PLAYMARKET has carried out research into works being staged by professional theatres in 2017 and the results paint a healthy picture of New Zealand productions on our stages.

Of the 221 works produced professionally in our theatres 79% of them were New Zealand works with 9 companies creating seasons of 100% NZ work. No theatre company staged less than 50% NZ work.

The survey covers the seasons of all theatre companies funded by Creative NZ under the Tōtara and Kahikatea models. These are the five main producing houses (Auckland Theatre Company, Centrepoint Theatre, Circa Theatre, The Court Theatre and Fortune Theatre), the receiving houses (BATS, Basement Theatre and Te Pou) and the producing companies (Capital E National Theatre for Children, Massive Company, Taki Rua Productions, Tawata Productions, Barbarian Productions, Indian Ink, Silo Theatre, Red Leap Theatre, The Conch and Young and Hungry).

Of the producing houses:

  • Auckland Theatre Company, Centrepoint, Circa and Fortune Theatre all had seasons consisting of 75% New Zealand work or more.
  • Circa also produced the most work by NZ women (56%) and women of any nationality (64%).

Of the receiving houses

  • Te Pou had a season of 100% NZ works.
  • BATS and the Basement Theatre staged the most work by women (58% and 57% respectively). BATS staged the most work by Asian practitioners which accounted for 9% of their programme while the Basement’s Pasifika work accounted for 16% of their programme.

Of the producing companies

  • Taki Rua, Massive, Tawata, Barbarian, Indian Ink, Red Leap, Young and Hungry and Capital E National Theatre for Children each produced 100% NZ works.
  • Taki Rua, Tawata and Massive also produced the highest percentage of works by Māori practitioners (100%).
  • Massive, Tawata and Barbarian staged the most work created by NZ women in 2017 with 100% each.

Works by women accounted for at least half the programming of Auckland Theatre Company, Circa, Massive, BATS, Basement, Tawata, Barbarian, Silo and Young and Hungry.

By the numbers

221      WORKS

174      NEW ZEALAND WORKS – 79%

32        MAORI WORKS –14%

24        PASIFIKA WORKS – 11%

16        ASIAN WORKs – 7%

75        CO-WRITTEN WORKS – 34%

115      WORKS BY WOMEN – 52%

105      WORKS BY NZ WOMEN – 48%


  • The data applies to works performed between 01 January and 31 December 2017
  • Data is collected about scripted and devised works only. It does not include improvised works, burlesque, installations, performance art, pure dance or stand-up comedy (unless the artist has specifically publicised the work as a theatrical solo).
  • Data is collected about works produced by theatres, works bought-in by theatres and tours undertaken by the theatres
  • Data is collected about fully staged productions only
  • The data is collected from
  1. Season Brochures
  2. Websites
  3. Theatres
  4. Playmarket staff knowledge or licence
  • Percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number


  • NZ works by women are defined as works with a minimum of one New Zealand woman citizen or resident involved in the writing or devising of the work.
  • New Zealand Māori or Pasifika works are defined as works created with a minimum of one New Zealand citizen or resident of Māori or Pacific Island descent involved in the writing or devising of the work.

Full research details are available here.




Salesi Le’ota – Playmarket Publication and Event Coordinator

Tel: +64 4 382 8462 ext 2 | Mob: 021 179 6323

Suite 4, 35 Cambridge Terrace, Wellington.

PO Box: 9767, Wellington 6141.