victor Rodger. If you’re interested in receiving this coaching in 2012, please email Murray Lynch with your C.V. and a one-page submission outlining your vision for playwriting and why you would benefit from the coaching.


An investment fund that aims to secure the future of significant regional events and attractions has been given the go ahead to progress to the next stage of development by Wellington City Councilors.
The Council’s Strategy and Policy Committee have agreed to push ahead with a Wellington Mayoral Forum proposal to establish a regional amenities fund.
The fund would be invested in events and attractions that contribute to the region’s quality of life and the economy.
The intention is to start with a $2 million fund in 2013/14, increasing by $250,000 each year until a cap, agreed by the Mayoral Forum, is reached. A panel of six independent assessors will determine how the money is spent although their decisions must be ratified by the Mayoral Forum.
Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says the amenities fund is an opportunity for regional cooperation to safeguard the future of existing events and attractions and to create new ones.
“This is about the Wellington region using its collective resources to ensure we not only preserve those events and attractions we already have. It’s also about putting us in a strong position to develop new amenities that benefit the whole region.” 


Hurai is a story of Maori and missionaries in the early 19th century. The characters and setting are unspecific but based loosely on Papahurihia, an amalgam of European figures and some incidents in the literature. The Papahurihia movement originated around a somewhat mysterious figure (known also as Atua Wera – the red/burning god) who, in the 1830s, led a counter-movement to the conventional Christian Mission based on a potent mixture of Old Testament and traditional Maori lore. Calling themselves ‘Hurai’ (Jews), they reflected a commonly held notion that Maori were the children of Shem, the lost tribe of Israel. 
Hurai is modelled on the Greek Bacchae and, like Euripides' play, explores the emotional consequences for individuals in a clash of religious and cultural values.
Harry Love is a Dunedin playwright, director and actor. He is presently Honorary Fellow in the Department of Classics at the University of Otago.

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