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Aotearoa Playwrights Conference 2004

Aotearoa Playwrights Conference 2004

Dear all, Please find below details of the public programme for this important national arts development event in Hamilton in just under a month. For the full programme, biographies of the national and international participants, or more details please get in touch. Mark Amery Programme Director

Aotearoa Playwrights Conference 2004 Monday 21 June - Saturday 26 June Waikato University, Hamilton FUEL Festival of New Zealand Theatre

Are our visions inspiring? Contemporary? Dynamic? Personal? Political? Entertaining? Relevant? Brave? Dangerous? Alive?

Part of the FUEL Festival of New Zealand Theatre, with major support from Creative New Zealand, APC 2004 is a week with Playmarket for professional playwrights, bringing to Hamilton some of New Zealand's most outstanding and promising writers and practitioners of the stage, along with national and international guests.

A free public programme focussing on the New Zealand play and theatre allows the public in Hamilton to join with this cutting edge professional artistic community in looking at issues facing our theatre, and also features a free writing workshop for Waikato based playwrights on the opening day of the conference, Monday June 21. This is an opporutnity for playwrights in the Waikato to find out more about Playmarket and look at how they can write to their strengths.

The conference is about strengthening the foundations of the New Zealand theatre of the future, helping make it more potent, relevant and alive. It is organised by Playmarket, with the playwright delegates throughout the week involved in a wide variety of workshops, development on their scripts and playreadings.

As well as featuring some of NZ's most significant playwrights we welcome international guests from Australia, Germany and the USA to work with the gathered playwrights. They include Nadine McDonald (Artistic Director of Queensland's Kooemba Jdarra Indigenous Performing Arts), Chris Balme (actor Tim Balme's brother and Chair in theatre studies at the University of Amsterdam) and Francesca Smith (Director of Sydney's Playworks). For profiles of our guests and details on playwright delgates see below.

Playmarket run a wide range of services and programmes catering to the needs of NZ professional play and playwright development, promotion and representation. If you are interested in writing for the professional theatre or producing New Zealand plays contact us: info@playmarket.org.nz or phone 04 382 8462 for further information.

Public Programme

All public programme activities unless otherwise listed are at the New Place Theatre, Waikato University Campus.

Monday________________________________________________________ 10.30am Playing to Your Strengths and Playmarket (New Place Theatre) A public workshop for Waikato theatre writers with Mark Amery 2pm Intercultural Playmaking 1 Presentation and discussion focussed on different cultural ways of approaching making theatre with a practical exercise in Noh Theatre, with John Davies. 4pm Intercultural Playmaking 2 A look at some current international examples of theatre laboratories and ensemble companies employing collaborative writing processes with the performer at the centre of the process, with William Farrimond. Wednesday _______________

4.15pm The Place We Stand - A discussion of theatre's role in the Waikato: past, present and future, chaired by William Farrimond.

Thursday _________

4pm Advance Australia Fair (New Place Theatre) So close, yet so far? Discussion with guests Nadine McDonald (Artistic Director of Kooemba Jdarra, Queensland), The Business (Australia), Francesca Smith (Playworks, Sydney), playwright Ricci Adams and Gaye Poole.

Friday ____

4pm Movement, Music and Words (New Place Theatre) A discussion with writer and actor Helen Moulder and composer Cristian Pilditch on how movement, music and words relate effectively theatrically.

Saturday ____

2pm FUEL APC04 Performance: The Telescope Afterburner (Academy Studio) 3.30-4pm Afternoon tea 4pm Devising New Writing Processes (Academy Studio) A discussion with special guests Afterburner.

Conference Participants

Special Guests: Nadine McDonald (Australia), Chris Balme (Germany), Afterburner, William Petersen (USA), The Business (Australia), Helen Moulder, Helen Todd, William Farrimond, John Davies, Gaye Poole.

Script Developers: Jean Betts, Stuart Hoar, Ken Duncum, Gary Henderson, Hone Kouka, and Francesca Smith (Playworks, Sydney).

