Script Advice

SCRIPT DEVELOPMENT

Playmarket has been committed to the development of New Zealand plays and playwrights since 1973. Our aim is to help ensure that plays are at an optimum level of development when they go into production.

Not all scripts need to go through a development process—many are ready for production with little more than a slightly more intensive rehearsal schedule. However, many scripts can derive enormous benefit from dramaturgical attention, and we do our best to identify the best development process for your play and to design an approach appropriate to its needs.

Please note that we are not able to accept unsolicited scripts. We can only accept scripts submitted for competitions or those from clients.   

We encourage new writers to use our script assessment service (see below) and/or to enter their plays in one or more of our competitions, which will ensure they are read carefully by experienced practitioners. All plays submitted are read blind.

However, if your play has been successfully performed already, you are welcome to email here to discuss client status and representation. 

We strongly recommend that when playwrights are including stories or characters in their plays that are not of the playwright's own culture, te ao Māori or Pasifika for example, that they consult with the relevant community at the earliest possible stage of writing.

SCRIPT ASSESSMENTS

Script assessment is open to anyone and is often our first contact with new writers. Once we have received the script (email here) and the assessment fee, it will be sent to one of our assessors and returned within four weeks. 

The fee for a written assessment is $295 (GST inclusive) for a play and $350 (GST inclusive) for a musical. We can also provide a one-hour script consultation for an additional $100 (GST inclusive), either in person or via phone or online if we are unable to find someone suitable in your area.    

Our assessors consider the professional potential of the play, and as appropriate, offer expert advice that will help towards the next draft. Writers are asked to include a legibly prepared script with page numbers, cast list, a brief synopsis and a covering letter addressing the following questions:

  • Briefly—what is your play about?
  • Is there a particular issue you would like us to focus our feedback on?
  • What do you think are the play's strengths and weaknesses?
  • Has your play had a reading or been performed?
  • Are there plans for a production in the pipeline?
  • Any other information you think may be relevant.

We welcome re-submissions of further drafts of the same script for a further fee.

A favourable assessment and/or the completion of suggested revisions does not automatically lead to Playmarket representation or client status.  

The writer does not have permission to quote from their assessment for publicity purposes, or, for example, to use it as a reference for funding applications.

We strongly recommend that when playwrights are including stories or characters in their plays that are not of the playwright's own culture, te ao Māori or Pasifika for example, that they consult with the relevant community at the earliest possible stage of writing.

 

 

SCRIPT CLINICS

A clinic typically lasts one day and comprises of a couple of straightforward readthroughs guided by a director and/or script advisor, interspersed with discussion, which involves only those the playwright would like it to. This usually provides all the stimulation needed for you to prepare your next draft.

All clinics are playwright driven. We work with the playwright to devise a programme that best suits the play's needs, and will do our best to hire their preferred advisors and cast.

  • While we accept applications for assistance from any New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, our limited budget means that we are more likely to support scripts that have a firm production date, scripts from clients, and plays submitted through our competitions that have caught our attention.
  • Applications must come directly from the playwright, not the producer, agent or any other representative.
  • We can only accept applications for development consideration that have reached a first draft, or equivalent.

Sometimes we can offer a two-day clinic, two consecutive days, or two single days separated by as much time as you need to prepare a new draft.

We pay actors' fees of $200 a day (or $100 for half a day); director and script advisor's fees of $250 a day; playwright’s remuneration of $200 per day, and we arrange venue costs.

SCRIPT ADVICE SESSIONS

Script advice, one-to-one with an experienced mentor, can be provided for plays at any stage of development post first draft. These can be in person, or via an online arrangement. We will do our best to engage your preferred advisor, or recommend someone appropriate.

This can range from one hour to several days' worth of time spread over a longer period. Script advisor fees are based on a daily fee of $300.

GROUP DEVISED WORK

We can pay an advisor to provide dramaturgical oversight for groups involved in a collaborative writing process. Please note  that we can only consider assisting work that has reached first draft status or equivalent.

We also need to be satisfied that copyright ownership and credit issues have been settled. We offer help to devising groups to negotiate this, if necessary.

PLAYWRITING COURSES

Some of our senior client playwrights also work as playwriting tutors, both online and in person, and at reasonable rates. They offer a variety of options: long and short, group and individual, structured or tailored specifically to your needs. If you are interested in finding out more please email here with your preferences, and we will match you up with a tutor who suits your needs.

INTERNATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

We ensure that all international opportunities that New Zealand playwrights are eligible for are included in our regular ebulletin—make sure you subscribe if you are interested.