Paul Baker struggles with two hats – dramatist and historian (he has a PhD in history). Allowing for a little dramatic licence, his three plays are all historically accurate.
Conscience dramatized the transportation of New Zealand conscientious objectors to the Western Front during WW1. It played a season at The Court Theatre in 2005. Paul regards it as his learning curve.
Paul’s second play, Meet the Churchills – premiered at Circa in June 2011. This comedy/drama about the dysfunctional Churchill family was shortlisted for the 2011 Adam NZ Play Award.
Paul was commissioned by Oamaru Scott 100 to write a play marking the centenary of the return of the Terra Nova from the Antarctic, bearing the news of Captain Scott’s death. The Night Visitors was Runner-Up in the 2013 Adam Award.
Meet the Churchills, renamed Winston’s Birthday, enjoyed a seven week Court Theatre/Fortune Theatre co-production in 2016. Paul was named ‘Best Writer’ at the Dunedin Theatre Awards. It will shortly be produced by the South Canterbury Drama League,Timaru, and by Theatre Britain, Plano, Texas.
Paul has directed over a dozen school productions in Auckland and Oamaru, ranging from musicals to Shakespeare.
Paul Baker was Rector of Waitaki Boys’ High School from 1999 to 2011, when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. He is now retired and lives in Auckland.