Playwrights: Ricci Adams (Australia), Nigel Waters (Dunedin), Campbell Smith (Hamilton), Lynda Chanwai Earle (Wellington), David Foote (Hamilton), Kirk Torrance (Wellington), Albert Belz (Auckland), Pip Hall (Wellington), Gabe McDonnell (Wellington), Vanessa Rhodes (Wellington), Dianna Fuemana (Auckland), Jackie van Beek (Auckland), Stephen Bain (Wellington), Vela Manusaute (Auckland), Geraldine Brophy (Wellington), Philip Braithwaite (Wellington), James Griffin (Auckland), Richard Huber (Dunedin), Fiona Collins (Wellington), Bevin Linkhorn (Wellington), Elspeth Sandys (Wellington), Emma Willis (Auckland), Brian Hotter (Wellington), Rochelle Bright (Auckland)

The conference is made possible by support from Creative New Zealand, and gratefully acknwoedlges the support of the FUEL Festival, Tranzrail, and the Goethe Institute.

SPECIAL GUEST BIOS

Cristian Pilditch Cristian is a freelance composer and theatre producer. He is a graduate of Otago University and Victoria University with a first class honours degree in theatre and music composition. He has worked extensively as a composer in theatre, dance, radio and television. He has worked as musical director for Pan Theatre Poneke, composed music for the NZ Festival and written and staged several musical theatre works. As founding Artistic Director and CEO of the highly successful FUEL - Festival of New Zealand Theatre, he has cultivated arts partnerships and developed long lasting sponsorship relationships with leading New Zealand businesses. As a theatre producer he has worked on projects throughout New Zealand and internationally, including Love's Stories, featuring Royal Shakespeare Company actors, Barbara Ewing and James Laurensen. Cristian is currently based in Brisbane, managing the FUEL - Festival of New Zealand Theatre and developing a new music theatre work based on the paintings of Tony Fomision.

Afterburner Afterburner are a light and sound collective who develop acclaimed installation based performance pieces for the theatre. Their first work man on the moon was at BATS in 2001. The follow-up, the telescope premiered at BATS in November 2002 to critical and box office success and tours in 2004 to three centres. They are currently developing a new work for 2005 Singularity. In afterburner's work there is often little action and dialogue, the Œstory¹ told as much with elements of light and sound. It is this attention to detail and design that makes afterburner unique. "The afterburner vision is to use the cinematic layers available from light and sound to reveal the unspoken. In an increasingly visual world, the approach and indeed power of cinema to create sequences of images to push a story along has long been one held over the static nature of Theatre. However, Theatre can draw an audience in to the miniscule emotions taking place in front of its eyes. You can look everywhere and nowhere in a theatre, and it is therefore an art to hold an audience¹s attention." afterburner seeks to explore more of the visual links between the words and the audience. Not with outdated clumsy attempts at Œmulti-media¹ but by use of the cinematic pace. Founder of Afterburner Martyn Roberts is one of New Zealand's leading theatre lighting designers and lighting and has been prolifically creating light for such diverse productions as Rutherford, Marathon and Copenhagen at Circa Theatre, The Lead Wait and Black Monk for Trouble, to recent dance works When Love comes Calling and White for Raewyn Hill. He has been nominated 7 times at the prestigious Chapman Tripp Awards for his work, winning three times. Collaborator Sebastian Morgan-Lynch has performed and composed music/sound design for numerous works for the theatre since 1997. He was nominated for sound design awards for in 1999 ('when sun and moon collide') and 2001 ('man on the moon'). Other members of Afterburner with the Telescope in Hamilton are Miranda Maniasiadis and Peter Rutherford.

Chris Balme (Germany) Christopher Balme was born and educated in New Zealand where he graduated from the University of Otago. He has lived and worked in Germany since 1985 with positions at the universities of Würzburg, Munich and Mainz. In 2004 he was appointed to the chair in theatre studies at the University of Amsterdam. He has published widely on German theatre, intercultural theatre and theatre and other media. He is president of the German Society for Theatre Research, is on the executive committee of the IFTR and is Senior Editor of Theatre Research International. Recent publications include Decolonizing the Stage: Theatrical syncretism and postcolonial drama, (Oxford 1999); Einführung in die Theaterwissenschaft. (Berlin. 32003); Crossing Media: Theater ­ Film ­ Photographie ­ Neue Medien. ed. with Markus Moninger. (ePODIUM, 2004. Current research projects include a book-length study on theatricality and cross-cultural performative encounters in the Pacific.

