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Best way to learn to write a play is...

"The best way to learn how to write a play is to write a play" Roger Hall

The most important annual event for budding New Zealand young playwrights is fast approaching. New Zealand's playwrights agency Playmarket is calling for submissions for the Seventh New Zealand Young Playwrights Competition, an event that has established itself as an important stepping stone in the development of new writers for our theatre

The competition is open to any New Zealand resident between the ages of 16 and 22. The deadline for plays to be entered for consideration by Playmarket is May 15th 2003. The competition recognises three winners and three runners-up in total ­ a winner and a runner-up from the following regions; Northern (Cape Reinga to Taupo), Central (South of Taupo to Wellington including the Chatham Islands) and Southern (The South Island and Stewart Island).

A winner in 2001 and 2002, young playwright Kathryn Van Beek has gone on to have her work selected by Auckland Theatre Company to be produced as part of their 'Final Draft' programme. Van Beek was among four past winners who presented new plays recently in Wellington's Fringe Festival. Her winning work in 2001 French Toast went on to be performed at Bats and at the Silo, and won Best Theatre at the Wellington Fringe.

"As a result of the competition workshop I felt more freedom to experiment with music, dance and poetry - and these elements were what made the play I think," says Van Beek.

The six awarded playwrights are invited to attend a five-day event in Dunedin from June 30th-July 4th 2003 organised by Playmarket. During the five days the winning plays are workshopped. A master class with an established professional playwright and a theatre trip are all part of the week¹s activities.

2002 winner Robbie Ellis from Nelson recalls: "To leave rural New Zealand at 6am with some stories that you¹ve written and by 10am be in a city, with people paying instant attention to you and your work really made me feel good about what I had done."

For further information and entry forms : contact Mark Amery at Playmarket ph. 094 382 8462, email: mailto:info@playmarket.

2003 New Zealand Young Playwrights Competition Rules and Conditions

*Entry is free. An entrant may submit up to three plays.

*For the purposes of the competition an entrants age is their age on May 15th 2003.

*Scripts may be in English or Maori

*Scripts may not have been performed previously and must be the original work of the playwright.

*Dialogue should be clearly differentiated from stage directions. A list of characters and a script synopsis should be included at the beginning of the script.

*Scripts should be unbound, typed, double-spaced and on one side of the A4 page only. Pages must be numbered.

*Two copies of each script must be submitted.

*Scripts may be in any style and explore any theme. They should be between 30 and 60 minutes in length. (A useful guide is that 1 page of script roughly equals 1 minute of stage time)

*The cast size is limited to 15 or less. *Scripts will be judged according to the quality of their writing and their potential for production on the stage. TV and/or film scripts are not eligible for submission.

*Each script will be read by at least two judges appointed by Playmarket. Winners will be notified and the judges¹ decisions will be announced to the media by the end of May 2003. The judges¹ decision are final and no correspondence will be entered into.

*Playmarket reserve the right to license and publish the winning scripts.

*Each entry must be accompanied by a signed entry form.

*The deadline for entries is 5pm Thursday 15th May 2003. No late entries will be accepted.

Entries should be sent to: 7th New Zealand Young Playwrights Competition Attn: Mark Amery Script Development Manager Playmarket PO Box 9767, Te Aro, Wellington

Mark Amery Script Development Manager, Playmarket

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