New Zealand Playwrights’ Agent. Advisor. Bookshop.
Our vision: Empowering and representing New Zealand playwrights.
Our purpose is developing New Zealand's best playwrights and their plays through:
a) Promoting our playwrights' work nationally and internationally.
b) Upholding playwrights' standards and rights.
c) Providing access to New Zealand scripts.
d) Identification and development of playwrights of excellence.
The rights and interests of playwrights represented
The Playmarket Agency issues and manages performance licences, manages royalty payments, circulates plays to producers and theatres in NZ and internationally, advises on and negotiates agreements, and maintains an archive of playwrights’ work and materials related to it.
Practical support and advice to those in the business of writing plays
Making use of a raft of resources, industry knowledge, partnerships and networks our script advisors work to support all New Zealand playwrights.
Playmarket was founded by Robert Lord, Nonnita Rees, Judy Russell and Ian Fraser in 1973 to encourage the professional production of New Zealand plays and was registered in 1975 as a non-profit making incorporated society. The organisation began life in a tiny nook in the former toilet block opposite Downstage Theatre, Wellington, known as the Taj Mahal and occupied by Downstage administration.
In its first eighteen months Playmarket licensed a total of 15 productions, the first being Balance of Payments by Robert Lord. By comparison, we currently license almost 400 productions of New Zealand plays each year in New Zealand and internationally.
Incorporated Society members (made up of past Board Members and Playmarket Directors) meet annually to review activities, receive the annual report and elect the Board. During the year the Board meets at least four times a year to determine policy, establish the budget and monitor the activities of the organisation. The current Board comprises:
Chair: Danielle Grant (Auckland)
Board members: Catherine Fitzgerald (Wellington), Pip Hall (Auckland), Alister McDonald (Dunedin), Peter Rutherford (Christchurch), Jason Te Kare (Auckland), Brent Thawley (Wellington), Stephanie Van Der Wel (Auckland.)
Playmarket receives major funding from Creative New Zealand’s Arts Leadership Investment (Toi Totara Haemata) programme. We also receive funding from Foundation North. Their support is vital to our operation.
We receive funding from individuals and organisations, local authorities and patrons towards various programmes. We also receive general support through a membership scheme.
Playmarket receives revenue from our commission on licences and book and manuscript sales.