The great thing about these dramatic shorts is that you never know what’s going to be in them. It’s open season on ideas and a real chance for writer’s new to audio as a performance medium to stretch their dramatic legs in, well… a sprint. Take your marks….
2015 Shorts Season
Chekov's Herring by Nick Swinglehurst
What do you do when a fish you catch eats your wife's lover… whole?
Cast: Loren Taylor, Gavin Rutherford, Tim Spite and Erin Banks
Produced by Duncan Smith and engineered by Phil Benge
About Nick Swinglehurst
Nick is an international award-winning film editor. He spent seven years in London editing TV commercials for global brands, music videos for Top 10 artists, and a huge number of factual and behind-the-scenes videos.Since 2011 he has been based in New Zealand working mainly on features including The Hobbit Trilogy, Eternity, Contract Killers, Existence and Good For Nothing. When he’s not editing, he writes for radio and screen, including the Radio NZ New Shorts competition and the Emerging Artists Trust Two-Minute Shorts scheme.
The Worst Best Night of Our Lives by Teresa Bass
Becca has been dumped by her fiance after the honeymoon in Rarotonga had been paid for so she takes her gay best friend Howie along instead.
Cast: Carrie Green, Simon Leary, Andrew Patterson and Ricky Dey
Engineered by Phil Benge and produced by Duncan Smith
Inspired by a Limbo Contest and a Bottle of Bubbly
Writer, Teresa Bass admits to a secret desire to be invited aboard a super-yacht by a charming, attractive young gentleman. Who doesn’t?
Well, that desire may not yet have been fulfilled but there are some other experiences that have come Teresa’s way and which have inspired her. One of those is a fabulous island holiday taken with one of her best friends and during which her buddy really did win the limbo contest and score the top prize – a complimentary bottle of bubbles.
When asked about her intentions in writing her prize-winning short play, The Worst/Best Night of our Lives, Teresa said “I thought it would be fun to play with different locations, from a raging party to a rubber dinghy in the middle of the ocean, in a way I could only do on the radio. After all, a film producer would take one look at the script and laugh me out of the room, slam the door, then open it briefly just to get a final laugh in, and slam it again.”
After completing her BFA in Drama at New York University, Teresa worked as a theatre producer in New York City at Ars Nova Theatre and as the Artistic Director of the Pit, a position she held for five years. She relocated to Wellington in 2009 where she recently she completed her MA in Scriptwriting with the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University. Outside of writing, Teresa also works in the refugee resettlement sector in New Zealand and as an international aid worker for New Zealand Red Cross.
Actually two of Teresa’s plays were winners in the New Shorts Playwriting competition, The Worst Best Night and another, The Big Squeak – a tongue-in-cheek noir thriller about a mouse attempting escape from a laboratory.
The Big Squeak by Teresa Bass
A street wise mouse called Marlow is stuck in a lab, planning his escape.
Cast: Andrew Grainger, Amanda Billing and Leon Wadham
Engineered by Phil Benge and produced by Jason Te Kare.
About Teresa Bass
After completing her BFA in Drama at New York University, Teresa worked as a theatre producer in New York City for five years before moving to Wellington in 2009. Last year she completed her MA in Scriptwriting with the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University. Outside of writing, Teresa also works in the refugee resettlement sector in New Zealand and as an international aid worker for New Zealand Red Cross.
The Crash by Abby Howells
A couple are literally thrown together in the body of a crashed car. Is this the end of the road?
Cast: Alex Greig, Liz Kirkman
Engineered by Phil Benge and produced by Duncan Smith.
Another win for Abby brings Howells of support
Abby Howells short play The Crash is one of the winners in the 2015 New Shorts Playwriting Competition run each year by RNZ Drama. But The Crash is not Abby’s only success. She has recently completed an MA in Scriptwriting from the International Institute of Modern Letters and was awarded the Brad McGann award for film writing for her screenplay Standing Up. Prior to that she won Best Comedy at the Dunedin Fringe in both 2012 and 2013, for her work as a stand-up comedian and as part of her all female comedy collective, 'Discharge.' As well, as if that’s not enough, Abby has written numerous shows for 'Discharge' - most notably Benedict Cumberbatch Must Die, for a sell-out season at BATS theatre last year.
