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Calling all Māori playwrights - tono mai!

Job details

Te Pou Theatre
7 May 2021
Online, Auckland
Work type
Call for entries
Work classification
Performing Arts


Ka tangi te pīpīwharauroa, ko te karere a Mahuru

Kōanga is heralded by the blossoming of the kōwhai and the call of the pīpīwharauroa as it returns to our shores. This is traditionally a time of joining together and combining efforts to prepare the ground and plant for the next harvest.  We see this festival as a platform to prepare the fertile ground of our Auckland Māori Theatre community.  

2021 Programme Overview 

Last year, in response to COVID-19 and its the impact on our sector, we decided to invest more into playwrights, providing more opportunities and a longer period of development for their work. We were proud to have our largest group of playwrights come through and see two of these works now presented at national festivals. This year we are continuing our increased investent in playwrights and are stoked to be offering four playwrights a three-month script development programme that culminates in a one-week workshop.  The Kōanga playwrights programme is for new or experienced Māori story makers with stories to tell inEngligh or Te Reo Māori. 

Playwrights will spend July – September developing their scripts for a rehearsed reading in October as part of our Kōanga Festival.  This reading will be presented live and digitally depending on the state of the world at that time.  Over the three month time frame writers will meet regularly online as a ropu and with dramaturge and script advisors to support, motivate and provide expertise. 

The Opportunity

Your play will be developed over a three-month (12 week) period and presented during Kōanga.
- Script Development Programme - A 12-week writing and research period with 1:1 dramaturgy sessions and regular hui 
- Script Workshop – A five-day workshop with dramaturge, director and actor/s arranged by Te Pou Theatre
- Your play will be read at a Kōanga Festival hosted event (live or online)
- Total writers stipend of $3000.00 ($250 per week)
- Te Pou team will consult with you about how to further progress your play following the workshop.  

Conditions / Requirements:
- This programme supports Māori playwrights at any level of experience (yes, even if you’ve never written before) 
- Stage plays intended for professional presentation 
- Plays must not have had any prior presentation season 
- Commitment to development of your concept or existing draft over a three month period resulting in a full script reading in October.
- Auckland based or Northland based a priority. However if not Auckland based be able to travel and accommodation in Tāmaki Makaurau over the workshop period in October.


Important Dates:

Thursday 1 April 2021 Submissions opens
Friday 7 May 2021  Due Date for submissions (by midnight)
Friday 14 May 2021     Announcement 
Monday 5 July 2021 Programme starts (12 weeks) incl. weekly zoom meetings. More dates for hui and script deadlines will be confirmed in May
23 September 2021 Kōanga Festival Opening Event
27 September 2021 One week Script Development Workshop in Auckland as part of Kōanga Festival 
1 – 2 October 2021 Kōanga Festival Play-reading Event

Kōanga Festival Playwrights programme is made possible by funding from Creative New Zealand and Foundation North.


How to apply

What you need to do to submit an application:

By midnight Friday 7 May 2021 to please: 

- Complete the following google form: 

- Upload or send your proposed script for development to We would like to receive a Treatment (up to 5 pages) if the work is not yet started and/or your script in progress 


Decision Making
Programming decisions will be made by the Kōanga Festival Director and Te Pou Theatre appointed selection team.  Te Pou has a priority to serve Tāmaki Makaurau and Te Tai Tokerau artists, underrepresented voices and artists who have not already been through the Kōanga programme. 

All applications are considered the beginning of a conversation, the beginning of a relationship with Te Pou. Regardless of whether the work is developed in this year’s festival we will seek to find ways we can assist the development of your work.  

If you’d like to have a korero about this opportunity please contact Kōanga Festival Director, Amber Curreen, on or 021775276


Written by

Te Pou Theatre

27 Apr 2021