Auckland playwright Nathan Joe has taken the top prize in the Playwrights b4 25 competition for the second year running with his play Like Sex. The award was announced at a function at the Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre on Monday 16 May 2016. The competition recognises the best new writing for the stage by writers under the age of 25.
Inspired by Arthur Schnitzler’s La Ronde – where the dramatic structure consists of interlocking scenes between pairs of lovers – Like Sex is a daisy chain of teen relationships, sex and angst.
The judges described the work as "a sharp, witty and quite brilliantly unsentimental play about teenage sex.” Like Sex was commissioned by the Young and Hungry Arts Trust for the Festival of New Theatre and will premiere in July at BATS Theatre, Wellington.
Nathan’s play Hippolytus Veiled or: Eros, Beware! was the one of the winning plays of Playwrights b4 25 in 2015 and will have it’s world premiere at the Basement Theatre in August. Who is Sada Abe? Part One: Bullfight of Love was shortlisted for the 2015 Adam NZ Play Award and his 2013 play Flesh off the Boat was selected for development as part of Playmarket’s Asian Ink programme. His play The Stronger was staged at the Basement Theatre in 2015 and two of his short plays have been staged as part of The Legacy Project.
Courtney Rose Brown was awarded Highly Commended for her play The First Time, a series of monologues for women. Finnius Teppett was also awarded Highly Commended for My Dad’s Boy, about a young man’s relationship with his father and his own impending fatherhood.
The other finalists in the competition were:
James Cain - Movers
Andrew Gunn - Potato Stamp Megalomaniac
Turene Jones - I Ain't Mad At Cha
Timote Mapuhola - Broken Pieces
Albert Mateni - Hearts of Men
James van Dyk - The Lazarus Lottery
Ben Wilson - Call Me Bukowski
Playmarket is very grateful for the partnership with Auckland Live which made the event possible. Playmarket’s major funders are Creative New Zealand and Foundation North.