April 29 2019 by Tanya Surrey
We’ve all heard of Oscar Wilde, William Shakespeare and Anton Chekhov. Closer to home, local drama group, Remarkable Theatre’s Pint-Sized Plays competition has unearthed several talented local playwrights. The Pint-Sized Play idea started in Wales in 2007. The project aimed to introduce new plays and playwrights to a wider audience in a non-traditional theatre environment. It has since become one of the world’s leading international short playwriting competitions. In 2013, Remarkable Theatre committee member David Cantwell, suggested that the group run a New Zealand version of Pint-Sized Plays and the competition was launched.
Playwrights are restricted to a play of up to 10 minutes in duration, with up to three actors. Only minimal use of props and costumes is allowed, all of which could be easily assembled in a pub environment. The audience votes for their favourite play and the names of the authors are not revealed until votes are cast. The inaugural winner of ‘’Pint-Sized Plays New Zealand” in 2013 was Dinosaur, written by local actor, writer and comedian Mike Legge and was performed by Mike Legge, Jo Blick and Fiona Stephenson and told the tale of one middle-aged man’s struggle against technology. The audience loved it. Second place went to David Cantwell’s Howzat? with third place going to The Visionaries, by Barbara Glass.
Since this time, over 300 plays have been submitted for consideration in Pint-Sized Plays New Zealand with over 50 plays selected for performance including those by current and former locals Phena Byrne and Myles Lind. The shows have involved over 100 actors and numerous backstage crew. It has been an ideal opportunity for first time writers, directors and actors to try their luck alongside old hands.
In line with the concept of taking live theatre to a wider audience Pint-Sized Plays have been performed in various venues in Queenstown, Arrowtown and Wanaka. This year the Remarkable Theatre crew will be joined by students from the Wakatipu High School’s performing arts course who will provide technical support under the supervision of drama teacher, Jake Hansen. After a hiatus in 2018, Pint-Sized Plays NZ will return to Queenstown and Wanaka on the first weekend of May with shows at The Sherwood (3 May), Gin and Raspberry (4 May) in Wanaka and at Clancy’s Bar in the Rydges Hotel, (4 May). Tickets are available at Eventfinda.com, with limited numbers on the door. While comedy has always been a staple of Pint-Sized Plays this year’s selection is a mix of comedy, drama and mystery. Come along and support local theatre. Maybe you’ll even be inspired to write your own masterpiece to rival the works of Oscar, William and Anton.
Actor, Director and Production Manager – Pint-Sized Plays 2019