August 11, 2015


Working Together To Make Plays Better 


Playwrights and practitioners are gathering for two days of workshops and conversations at TAPAC, Western Springs, Auckland where the mysterious art of dramaturgy will be the subject of stimulating discussion and exploration.

Democratising playwriting; generating ideas for a new script; developing text for dynamic visual and aural performance; and the mysteries of putting together a musical script are the topics of four engaging and informative workshops forming Dramaturgy 2.0. The event will also include three public discussion panels: best practice for working with writers in the rehearsal room, what is cultural dramaturgy, and how decisions are made when a theatre company programmes a new season.

Highly regarded Australian playwright, provocateur and cultural commentator for the Guardian newspaper, Van Badham, says “I’ve learned I can only really access, as a writer, through a devising process”. She will explore the process of working collaboratively with actors and other practitioners to develop a performance script. Van’s plays have been staged internationally including at the Royal Court Theatre. An award-winning critic and screenwriter, she was Literary Manager of the celebrated Finborough Theatre in London and The Malthouse in Melbourne.

Leading New Zealand playwright Gary Henderson will take a session in writing the active and visual text that works with the dialogue to tell stories onstage. Gary’s plays such as Skin Tight and Peninsula are some of our most loved and most performed theatre scripts.

American dramaturg Allison Horsley has recently arrived in NZ. Allison has developed specialties in new play and musical development through her work as a Dramaturg for the Eugene O’Neill Music Theater Conference and the Literary Manager for La Jolla Playhouse, which premièred Broadway’s Jersey Boys and the recent Dr. Zhivago, on both of which Allison served as dramaturg.

The session ‘The Ideas Factory’ will be led by Kathryn Burnett. Kathryn Burnett is an accomplished screenwriter, fledgling playwright and all round imaginista who designs and facilitates creativity/ideation training workshops. This will be an ideal workshop for beginning playwrights.

These sessions together with the panels form the conference Dramaturgy 2.0, and will take place on

Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th August at TAPAC. Details can be found here:

Share on social