Bronwyn Elsmore

Bronwyn Elsmore
Bronwyn Elsmore is the author of a large number of published works – short stories, articles, and nine books. She has three times been winner of Playwrights Association’s playwriting competition and has earned awards for other forms of writing.

Though she writes across several genres, playwriting gives her the most pleasure, and challenge.

Requests for licences should be made to:
PO Box 9767,
Wellington 6141.
Ph. 04 382 8462;



Abandon Hope

Comedy.  One act.
Cast : 4. Three women, one man, plus a male voice (telephone only)

“First the dairy factory, then the school – both gone north. We´re lucky to have a postshop and one bank left, though who knows for how long. There´s hardly anything left to call Ruawhetu any more. The whole place is going down the road – literally”.
And now the A-Bandon Underwear factory, one of the last surviving industries in the town is threatened with closure, to the distress of the few remaining workers. How do they use their last days to advantage?

First staged by Kaitaia Dramatic Society, 2003


About Felicia

A vet encounters a client with a different spin on animal health.

Finalist: PANZ Short Play Competition, 2017

Celestial Pursuits

Comedy, set in Heaven. One act – approx. 40 minutes.
Cast : 5, either gender.

What really goes on ‘upstairs’ in the heavenly realm. Are angels ‘angelic’ or are they more likely to engage in celestial shenanigans? A novice angel arrives in “God’s own Godzone”, the heavens above New Zealand, and learns some fascinating facts about life in the hereafter. Many of life’s little mysteries explained!

Winner, Playwrights Assoc. of New Zealand’s Minolta Playwriting Competition, 1997. Since then it has been produced ten times by various companies.



Comedy. One act.

Cast : 3f, 3m.

Stock characters, stock settings, familiar situations, predictable dialogue. If you haven’t seen and heard it all before, you need to go to the theatre more often. Cliché is a play to be enjoyed by actors who revel in the chance to send-up the genre; and to be groaned at by audiences who have provided bums-on-seats at local theatres for too long.

2nd Prize: PANZ One-Act Play Competition 2014

Available in the trilogy Fun Expected



Comedy – adult actors, for children. One act.

Cast : 5 (2 or 3 women, 2 or 3 men).

A group of actors present the play Goldilocks, but get rather muddled, and have to be helped out by the audience.

Has had seasons in Tauranga, Auckland, Christchurch.


Fallout: the Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior

Drama, Full length

Cast: 4-25

Two blasts disturbed the winter night and a ship dedicated to peace lay submerged in Auckland Harbour. A quarter of a century later many New Zealanders still feel strongly about the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior.

Basement Theatre, Auckland, May 20-30, 2015, directed by Jennifer Ward-Lealand.



Musical comedy, suitable for a largely teenage cast.

Full length.

Cast : 18. 4 men, 1 woman, 7 teenage girls, 6 teenage boys.

When the neighbouring farm property changes hands, the Fagg family of Poranginui are pressured by the new owner to sell part of their farm also. A private detective arrives on the scene and the children conduct their own investigation. Just who is Sherman Jones? Where has grandpa gone? And is there really a body in the swamp?

First staged by Tauranga Repertory, 1989


Rushton Roulette

Comedy-drama. Full length.

Cast : 4 f, ages 50s to 60s.

Four women who meet to play cards challenge the inevitability of sliding into old age and take up various challenges.

“It’s a bit like Russian Roulette,” says Ngaire.

“The chances are better in that,” replies Merryn “there it’s only one in six that you get the bullet.”

Winner, Playwrights Assoc. of New Zealand’s Minolta Playwriting Competition, 1999. Workshop performance, Auckland Theatre Company Second Unit, Auckland, April 2002



Drama. One act.

Cast : 9. Further actors/dancers optional.

From the ancient past to the present, from mythic time to the nuclear age, Shells traces the development of islands and people in the Pacific. The story unfolds with focus on the character Hina as she grows up, and how she is affected by ideas and present situations.

Second Prize, PANZ competition, 2006.


Side Show

Drama. One Act. Cast: 4f, 1m

Against the backdrop of an A&P show, amidst the competitive events taking place, issues which have affected a family during the past year come to a head.

First staged by Waihi Drama Society, 2009.


The Pied Piper

Musical – Pantomime.

Full length.

Cast : 12 principals (6 men, 5 women, 1 boy); plus a chorus of children, chorus of adults (could be teenagers); dancers.

When rats invade Hamelin, the women of the town form a pressure group to lobby the City Council and succeed in having their leader elected to office. A tussle develops over the mayoral chain, while the young people solve the mystery of the missing children.

Has had seasons in Tauranga, Upper Hutt, Te Aroha, Lower Hutt.



Drama. Full length. Cast : 3 f, 1 m.

Mary, early retired, returns to her old hometown and sets out to find her childhood friend Ana who also left many years ago and has not come back. The small town of Waimamae was a quiet place but its people, Maori and Pakeha, lived with hopes, dreams, and loss. Through the character of Mary and her memories and observations, a story of New Zealand as it was and is now, is revealed. Set between the 1950s and the present, “Waimamae” explores changing situations and attitudes.

An earlier version of this play was Highly Commended in PANZ competition, 2003.