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Uther Dean Awarded Scotland Playwrights Residency

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Thursday 14 November 2019


Playmarket, New Zealand’s playwrights service organisation, in partnership with Creative New Zealand, Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland and Magnetic North Theatre Productions, has awarded Uther Dean the 2020 Playwriting Residency in Scotland.

Playwrights were invited to submit an idea for the residency and after a robust process, Uther’s proposal was selected. Inspired by his expat Scottish mother’s life growing up in Dundee, Uther’s new work will explore the relationship between flights of fancy and biographical truth and how someone’s chosen fiction can be “truer” than facts.

Commencing in January 2020 and funded by Creative New Zealand, Uther will be based in Edinburgh and Dundee and will also participate in Magnetic North’s renowned Rough Mix creative lab. This creative generator sees established and early-career artists from different artistic disciplines working together to develop their practice and explore ideas for new work. 

Playmarket and Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland with Creative New Zealand and Creative Scotland launched the residency in 2016. Previous recipients of this impactful cross-cultural exchange are New Zealander Arthur Meek (2016) and Scotland-based Morna Young (2018). Morna was recently awarded the Scots Writer of the Year at the 2019 Scots Language Awards. 

Uther Dean completed a BA (Hons) in Theatre at Victoria University in 2010. He holds a Masters in Scriptwriting and his writing has been presented at professional theatres and festivals throughout New Zealand.

In 2009, he co-founded My Accomplice, an award-winning, audience favourite theatre company with Dr Hannah Banks and Paul Waggott. A prolific engine for new work, My Accomplice have staged over twenty seasons of work to critical acclaim and audience success. They created A Play About Space, which saw Uther nominated for the Peter Harcourt Outstanding New Playwright of the Year at the 2013 Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards. It won Best Theatre at the Dunedin Fringe in 2013. 

Everything is Surrounded by Water, a monologue co-written and performed by Uther that won Best Solo at the New Zealand Fringe in 2014 was also nominated for Best New New Zealand Play at the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards that year.

My Accomplice opened the newly renovated BATS Theatre, Wellington with their STAB commission Watch, which Uther wrote and co-directed in 2014. Watch went on to win three Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards and was nominated for Best Production.

Uther was commissioned by Young & Hungry to write The Presentation of Findings from My Scientific Survey of the First 7500 Days of My Life Done in the Interest of Showing You How to Live Better Lives in 2015. 

His monologue mixtape for non-male performers about sex and love, Tiny Deaths, premiered in 2015 and was recently revived as part of the Tahi Festival in 2019. Its companion piece Massive Crushes premiere at the beginning of 2019. The recipient of the Green Light Award at the NZ Fringe, it will enjoy a return season at BATS Theatre in Wellington in December and a new production at Basement Theatre in early 2020. 

My and My Sister Tell Each Other Everything premiered at BATS Theatre in 2017 and has been staged in two new productions in Auckland and Dunedin in 2018 and 2019.

A cultural commentator and critic, Uther was one of the two editors that led Salient to its 2011 Best Publication win at the Aotearoa Student Press Association Awards. His writing has been published in The Spinoff, the New Zealand Listener, The Pantograph Punch, Sport, The Wireless, Fishhead and The Lumiere Reader. He has also written for television, most notably 7 Days and Power Rangers.


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