Bites

skin poster

8 plays. 8 actors. 80 minutes. “Be prepared for the unexpected.”

BITES is a showcase of eight short plays from the recent National Playwright Association of New Zealand Short Play Writing Competition. The plays cover a variety of themes but all centre on how humans behave in today’s ever changing world. With an extremely talented cast, experienced breadth of directors and professional crew, BITES guarantees to be a worthwhile evening of original and thought-provoking new theatre.

Warning: Contains some offensive language

Presented by Skin Theatre, by arrangement with The Playwrights Association of New Zealand and Massey University.

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Plays

[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.

Four Plays by Rex McGregor

Rex McGregor‘s one-minute play Speechless may be short, but it’s well travelled, with recent productions in Leeds, UK at Gone in 60 Seconds (Gi60 UK Live) on May 6 and in New York at Flash Fest on June 14.

Anna Shotter (Kelly) and Gareth Price-Baghurst (Roy) in Speechless, Gi60 UK Live, Leeds, UK.
Anna Shotter (Kelly) and Gareth Price-Baghurst
(Roy) in Speechless, Gi60 UK Live, Leeds, UK.

His 10-minute play This Particular Crevasse was produced at the 10-Minute Play Festival, Lakeshore Players Theatre,
White Bear Lake, Minnesota from June 4-14, directed by Laura Bidgood.

Christopher J. DeVann (Nick) and Lina Jamoul (Holly) in This Particular Crevasse, White Bear Lake, Minnesota
Christopher J. DeVann (Nick) and Lina Jamoul (Holly) in This Particular Crevasse, White Bear Lake, Minnesota

Threatened Panda Fights Back was featured at King’s Shorts Festival of 10-Minute Plays, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, Canada, June 12-14, directed by Jeff Styles;

And Lullaby for a Librarian was produced at FIVES New Play Festival, Black Box Theatre, Colorado Springs, Colorado, June 25-27, directed by Teri McClintock.

Jenny Maloney (Tara) and Chelsie Rigor (Courtney) in Lullaby for a Librarian, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Jenny Maloney (Tara) and Chelsie Rigor (Courtney) in Lullaby for a Librarian, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Home Exchange Sleeps Six

Cal Lovell‘s second One Act play written for NZ Amateur Theatre was performed at Dargaville’s Theatrefest in July. The Adjudicator’s comments were as follows: “The play Home Exchange Sleeps Six is a witty piece of writing which appeals to all ages. The concept of the overseas “getaway” attracts all and the humour that ensues from a “seat of power” performance (where the audience holds all of the information” ) appeals as the comedy builds as we gain more information. The script was skillfully crafted and achieved a lighthearted approach to a simple yet entertaining plot. Overall Impression The piece was a well-crafted, heartwarming comedy rooted in the emotional response to people and their experiences. A clever piece of theatre giving a slice of life approach to the ultimate kiwi holiday.”

home ex

FALLOUT: The Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior

by Bronwyn Elsmore
at the Basement Theatre, Auckland
20-30 May.
Bronwyn writes,
I’m thrilled to report that the premiere season of my play Fallout – the Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior was a wonderful success. At Basement Theatre 20-30 May, there were full houses throughout and an extra session was added.
Since I know the story means so much to so many people, I really wanted it to fulfill their expectations, especially those of the Greenpeace members who were on board the ship and were at the opening night. One wrote the next day –
“thank you so much for this wonderful play! I literally cried from the start to the finish; it was so moving, so funny, so true, so Kiwi. I may just have to come and see it again :)”
Every day there were further messages from people who saw it the night before, reinforcing the theme – how strongly NZers felt, and still do feel, about this event in our history.
HUGE thanks to a dream team of director Jennifer Ward-Lealand, a great cast (Fasitua Amosa, Luanne
Gordon, Toby Leach, Kerry Warkia), terrific designers (Sean Lynch, Paul McLaney, Jeremy Fern), and production companies The Large Group & Last Tapes Theatre Company.

Fallout
Jennifer Ward-Lealand (L), Tony Forster, Bronwyn Elsmore (R) at the opening night of PANZ member Bronwyn Elsmore’s play Fallout – the Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior.

Note the reference to ‘premiere season’. Even better news – the producers are hoping to tour the show.

PANZ 10-minute Play Competition results

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.

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Leo Cappel at the NZ Pacific Studio

NZ pacific Studio 3

Leo Cappel has just returned from a month as resident writer at the NZ Pacific Studio, Mt Bruce, near Masterton. The Studio is an old homestead, built in 1911 and now restored as a residence for artists, including writers. Leo was delighted to accept the invitation. He found the homestead and the international visitors amazingly stimulating, so he wrote two short plays in quick succession, and most of the script for his fourth musical: THE BUSKERS. It is planned as a full-length play for four main actors – with music as part of the action. Two of the actors hope to get a one year fellowship at the London School of Music through a competition. These two need to be able to sing and play: Irish harp and keyboard. A third actor will be a flute player. They are busking in front of a Turkish restaurant, so actor number four, wait for it!, is a belly dancer. Two more actors are needed in minor roles. Leo is now finishing the scores of about two dozen songs plus incidental music. The musical will shortly be ready for workshopping. (Any takers?)

After his stay at the Studio and travelling well over 2,000 km, including storm on the Dessert Road, Leo finally needs to get back to earth.

Leo Cappel, Whangarei

10-minute comedies on both sides of the Atlantic

Rex McGregor has had several overseas productions of his 10-minute comedies.

Feline High-Rise Syndrome  Take Ten Festival 2015Between Us Productions, Roy Arias Studios, Stage II, New York, NY, April 8-10, 2015, directed by Emily Naylor

Dueling Judges  Playground: Mind GamesGhost Dog Productions, The Horse & Stables, London, March 23-24, 2015, directed by Bisera Winters

A Supportive Wife Supports Her Wife  Spring One Acts, Manhattan Repertory Theatre, New York, NY, March 18-21, 2015, directed by Ross Hewitt

A Bride for the Pope  Walking the Wire: Classified, Riverside Theatre, Iowa City, Iowa, March 6-15, 2015, directed by Jody Hovland

Feline High-Rise Syndrome  Claremorris Fringe Festival, Half a Breakfast Theatre Group, Claremorris, Ireland, March 6, 2015, directed by Richie Heneghan

Feline 1

Christopher Herr (Boot), Clare Rea (Taz), Stephen Humes (Doug), Hannah Richter (Sandra) in Feline High-Rise Syndrome, New York.