10 Nov 2014
Four writers selected for the residency programme at the Michael King Writers’ Centre next year will explore diverse aspects of New Zealand life and culture - from Māori spirituality, a soldier’s “mutiny” in World War One, an act of terrorism by a punk anarchist, to a book on the evolution of the arts in a small country.
The writers selected for the four residencies at the Devonport writers’ retreat are playwright Philip Braithwaite from Dunedin, writer and film-maker Roger Horrocks from Auckland, academic and historian Mere Whaanga from Mahia and playwright Rochelle Bright from Auckland.
Philip Braithwaite will take up the eight-week Summer Residency to complete the final rewrite of a play about his great uncle, a soldier who was executed for mutiny at a British military prison camp in France in 1916. It is also the story of the family, and the shame that followed it for a hundred years.
Braithwaite has won or been a finalist in many playwriting awards, including the Adam Play Award last year. He has written for theatre since 1999 and his plays have been produced at Centrepoint, on Radio New Zealand and the BBC World Service. The War Play is scheduled for production at Fortune Theatre next year. He has also worked as a scriptwriting teacher at Massey University, Victoria University and Whitireia Polytechnic. He was the William Evans Playwriting Fellow at Otago University 2013-2014.
Roger Horrocks was founder and head of the Department of Film, Television and Media Studies at Auckland University, the largest department of its kind in New Zealand, and is Emeritus Professor. Ten years ago he retired early to write full time. He has written on many aspects of film, television, literature, the arts and is a published poet. Len Lye, his biography of the experimental film-maker, was a finalist in the NZ Book Awards in 2002. He has been involved in many media and arts organizations and was made a Member of the NZ Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to film and television. He has been awarded the Autumn Residency to work on his latest project, a book about the evolution of the arts in New Zealand. He will study the whakapapa of New Zealand culture, from colonial cringe to the growth of many areas of local art, including the Māori renaissance, and the impact of digital technology today.
The Māori Writer’s Residency has been awarded to Mere Whaanga (Ngāti Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Kahungunu), who has written a wide range of non-fiction work on aspects of the Treaty of Waitangi, treaty claims, Māori cultural practices and books for children. She will hold the eight-week residency to work on an adult novel, Legacy of the Seer, which centres on leader Te Paea and her matakite or psychic abilities. The story of rural Māori in the greater Wairoa area and the pain of cultural loss is tracked through the life journey of Te Paea and her daughter Mata.
The six-month University of Auckland Residency at the MKWC has been awarded to Rochelle Bright for a theatre/indie opera crossover drama about Neil Roberts, a punk anarchist who blew himself up outside the Whanganui police computer building in 1982. She has been General Manager of Auckland’s Massive Company since 2011, after six-years studying and developing theatre in New York.
All of the residencies are available thanks to support from Creative New Zealand.
For further information,
Karren Beanland - Manager
Ph/fax: 445 8451
Mobile: 021 496 488