Here are the results of the 2015 Playwrights Association of New Zealand 10-Minute Play Competition.
The following 8 plays will be performed at the PANZ Festival in Palmerston North in September.
[in alphabetical order]
Border Control by Richard Prevett, Matamata
Forget Me Not by Kerrie Anne Spicer, Hillsborough, Auckland
Hiding Behind the Teacup by Richard Bull, Waiheke Island, Auckland
Interview by Richard Harris, Whangarei
Sentimental Journey by Paula Crimmens, Mt Albert, Auckland
Surfing in Munich by Rex McGregor, Central Auckland
The Dentist’s Bill by June Allen, Bayview, Auckland
The Reunion by Tim Hambleton, Dunedin
The winners of the competition will be announced at the end of the festival.
72 scripts were submitted to the competition. They were judged anonymously.
Authors’ names have been added to the following report from the adjudicator, Tom Sainsbury.
GENERAL COMMENTS: It was such a delight judging all of these entries. I felt privileged for dipping into each writer’s individual artistic expression and created worlds. I can say, without exception, that each piece contained a strong setting and characterization. They all made an impact. The winning entries, however, ticked four boxes for me:
1, They were satisfying as a ten minute piece – others seemed to be much bigger stories or were jokes that could be told in two minutes.
2, They weren’t bogged down in exposition – with others I’d sometimes be taken out of the story thinking ‘A husband and wife would know that about each other – there is no need for them to share that information unless the writer believes it is important for the audience to know’.
3, All the drama/action happens on stage. Some of the pieces are referencing something that had happened previously. I wanted to see that drama – not the discussion afterwards.
4, The characters all had drives/desires that they were striving hard to achieve. These kind of characters make far more interesting reading/viewing than passive characters who aren’t trying to do anything or care about much.
So here are my chosen winners…
[in alphabetical order]
Border Control by Richard Prevett
Judge’s Comment: Hilarious dialogue and twist. What I really appreciated about this one was its satisfying build to the climax. Things just got more and more absurd. It will be a lot of fun for the actors to play.
Forget Me Not by Kerrie Anne Spicer
Judge’s Comment: A really heart-breaking story that manages to work/move me within a ten minute format – which is hard with such little time! I commend the writer for going there with a hard-hitting theme as well.
Hiding Behind the Teacup by Richard Bull
Judge’s Comment: This was really moving. And I enjoyed the twist. I enjoyed the characters and their lives a lot. Very well-drawn.
Interview by Richard Harris
Judge’s Comment: This was a great, interesting scenario that fitted perfectly within the 10 minute format. I really appreciated the politics behind this piece. It got me thinking about the state of the world, capitalism and work ethics. Hard to do in such limited time.
Sentimental Journey by Paula Crimmens
Judge’s Comment: This stayed with me for some time. I kept thinking back to it for some reason. I think the characters are wonderfully drawn, it’s a very efficient piece but contains such a big, moving story. It will be great for actors to play.
Surfing in Munich by Rex McGregor
Judge’s Comment: The writer has done an excellent job with the dialogue in this one. I could easily imagine the sparring/flirtation between the two characters. The twist was great as well – making it a succinct, satisfying short play. I’m excited to see how it is staged as well.
The Dentist’s Bill by June Allen
Judge’s Comment: A strong, stroppy, interesting central character with a clear drive. I love the twist as well. It felt really contained, and satisfying. I also like that it’s a scenario we can all identify with.
The Reunion by Tim Hambleton
Judge’s Comment: I really like the build of this piece. It is also perfectly suited to the short play format. There is some great comedy to be had and it’s wonderful that it’s a scenario that a lot of us can imagine/identify with.
Highly Commended: Token of Friendship by Nataliya Oryshchuk, Papanui, Christchurch
Highly Commended: We Shall Not Be Moved by Bronwyn Elsmore, West Harbour, Auckland
SPECIAL MENTION: Kerrie Anne Spicer had two scripts originally chosen as finalists. Since the festival is limited to one play per author, her higher ranking play Forget Me Not will be performed there. Her second play is:
Baggage by Kerrie Anne Spicer
Judge’s Comment: I really appreciate the shifting dynamics in this piece. They are well executed. There’s some great snappy dialogue. And the disembodied voices are delightfully robotic and disturbing.