PLAYMARKET presents this award annually for the best new New Zealand play. The award, formerly the Playmarket New Play Award, has been offered since 2008. It is the only one of its kind for new writing and encourages writers to banish all self censoring, all worries about what theatres want, what is affordable and what they think audiences want to see.
Take this opportunity to have your play read by a panel of industry professionals.
Open to any New Zealand citizen/permanent resident.
Plays must not have been professionally produced (pending productions; readings; workshops or community productions are fine).
Scripts may only be submitted to this competition once.
There are no limits on length, style, theme or cast size.
You may submit as many as you like.
Submissions have closed for 2018.
Please remove your name and address from ALL pages of the script. Judges will read the plays 'blind'.
How to submit
If you have difficulty downloading the submission form, please ensure you include with your script:-
- a list of characters
- a brief synopsis
- a separate page with your name, the name of the play, and a brief bio.
- confirmation that you are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident
- confirmation that the play has not had a professional production
- confirmation that the play is all your own original work
- and please ensure the pages are numbered.
Your script should be attached as either a Microsoft Word doc or as a PDF.
We are very grateful for the generosity of the Adam Foundation who enable us to offer a total of $8,000 in prizes.
Prizes may include the following categories:
Best Play by a Māori Playwright
Best Play by a Pasifika Playwright
Best Play by a Woman Playwright
For all queries anytime contact us.
2018 - Shane Bosher for Everything After
Best Play by a Māori Playwright: Albert Belz for Cradle Song and Jason Te Mete for Little Black Bitch
Best Play by a Pasifika Playwright: Suli Moa for Tales of A Princess
Best Play by a Woman Playwright: Angie Farrow for Before the Birds
Also on the shortlist were: Claire Ahuriri-Dunning, Dracula; Aroha Awarau, Provocation; Sam Brooks, Turn Off the Lights and Twenty Eight Millimetres; James Cain, Movers; Emily Duncan, In Our Shoes; Chye-Ling Huang, Orientation; Justin Lewis and Jacob Rajan, Welcome to the Murder House; Vela Manusaute, Tropical Lovebirds; Arthur Meek, Land of the Moa; Joe Musaphia, Chutzpah; Dean Parker, Tutankhamun; Bruce Clyde Thomson, Stuck Pigs; James van Dyk, The Lazarus Lottery and Roy Ward, The Bright Side of my Condition.
The winners were announced at a function at Circa Theatre on 7 April 2018.
2017 - D.F. Mamea for Still Life with Chickens
Runner up: Lori Leigh for Uneasy Dreams and Other Things
Best Play by a Māori Playwright: Maraea Rakuraku for Te Papakāinga
Best Play by a Pasifika Playwright: D.F. Mamea for Still Life with Chickens
Highly Commended: Sam Brooks for Burn Her
Also on the shortlist were: Geoff Allen, The Taiaha and the Sabre; Carl Bland, Spirit House; Nick Brown and the cast, Paratiho; Kathryn Burnett, The Caravan; Noa Campbell, Teka or Tika; Richard De Luca, Death of a Dream; Adam Goodall, The Go-Between; Alex Lodge, Sing to Me; Alex Lodge and Cherie Jacobson, Modern Girls in Bed; Miriama McDowell, Rob Mokaraka and Jason Te Kare, Cellfish; Greg McGee, Flame; Joe Musaphia, The Gearbox; Dean Parker, Before the Next Teardrop Falls; Julianne Parkinson, The Rookie; Finnius Teppett, Cannibal.
The winners were announced at a function at Circa Theatre on 1 April 2017
2016 - Maraea Rakuraku for Tan-knee
Runner up: Josephine Stewart-Tewhiu for Sean Penn is in His Boat
Best Play by a Māori Playwright: Maraea Rakuraku for Tan-knee
Best Play by a Woman Playwright: Maraea Rakuraku for Tan-knee
Best Play by a Pasifika Playwright: Suli Moa for 12th Round
Highly Commended: Steven Page for Fool to Cry and Finnius Teppett for My Dad's Boy
Also on the shortlist were: Carl Bland, Te Pō; Philip Braithwaite, The Atom Room; Kip Chapman, Lucky; Angie Farrow, The Politician's Wife; Miria George, The Vultures; Ralph McCubbin Howell, The Devil's Half Acre; Emma Kinane, Anahera; Tom McCrory, Smiley; Joe Musaphia, A Love Like Ours; Olga Nikora, Tumanāko; Dean Parker, Ports of Auckland; Lorae Parry, Scarlet & Gold; Vivienne Plumb, The Property Developer; Elspeth Sandys, Rogues and Vagabonds; Cian Elyse White, Te Puhi.
