THE PLAY PRESS

... specialises in publishing and promoting, here and abroad, new New Zealand plays; to preserve a range of quality scripts and to make texts more accessible for rehearsal and study, and to help generate productions. We are interested in all types of playscript and any other performance related work.

FREE

Group-Devised Work: The Rights of Co-Writers, Devisers, Co-Creators, Actor/Writers & co.
- includes suggestions for ways to avoid disputes and resentments, and some draft agreements to aid discussion and negotiation. (This booklet has been adapted by the Playwrights' Guild of Canada for use by their members.) Email if you would like a copy - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

NB:-  The NZ Writers' Guild has a number draft contracts available free on their website which may be useful, and welcomes your queries - www.nzwritersguild.org.nz.

HISTORY

The Play Press grew out of *The Women's Play Press collective, launched in 1994 by Lorae Parry, Viv Plumb, Fiona Samuel, Cathy Downes and Jean Betts. WPP was formed initially to publish plays of ours performed in 1993 in a festival we organised to celebrate the centenary of women's suffrage in NZ. Since then, several of our plays have had excellent sales, productions nationally and abroad, and inclusion in school and university curricula. (All enquiries regarding The Women's Play Press plays are welcome.) However in 2001, at a time when no on else was publishing ANY plays, and feeling that there were still too many good scripts (by both men and women) languishing unpublished that needed to be made available, Jean Betts established The Play Press as well.

The Play Press retains its special commitment to women’s plays and as The Women’s Play Press sponsors an entry into The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize each year. 

It's sometimes hard to get playwrights to see the importance of play publishing; perhaps because we have long accepted theatre's ephemeral nature and any desire for 'permanence' seems unnatural; perhaps because of the difficulties we imagine adapting a production to the page.

However, there's a very low demand for photocopies of a play manuscript. Once published, as well as magically assuming new dignity, status and permanence, a play becomes accessible, included in libraries, curricula (it generally won't be studied unless it's published) and made available worldwide - so there is a much greater demand for copies (including e-copies) and so a greatly increased potential for it to be licensed for productions. Quite simply it can also ensure that playscripts are not lost forever (the last known copy of Frangipani Perfume was found down the back of someone's sofa). It's worth noting too that there is a variety of fellowships and writing grants only open to 'published' writers.

The Play Press has had a great deal of support, especially from Creative New Zealand, Daphne Brasell, Anton Carter, Tim Jordan, Joe and Charlie Bleakley, Fane Flaws, David O'Donnell, Chris Davidson and generous friends.  




"I shall repeat an essential, the essential fact.  There are books that can only be for a minority, and no amount of puffing and promotion will change that, but these are the best, and - secretly, quietly and unobtrusively - the most influential, setting a tone and standard for the time."

Doris Lessing