John Davies A lecturer in Theatre Studies at Waikato University John's first professional engagement was with the Court Theatre in Christchurch in 1974 and he then went on to graduate from The New Zealand Drama School. He joined Red Mole Enterprises in 1977 and spent eight years travelling and performing original theatre throughout New Zealand, Mexico, U.S.A. and England. In 1984, he travelled to Kyoto to study Noh Theatre and has subsequently returned there twice and, as director of The New Zealand Noh Company has presented two original New Zealand Noh plays. John has extensive experience as a director, performer and tutor in performing arts, in both professional and community contexts. He has been assistant director for NBR Opera and in 2002 directed the opera Galileo at Auckland University and Carmen for Opera Waikato. He obtained an MA in performing arts from Charles Sturt University in 2001. John's research interests are Performance-as-Research, Theatre Aotearoa/New Zealand, Noh Theatre and the Western Avant-garde.

William Farrimond William is convenor of Theatre Studies at Waikato University. Initially trained in the U.K. as a Drama, Art and English teacher. Theatre-in-Education work with Brian Way¹s Theatre Centre in London. University studies include undergraduate and post-graduate degrees from the University of Copenhagen and further studies at the universities of Bristol and Leyden. Lecturer in Theatre Studiers for eight years at the University of New South Wales in Sydney together with on-going practice in experimental theatre. Extensive professional practice in Europe as a Theatre Director includes a long collaboration with Eugenio Barba and Odin Teatret in Denmark and work with Jerzy Grotowski and Dario Fo, among others. Member of the International School of Theatre Anthropology (ISTA). Since returning to New Zealand in 1996, William has worked independently as a theatre director (Journeyman Theatre Company and Le Mata Theatre) and has been the recipient of three Creative New Zealand grants for the development and production of original work. His research interests include Mask Performance, Theatre Anthropology, The Solo Performer, Performance-as-Research

Nadine McDonald (Australia) Nadine is Artistic Director of Kooemba Jdarra Indigenous Performing Arts in Queensland. She first joined Kooemba in 1996 as a freelance workshop tutor working mainly in youth detention centres and schools, developing and facilitating workshops on theatre, music, reconciliation and performance, before developing an educational arm. She then left the company to perform in Jimmy Chi¹s National Tour of Corrugation Road. Nadine is an active member of the National Indigenous Theatre Alliance BLAKstage, and has been actively lobbying for Indigenous artists through appointments on boards such as Queensland Theatre Company, Queensland Governments Premiers Indigenous Advisory Board and the National Performance Conference. Nadine returned to Kooemba in 1999. She has directed and co-written a number of Kooemba shows. In 2004, Nadine directs True by Odette Best and co-directs the National Touring Production of Binni¹s Backyard. A guest of Playmarket in NZ in June, Nadine will be attending the last three days of APC04.

Helen Moulder Helen Moulder has been working as an actor and singer for 29 years. Her recent theatre roles have included Vita and Virginia, Wit, for which she won Actress of the Year in the 2000 Wellington Theatre Awards, Great Expectations, Meeting Karpovsky, for which she won Actress of the Year, 2003 and Mum¹s Choir. Her film and television credits include Close to Home, Pictures, Country GP, Erebus ­ The Aftermath and The Dark Knight. Helen¹s writing experience began with Hen¹s Teeth, devising comedy sketches, one of which, written with Michael Wilson and Rose Beauchamp, has become The Legend Returns, which has played throughout NZ and is one of Radio NZ¹s most popular requests. Then in 2002, with Sir Jon Trimmer and the Australian writer-director Sue Rider, she devised Meeting Karpovsky which has had seasons at the Court and Circa and tours NZ in July-August this year.