Abby's next project is 28 Days: A Period Piece, a brand new musical premiering at BATS Theatre on February 19th as part of the New Zealand Fringe Festival. The setting is around the final dress rehearsal for a TIE show called “28 Days”- a show about menstruation about to tour around schools.
The men on the board of the funding body have given it support because they think it will be “an honest, fun and educational exploration of every girl’s path to womanhood”. But the tone of musical numbers like “Periods Are Fun for Everyone!” and “Get Out of the Pool – Aunt Flo’s in Town!” suggests the original ‘fun’ proposal may have changed somewhat.
Driven by their own memories of periods past, the women begin to devise a quite different show that tells the truth about menstruation.
Out of Frame by Miranda Wilson
Janet Frame invites a bunch of literary pals around for a ham sandwich – or does she?
Cast: Miranda Manasiadis, Carrie Green, Patrick Davies, Jason Whyte, Jessica Robinson, Jon Pheloung, Paul Waggott
Engineered by Phil Benge and produced by Prue Langbein
The cast of Out of Frame.
About Out of Frame
By Miranda Wilson
If you’re deeply interested in the origins of Out of Frame and you’ve got around $800.00 in your pocket and 12 weeks to kill, enrol in English 355 at the University of Auckland and you’ll get the gist. If you don’t care at all but are craving a compelling encounter with the works of F.E. Maning, Katherine Mansfield, Ursula Bethell, Allen Curnow, C.K. Stead and Janet Frame, courtesy of Associate Professor Alex Calder, enrol anyway – you won’t regret a cent. You may even find the need to prolong the encounter by writing something that attempts to evoke the peril and allure of a particular kind of uncertainty that reaches across decades to link the works of these writers. You may imagine characters that may or may not bear the slightest resemblance to the writers mentioned above converging in a bach somewhere, that may or may not exist, in the grip of a sense of the instability/fragility in the idea of home and place, seized with the anticipation of a sudden devastating and unwelcome rift or separation, in thrall to what Janet Fame calls in Living in the Maniototo, the “break in the surface of things”. Or you may not. Good luck.
Hope by Tracey Schuyt
A rugby test, a traffic jam and a woman in labour. Being a police officer in New Zealand can be a tough job, especially when you're having an affair with a colleague.
Cast: Jessica Robinson, Jamie McCaskill, Nancy Brunning, Ngakopa Volkerling, Sonny Tupu and Sadwyn Brophy. Other voices: Adam Macaulay and Francesca Emms.
Engineered by Phil Benge and produced by Jason Te Kare
About Tracey Schuyt
Tracey Schuyt lives high on a hill in Wellington. She was an accountant in a previous life and in more recent times completed a Graduate Diploma in English Literature at Victoria University. She spent 2014 studying Creative Writing at Whitireia Polytechnic and loved every minute of it. This is her first attempt at writing audio drama and she is in awe of the fabulous actors who made her script come alive. In 2015 she continues to explore different areas of Creative Writing at the IIML in Kelburn.
Red Devil 1917 by Colin Beardon
Kate is fond of her granddad, Brian, who is an old-style socialist stuck in the past. She wants to get him to use new technologies to look up some old friends. He won't use them so she recruits her friend, Marco, to help. They decide that Marco will pretend to be a radical in order to gain Brian's confidence, but when the two men finally meet, Brian sees an opportunity to plan one last act of militancy.
Image: From left: Engineer Phil Benge and cast, Francesca Emms, John Bach and Hayden Weal.
About Colin Beardon
Colin was one of first people in New Zealand to use email. Born in England, he got a job at IBM in 1964 in the early days of computing. He worked in the UK, Australia and NZ, teaching at Waikato University in the 1980s before returning to the UK where he was appointed head of multimedia research at Brighton School of Art & Design in 1990. He worked on an EU project in Helsinki which looked at the impact of internet on theatre. He became particularly interested in the way theatre processes work. He and his wife retired to Waiheke where he became involved with Artworks Community Theatre which he chaired for 4 years. He’s also organised three Waiheke Playwrights Festivals. Instead of writing software he now writes plays, writing dramas and comedies that have political content or can be seen as a political metaphor. He’s also involved in environmental issues and is an advocate of Waiheke Island becoming a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.