The winners were announced at a function at Circa Theatre on 13 March 2016
2015 - Anders Falstie-Jensen for Centrepoint and Hone Kouka for Bless the Child
Runner up: Dean Parker for Polo
Best Play by a Māori Playwright: Hone Kouka for Bless the Child
Best Play by a Woman Playwright: Michelanne Forster for The Gift of Tongues
Best Play by a Pasifika Playwright: David Mamea for Kingswood
Highly Commended: Tom McCrory for Significance
Also on the shortlist were: Aroha Awarau, Officer 27; Sam Brooks, Spitting it Out; Kip Chapman, Hudson and Halls Live!; Denis Edwards, Service to Love; Pip Hall, Squeak, Squeak – Tales of the White Mouse; Nathan Joe, Who is Sada Abe? Part One: Bullfight of Love; Riwia Mackenzie-Brown, The Violet and the Huia Feather; Gavin McGibbon, Congregation; Ken Mizusawa, Why do we do what we do?; James Nokise, The Last Part; Robyn Paterson, The World's First Fight; April Phillips, Charlotte Badger: Miscreant, Mother, Mutineer!; John Smythe, Where There's a Will; and Aroha White, 2080.
The winners were announced at a function at Circa Theatre on 28 March 2015
2014 - Elisabeth Easther for Seed
Runner up: Pip Hall for Mule and Nancy Brunning for Hikoi
Best Play by a Māori Playwright: Nancy Brunning for Hikoi
Best Play by a Woman Writer: Elisabeth Easther for Seed
Highly Commended: Mei-Lin Te Puea Hansen for The Mooncake and the Kumara and Sam Brooks for Riding in Cars with (Mostly Straight) Boys
Also on the shortlist were: Philip Braithwaite, Lingua Franca; Rachel Callinan, Pakehell; Justin Eade, Central Otago Man; Renee Liang, The Quiet Room; Stanley Makuwe, Footprints on Ika's Heart; Alice Miller, Three Sisters; Andrew Parker, Occupy: The Road to Joy; and Arun Subramaniam, A Moment or Two.
The winners were announced at a function at Circa Theatre on 29 March 2014.
2013 - Phillip Braithwaite for The Mercy Clause.
Runner-up: Paul Baker for The Night Visitors
Best Play by a Pasifika Playwright: David Mamea for Goodbye My Feleni
Best Play by a Māori Playwright: Renae Maihi for Patua.
Best Play by a Woman Playwright and The Play Press choice for submission to the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize: Hannah McKie for Mary Scott: Queen of the Backblocks.
Also on the shortlist were: Sam Brooks, And I Was Like; Michael Galvin, Give Up; Joseph Harper, atlas/mountains/dead butterflies; Alice Miller, Native Affairs; Olga Nikora, Stroika; and Bruce Clyde Thomson, Ayn Rand Has Her Way.
The winners were announced at a function at Circa Theatre on 6 April 2013.
2012 - Mitch Tawhi Thomas for his play Hui, which also won Best Play by a Māori Playwright.
Runners-up: Dawn Cheong for Remnants of the Silk Maker's Ghost and Philip Braithwaite for White City.
Best Play by a Woman playwright and The Play Press choice for the Susan Smith Blackburn prize: Dawn Cheong for Remnants of the Silk Maker's Ghost.
Best play by a Pasifika playwright: Jonathan Riley for Makigi.
PumpHouse choice for their 2 week development season: Pip Hall for Ache.
Others on the shortlist were: Jess Sayer, Beautiful Coincidences; Joe Musaphia, The Train Set; ; Ken Duncum, Janet & John; ; Natasha Maharaj, Dirty Children; Patrick Evans, Gifted; Phillip Braithwaite, Honest to God; ; and Whiti Hereaka, Raw Men.
The winners were announced at a function at Circa Theatre on 24 March 2012.
2011 - Arun Subramaniam for Hero.
Runners-up: Courtney Meredith for Rushing Dolls and Georgina Titheridge for Sliderhands.
Best Play by a Pasifika Playwright: Maureen Fepulea'i for e ono tama'i pato.
Best Play by a Māori Playwright: Whiti Hereaka for Rona and Rabbit on the Moon.
Best Play by a Woman Playwright: Georgina Titheridge for Sliderhands and Courtney Meredith for Rushing Dolls.
The Play Press submission to Susan Smith Blackburn Prize: Georgina Titheridge for Sliderhands.
Special Mention (Playmarket & Circa sponsored reading): Joe Musaphia for Problems.
PumpHouse Theatre Prize for an Auckland Playwright: Margot McRae for Fools' Paradise.
Also on the shortlist: Dan Cleary, Jennifer Compton, and Whiti Hereaka.
2010 - Stuart Hoar for Pasefika
The Best Play by a Māori Playwright: Whiti Hereaka for Te Kaupoi.
Special Prize for a Woman Playwright: Fiona Samuel for The Liar's Bible.
Special Prize for an Auckland Playwright:Thomas Sainsbury for The Canary.
Also on the shortlist: Denis Edwards, Ella West, Greg McGee, Hannah McKie, Justin Eade, Lorae Parry & Pinky Agnew, Mike Hudson, and Paul Baker.
2009 - Pip Hall for The 53rd Victim won Playmarket's 2009 New Play Award.
The 53rd Victim, and Sketch by Kate Morris were also selected to be given rehearsed public readings as part of the Aotearoa Playwrights Conference NEW WRITING / NEW PRODUCING Forum at the Auckland Festival.
2008 - Ninna Tersman whose play Fucking Parasites was workshopped in London, directed by Lorae Parry with script advisor Tanika Gupta.