Stuart McKenzie has degrees in Creative Writing and Contemporary Religion from Victoria University and Canterbury University, and has completed post-graduate research in contemporary theology at Cambridge University.
Several of Stuart's early plays were performed by the Free Theatre in Christchurch, including The Joffongract, A Letter from L, The Mortal Pleasure of Wanda Lust and The-Rapist Over Suzannah, which won rave reviews for its searing intensity.
In 1987 Down the Really Road was performed by The Committed at the Auckland School of Architecture. True opened at BATS Theatre in Wellington in 1996, later transferring to Downstage Theatre. In 2000 Double Beat premiered at Downstage Theatre.
Stuart and wife Miranda Harcourt wrote Portraits, a follow up play to the highly successful Verbatim. Portraits was based on interviews with the rapist and murderer of a teenager, his girlfriend and the parents of the victim.
In 1998 Stuart and Miranda wrote Flowers from My Mother’s Garden, it explores genealogy, social history and family dynamics through the lens of Miranda’s relationship with her mother Kate Harcourt. Flowers toured nationally. Their Biography of My Skin is a candid, autobiographical show about actor Miranda trying to tell her own story as a working mother, but caught in a script written by her husband.
Stuart Mckenzie is also a film-maker. His debut feature, psychological thriller For Good (based on the stage play Portraits) had its international premiere at the 2003 Montreal Film Festival and was selected for competition in the Critics Choice section of the 2004 Paris Film Festival. Stuart conceived and directed a 10-part observational documentary series called Tough Act for TV2. It follows students auditioning for Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School and their first year of training. Stuart has produced, written and directed several acclaimed short films, including The Mouth and the Truth, Ends Meat, Snap, Chinese Whispers and Voiceover.