William Peterson (USA) William Peterson is Associate Professor of Theatre Arts and Co-Director of the International Institute at the California State University, San Bernardino. He helped design and initiate the theatre programs at the University of Waikato (1995-1998) and the National University of Singapore (1992-1995). A co-founder of FUEL and former Artistic Director of San Diego's Diversionary Theatre, he has directed and produced theatre in Singapore, San Francisco, and Southern California. In 2002 he directed Jean Betts¹ Ophelia Thinks Harder, the first time his university has ever staged a Kiwi play. His publications include Theatre and the Politics of Culture in Contemporary Singapore (Wesleyan University Press, 2001) as well as numerous encyclopedia entries and articles on theatre and politics in Singapore, Maori theatre, Filipino dance, and American performance art. Dr. Peterson serves on the boards of the Association for Asian Performance and the Australasian Drama Studies Association and lives in fabulous Palm Springs.

Gaye Poole Gaye began her working life as an actor; stage credits include with the Queensland Theatre Company, Marian St Theatre (Sydney), and Old Tote Theatre Company (Sydney). She also worked for Twelfth Night Theatre, Brisbane, and Hole in the Wall Theatre, Perth. Her television credits include Homicide and The Young Doctors. She gained undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the University of New South Wales, and taught in the Drama Department of Newcastle University and across a range of subjects at the University of New South Wales: in the School of Theatre and Film Studies, the School of English and the Centre for Liberal and General Studies, the Faculty of Professional Studies and the Faculty of Law. International teaching at the University of Lodz, Poland, the University of Turku, Finland, and in Hungary at Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest, and the University of Debrecen. She is author of Reel Meals, Set Meals: Food in Film and Theatre (Currency Press, 1999) and contributed to the book Screen Scores: Studies in Contemporary Australian Film Music (AFTRS, 1998) and a second volume of Screen Scores (forthcoming, 2004).

The Business (Australia) The Business formed in 1997 performing short improvised theatre pieces. Interested in clown and physically driven comedic theatre, The Business are four women dressed as men ­ four flawed and loveable characters Paul, Barry, Ray and Pierre. They may be described as the eternal optimist with a second hand car salesman charm, the obsessive eccentric, the loser oblivious to his own idiocy, and the grumpy overeating independent. Their work has musical and dance elements, slapstick and gags, and is largely non-verbal. The focus is humanity and the relationships between characters ­ the empathy and pathos to be found when the audience identifies with the characters¹ ridiculousness and vulnerability. The work generates strong visual images ­ for example hundreds of letters falling like rain upon the hapless government officials. The winners of numerous awards, they received strong reviews in their Edinburgh Fringe Festival performances of The Concert last year. The Business are Kate Kantor, Clare Bartholomew. Penny Barton, Glynis Angell and Merophie Carr. All have studied with Europe¹s leading clown teacher Philippe Gaulier, and Clare, Penny and Glynis are all graduates of the John Bolton Theatre School (VIC). Glynis Angell and Merophie both hail originally from Hamilton New Zealand. More information: www.thebusiness.net.au

Helen Todd Helen is Light and Technical Director for Pacific ensemble MAU. Specialising in light design for dance since 1986, Helen has also designed extensively for opera and theatre in New Zealand. Helen was Co-Commissioner in 1999 and Commissioner in 2003 for the award-winning New Zealand Theatre Exhibits at the Prague Quadrennial, International Exhibition of Scenography and Theatre Architecture. Since 1990 she has tutored in Light Design and Performance Light at tertiary institutions throughout New Zealand and in the USA.

Helen¹s independent work in the exploration of light in performance has placed her work at the forefront of performance research and often outside current theatre practice. Since 1993 Helen has worked with Lemi Ponifasio and company MAU. Recent MAU productions Bone Flute and Paradise have featured at the Adelaide Festival 2002, the Venice Biennale International Theatre Festival 2003 and at the Prague Quadrennial 2003 in the Czech Republic. MAU theatre works and exchange workshops are also presented regularly in the Pacific Islands.

ENDS

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