Gary Henderson was born in Geraldine in South Canterbury, and gradually spiralled his way north to Auckland where he has lived since.
Gary's plays have been professionally produced around New Zealand, in South Africa, Australia, Great Britain, Canada and the United States. His most well-travelled play is Skin Tight which won a coveted Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1998 during a sell-out season at the Traverse Theatre. Productions have been produced in New York since 2006, UK since 2007 and Canada since 2008.
Gary received a Fringe Award for Excellence for The Big Blue Planet Earth Show at the Adelaide Fringe Festival in 1992, and a Chapman Tripp Theatre Award for the best new short play in 1996 for Mo & Jess Kill Susie.
Home Land, commissioned and produced by Fortune Theatre in Dunedin (2004) and Peninsula, commissioned by the Christchurch Arts Festival and directed by Gary at The Court Theatre (2005), were written in Dunedin while Gary was resident in the Robert Lord Writers Cottage, and teaching at Allen Hall, the home of the Otago University Theatre Studies Programme.
Other commissions include Lines of Fire for Wow! Productions, a site-specific work presented at the Dunedin Railway Station in the Dunedin Festival of the Arts 2006; Stealing Games for Capital E National Theatre for Children; My Bed My Universe for Massive Company; Shepherd and The Breath of Silence for The Court Theatre Christchurch, and Things that Matter for Auckland Theatre Company.
Gary has also directed the work of other New Zealand playwrights; in 2000 he directed Ken Duncum's Horseplay for Dunedin's Wow! Productions at the Fortune, and in 2003, Carl Nixon's The Book Of Fame based on the novel by Lloyd Jones, at Downstage in Wellington. He has also served many times as a director and mentor in the development of scripts by new writers.
From 2006 - 2012 Gary taught playwriting at Unitec's School of Performing and Screen Arts in Auckland and still teaches independently.
Gary was the 2013 recipient of the Playmarket Award, a $20,000 prize recognising a playwright who has made a significant artistic contribution to theatre in New Zealand.