Playmarket Media Release: 9 October 2014


The annual PLAYMARKET PLAYS FOR THE YOUNG competition attracts submissions of the most innovative, provocative and original NZ plays for young people.

Previous winners of the competition, now in its sixth year, include Sarah Delahunty, Richard Finn, Joey Moncarz, Emily Duncan, Holly Gooch and Stephanie Matuku. PLAYMARKET, the agency and service organisation for New Zealand playwrights, is delighted to announce the winning playwrights and we congratulate them and all who submitted.

The winner of the 3 – 8 year-olds section is The Laughalot Tribe by Ronnelle Short. Ronnie lives in Golden Bay where she has run her drama school for children and young adults for the past 21 years.

Mike Hudson won the 8 – 12 year-olds section with his play Wide Awake. Mike is an Auckland based playwright and teacher. His first play Beautiful Losers premiered at Silo Theatre 2003 and has toured for a number of years.

The Teenagers section winner is The Quiet Room by Renee Liang. Renee, a second-generation Chinese New Zealander, is a playwright, poet, paediatrician, medical researcher and fiction writer.

Two plays were also awarded Highly Commended in the Teenager category; Le Sujet Parle: And Then He Shot Me by Emily Duncan; and The Twenty Seven Last Days of Childhood by Tom McCrory.

In November 2014 Playmarket will publish Stage Adventures: 8 Classroom Plays, a volume of plays for the young including previous competition winners and finalists The Boss of the Beach by Philippa Werry, Cinderella and the Pirates by Richard Finn, A Story of Rona by Steph Matuku, Spilt Milk by Claire Ahuriri, Sapai and the Yam Snatchers by Michelanne Forster and Leilani Unasa; and Space Circus by Holly Gooch.

For more information contact: Salesi Le’ota PLAYMARKET  clientpromotion [at] +64 4 382 8462 ext 2

The Laughalot Tribe by Ronnelle Short

A fable of simple living versus greedy corporations and polluters. The Laughalots are happy little creatures who live by the seaside taking care of nature, loving one another and laughing. When they are threatened by a giant troll they must seek the help of the Spirit of the Sea.

Wide Awake by Mike Hudson

Lenny can’t get to sleep at night. He begs his parents to tell him a story, which takes his imagination on a journey to a land where a Queen can’t find true happiness, a dragon can’t find his fire and there’s a giant and an old man who are keeping him awake. Along the way he discovers the real reason why he can’t go to sleep and what really goes bump in the night. A story of waking up to what really matters.

The Quiet Room by Renee Liang

Marianne is battling cancer. On the eve of her sixteenth birthday she is faced with the difficult decision of whether to have treatment which would cripple her but is the last chance to save her life. Even her mother and doctor cannot agree on the best course of action. Then Marianne meets a fellow patient – Philip – who is also dying of cancer. Meeting him clarifies her will to choose a life well lived, and she makes her decision.