Kōanga Festival Playwrights Programme 2023

Submissions now open until Sunday 2 April 2023
Kōanga Festival 2023

Āhea | When

Kei hea | Where


Roanga | Duration




Kaupapa | About

Playwrights Programme submissions now open until midnight Sunday 2 April 2023! 

Te Pou Theatre’s annual Kōanga Festival programme has included script workshops and readings of twenty plays since 2015, working with emerging and established playwrights. We have seen many plays presented in later seasons at festivals and independent professional shows. 


2023 Playwrights Programme Overview
Back in 2020, in response to COVID-19 and 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 have continued this into 2023 and are proud to be offering four playwrights a three-month script development period, culminating in a one-week workshop. 

Playwrights will spend July – September developing their scripts for a rehearsed reading in October as part of our Kōanga Festival. This will be live or digitally presented depending on the state of the world at that time. Over the three month time frame writers will meet regularly online as a rōpu, with dramaturg 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 bi-weekly rōpū hui online with script writing mentor Albert Belz.   

  • 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

  • Total writers stipend of $3,000.00 

  • 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 or have plenty under your belt – we’ll cater to your needs). 

  • 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.

  • Be open to changing and adapting your script during the workshop period.

  • Auckland based or Northland based is a priority for Te Pou Theatre. However, if not Auckland based you must be able to travel and organize your own accommodation in Tāmaki Makaurau over the workshop period in October.

By midnight Sunday 2 April 2023 please: 

– Complete the submission form and attach your proposed script for development. If you do not have a script in progress, we would like to receive a treatment, an overview of your story, that’s up to 5 pages long.  

– OR fill in the form below and send through with your treatment/script to registrations@tepoutheatre.nz  

Important Dates:


  • Monday 20 Feb 2023 Kōanga Submissions open
  • Sunday 2 April 2023 Due Date for submissions (by midnight)
  • Friday 21 April 2023 Notification
  • Monday 22 May 2023 Announcement
  • Sunday 9 July 2023 Programme starts (12 weeks) with bi-weekly zoom meetings.
    Sunday 16 July 2023
    Sunday 30 July 2023
    Sunday 13 August 2023
    Sunday 27 August 2023
    Sunday 10 September 2023
    Sunday 24 September 2023
  • Friday 15 September 2023 Kōanga Festival Opening Kaumātua Day Event
  • 25 – 29 September 2023 Five day Script Development Workshop in Auckland as part of Kōanga Festival 
  • 29 & 30 September 2023 Kōanga Festival Playreading Events




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 amber@tepoutheatre.nz or 021775276

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

Tono mai!

Ngā mihi to our kaitautoko