Classic New Zealand plays to be read as well as performed

26 Jan 2010

This content is tagged as Literature .


Six New Zealand plays publishers Playmarket believe deserve to be considered classics have been published as part of an effort to see contemporary New Zealand playwrights' work appreciated and read as literature, as well as performed on stage.

Acclaimed plays by Dave Armstrong, Oscar Kightley, Sarah Delahunty and David Geary are the latest releases in playwrights' organisation Playmarket's New Zealand Play Series, ensuring major New Zealand plays are available in print.

"In the last twenty years New Zealand has produced many significant plays that have remained unpublished," says outgoing Playmarket Director and Series Editor Mark Amery. "These works I believe are part of an essential body of New Zealand literature which deserve the love and attention of readers' eyes that book publishing provides."

Included are the first New Zealand plays to put rugby, shearing and sheep actually on stage (David Geary's Pack of Girls and The Learner's Stand respectively), two Kiwi deconstructions of classic literature for young people (Sarah Delahunty's 2b or nt 2b and Eating the Wolf) and two witty works that celebrate the political and cultural differences in New Zealand society (Dave Armstrong's The Tutor and, with Oscar Kightley, Niu Sila).

All three playwrights continue to be amongst New Zealand's most active. Dave Armstrong's latest Le Sud opens with Auckland Theatre Company on February 13, and David Geary's Mark Twain and Me in Maoriland premieres with Taki Rua Productions as part of the New Zealand Festival on March 13.

Between them these published plays have won countless awards and rave reviews but have never been available in print. They join plays by Gary Henderson, Dianna Fuemana, Toa Fraser, Tom Scott and John Vakidis in a series of books that seeks to plug a gap in plays produced since 1990 that have been published.

The titles are available from New Zealand's only online play bookshop at and all good bookshops. The Play Series is published with the support of Creative New Zealand and the New Zealand Players' Trust.