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  • Lisa Jayne Allan

Platforming Original Writing at HTC

Hagley Theatre Company is known for the interesting, cutting edge scripts that they perform from writers all over the world. This year we've seen Duck Duck Goose from a young Irish playwright (Caitríona Daly) performed by a stunning cast of HTC actors. Despite being an international script, the themes were unnervingly relevant in our Aotearoa New Zealand context. On the flip side of this global outreach is the company's aim to create new performance opportunities for local writers. HTC has always been a platform for original work and 2022 sees the creation of two new initiatives on this front. The very new slam poetry and film season, SLAM!, launches this November 15 - 17. Richard Bell, HTC's Acting for Screen tutor, works with our students to give them the skills they need to create films as part of their class work. Our students also feature in films created as part of ARA's broadcasting school's coursework. Physical theatre and voice teacher, Rachael Schönberger, guides HTC students in the creation of SLAM poetry and a selection of these are filmed, some performed live. SLAM! is a great opportunity for our poets and screen writers/ film-makers, what about our playwrights? Professional improvisor, Brendon Bennetts, is a master of storytelling for stage. He has been creating spontaneous stories with the Court Jesters for almost 20 years and has had a number of his scripted plays produced as well. Brendon is the writing coach behind our new initiative, Hagley Bytes. For many years, HTC has had a relationship with Gi60 (plays that are 'gone in 60 seconds'). Gi60 has moved away this year and from the fertile ground that this format created comes HTC's very own version of this format. This November 2 & 3, Hagley Bytes will premiere a whole host of completely original, never-seen-before 60 second plays in this vibrant and surprising new NZ-based Festival. HTC looks forward to welcoming you on site to experience the host of original writing that is bubbling up from our creative students. Interested in joining the Company in 2023? Writing is just the beginning with us! Our applications are now open, forms are online and information on our full programme can be found at Follow your vision!

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