October 24, 2015


From 13-15 November, Auckland Theatre Company (ATC) will present its 10th Next Stage event – the company’s annual festival of new work.  

The festival is the culmination of one of New Zealand’s most well-resourced professional script development processes. The play may be the thing, but a script only comes alive when actors and a director join in and explore the playwrights’ imagination. At Auckland Theatre Company, Next Stage plays are given a vigorous two week workout. Each is then presented as a semi-staged performance, which this year takes place from Friday 13 – Sunday 15 November.

Emily Perkins’ acclaimed playwriting debut, a contemporary adaptation of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, was taken through the Next Stage process with director Colin McColl, as was recent ATC production Paniora! by Briar Grace-Smith. Two recent plays by Arthur Meek were also developed through this process – Trees Beneath the Lake and On the Upside Down of the World, which has toured throughout New Zealand as well as Edinburgh and New York.

Eli Kent, the inaugural ATC Patrons’ Playwright Fellow, is one of the strongest young writing voices in the country. His new play Peer Gynt Recycled, a wildy original response to Ibsen’s Peer Gynt will be presented this year. For family audiences, an adaptation of Maurice Gee’s beloved children’s fantasy adventure, Under the Mountain, by Pip Hall is also a feature of the festival.  IIML graduate Emma Kinane completes the bill with Anahera, an exploration of the pressure a young Maori social worker comes under when she suspects a middle class Pakeha family of child abuse.

“On the heels of Roger Hall receiving a Prime Minister’s Award for Literature, it’s great to be shining a spotlight on new work that has the potential to make strong connections with audiences,” says ATC’s Artistic Director, Colin McColl.

“Playwriting is the life blood of the theatre, and the creative work out of the Next Stage is all about supporting writers to dig deep into their material and take us on an exciting adventure. Big stages need big ideas, which is something we’re very mindful of as we move towards taking up our new home in the ASB Waterfront Theatre in 2016.”

Please see below or www.atc.co.nz for more information.  

EVENT DETAILS: The Next Stage 
Auckland Theatre Company, 487 Dominion Rd, Auckland 
13 – 15 November, 2015 (see times below).
Tickets available at www.atc.co.nz & 09 3090395

A response to Peer Gynt by Henrik Ibsen
Directed by Colin McColl

Cast includes: Victoria Abbott, Adam Gardiner, Alison Bruce, Peter Hayden and Reuben Taylor

Pt. 1 – 3.30pm Saturday 14 November
Pt. 2 – 7.00pm Saturday 14 November

Ibsen wrote Peer Gynt with deliberate disregard for the limitations of conventional 19th century stagecraft.  Its scenes move in time and space and between consciousness and the unconscious, blending folkloric fantasy and unsentimental realism.

The recipient of inaugural Auckland Theatre Company Patrons Playwright Fellowship, Kent’s plays Black Confetti, The Intricate Art of Actually Caring, and, more recently, collaborative works Like There’s No Tomorrow and All Your Wants and Needs Fulfilled Forever are fine springboards for one of our most original young playwrights to take on Ibsen – the most influential dramatist since Shakespeare.

adapted from Maurice Gee’s classic story for children.
Directed by Sara Brodie

Cast includes: Carl Bland, Tessa Mitchell, Taylor Barrett, Bruce Phillips and Georgie Goater

1.00pm Saturday 14 November and
3.30pm Sunday 15 November

Beneath the extinct volcanoes that surround Auckland, giant creatures are waking from a sleep that has lasted thousands of years – their goal is the destruction of the world. Twins Rachel and Theo are visiting the city to have the holiday of a lifetime with their favourite cousin and his mum.  They are horrified to discover that they have a strange and awesome destiny – to save the world from the terror that lies…under the mountain.

Pip Hall’s talents are vast – she’s a stage, screen and radio script writer and actor, a water ballerina and co-founder of the contemporary water ballet Wet Hot Beauties, and the current president of the New Zealand Writers Guild.

ANAHERA by Emma Kinane
Directed by Katie Wolfe

Cast includes: Amanda Billing, Aroha White, Paul Glover

7.30pm Friday 13 November and
1.00pm Sunday 15 November 

When a young Maori social worker suspects a middle class Pakeha family of child abuse she takes a stand to support the children.

A graduate of the International Institute of Modern Letters and Toi Whakaari, Kinane has also written for television and radio and is co-writer of Turbine, Paua and The December Brother with the SEEyD Collective.

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