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The Ninth Adam Playreadings

The Ninth Adam Playreadings

Downstage Theatre

August 21st to Sept 11th Sundays, 3pm

Organised by Downstage Theatre Society, Playmarket and Downstage Theatre with the support of the Adam Foundation.
Tickets $6.00 door sales only from 2.30pm on day of performance. Now in its ninth year, the Adam Playreading Series has become a central event in the New Zealand theatre calendar, a key forum for the public to be part of the birth of the finest new New Zealand plays and playwrights in Wellington.

The 2005 series provides the opportunity to see work by four emerging bright lights in New Zealand professional playwriting. Included is an outstanding play by celebrated Wellington novelist Damien Wilkins (Drinking Games), a musical by Michael Williams we believe should be destined to be a cult classic (Lonely Heart), a dark, daring work by Dunedin playwright Nigel Waters deserving of wider acclaim (Hymn), and a major play by up-and-coming playwriting talent and Victoria University MA in Scriptwiritng graduate Vanessa Rhodes (The Bright Sea). These are four New Zealand plays Playmarket and Downstage believe should have bright futures on the professional stage, nationally and internationally. The Adam Playreading Series has been instrumental in the development of some of the most successful New Zealand plays. This includes Ian Cross’ The God Boy and Dave Armstrong and Oscar Kightley’s Niu Sila. Both went on to have successful premieres at Downstage and seasons booked around the country. Drinking Games by Damien Wilkins (Sunday 21st August) is about four old school friends who meet regularly to play tennis, and to drink. Now the things that brought the men together seem less potent than what is driving them apart. The play looks at male friendship – its rituals, pleasures, failures and intimacies.

Damien Wilkins is the author of six books, including poetry and short stories. He is best known however for his award-winning novels. The Miserables won the 1994 NZ Book Award for Fiction. He has twice been awarded a New Zealand Scholarship in Letters and in 2000 he was Writing Fellow at Victoria University. He has also written drama for television (Insiders Guide to Happiness) and radio.

Lonely Heart by Michael Williams (Sunday 28th August) Martha Beck is one of life’s losers, but in her dreams she is Scarlett O’Hara waiting for Rhett Butler. When her only friend sends her name to a Lonely Hearts Club, Martha meets Ray Fernandez and for once in her life she feels loved. But Ray isn’t everything he appears to be and the consequences are deadly. Lonely Heart is a musical based on a true story of the notorious Lonely Heart Killers in 1940s America.

Michael was born in Petone and studied music at the Wellington Polytechnic. He has been a professional Musical Director since 1983 and has been responsible for over 50 shows throughout Australasia. He created Dead Tragic and has written songs for numerous productions.

Hymn by Nigel Waters (Sunday 4th September) Dallas and Victor had together entered the duet competition at the Provincial Brass Band Champs. Their tutor, Mr Skipper, had picked them this old hymn to play. They had to practise heaps, for weeks, even out at Mr Skipper’s place. Now, Victor lives with Tui. Dallas has moved up from Southland to live with them. Tui is fed up, Victor is just not himself, especially now Dallas is here. Hymn was performed at he SiLO Theatre, Auckland (2001) and The Engine Room (2003) and has recently received development work. (Content and language may offend).

Nigel was born in Invercargill and lives in Port Chalmers. After spending time at Allen Hall Theatre at Otago University, Nigel spent several years working at Fortune as a stage manager. He works with Talking House, creating original theatre works and The Engine Room, which produces Dunedin playwrights.

The Bright Sea by Vanessa Rhodes (Sunday 11th September) Elsie returns to her childhood home by the sea on the Kapiti Coast to be cared for by her adult daughter Helen. Meanwhile Helen’s daughter Jane arrives home from Australia with her new fiancé ten days before their wedding. The past infiltrates the present as Elsie, suffering from the onset of dementia, relives a passionate love affair from her youth. Cracks begin to show in the veneer of family life as events unravel.

Vanessa studied Theatre at Victoria University and graduated as an actor from Toi Whakaari (1997). She studied creative writing at Auckland University (2001) and completed her MA in scriptwriting at IIML (2004). In 2003 she wrote and directed Where are you my only one? at the SiLO, which she also adapted as a radio play. She was recently a resident at The Robert Lord Cottage in Dunedin. A new play, The Land of Make Believe, will be produced at the SiLO later this year. …………….

All Adam Playreadings start at 3pm, at Downstage Theatre, corner Courtenay Place & Cambridge Terrace, Tel 801 6946.

Downstage Theatre Society members share a love of live theatre and support Downstage. One way in which the Society contributes, not only to Downstage but to theatre in Wellington, is by working with Playmarket and the theatre in organising this 2005 season of the Adam Playreading Series, the ninth since 1997.

Playmarket is New Zealand's only playwrights’ agency and the country's leading organisation for playwright and script development. 32 years old, the organisation is passionately committed to the development and promotion of writing for the New Zealand stage. Part of our National Script Development Programme, the Adam Playreading Series recognises the value for the playwright in seeing their script put through its paces ahead of production. This is one of many script development initiatives we work in partnership with producers and theatres to organise nationally.


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