The Bruce Mason Playwright Award winner in 1996, John Vakidis is best known for his stage and radio plays. A New Zealander of Greek-Romanian stock and resident in Paekakariki, John’s first radio play was produced in 1989. A playwright in residence at New Zealand Drama School 1988-1989, John is also an actor and was involved in the establishment of BATS Theatre in Wellington in the early 1990s.
John came to public prominence as an actor and writer in 1995 with his first stage play Tommy Swain, directed by Jim Moriarty at BATS.
With his full length play Tzigane, Vakidis was acclaimed as leaping “with one bound into the forefront of our playwrights.” (Evening Post). It has gone on to professional and amateur productions. It won the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards for Best New New Zealand play and Production of the Year in 1996.
John co-wrote two stage plays with Hone Kouka, Rivermouth and Taiki E, the latter touring national secondary schools with Jim Moriarty’s Te Rakau Hua O Te Wao Tapu company. He wrote Busted and Kaitiaki for the same company. John has since worked with Te Rakau writing six plays in a devised and collaboration situation with various youth residential centres and communities up and down the country.
John is the author of numerous radio plays for Radio New Zealand.