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Here are just a few of the playwrights around the world writing for young audiences. Know someone that should be on the list? (Including yourself?) Just go to inform us and send us their name, a short biography and (optional) a website address. A photo of the playwright (optional) can also be sent to

Entries in New Zealand (3)


Battye, Susan (New Zealand)

Playwright Susan Battye has previously been the Programme Manager for the Bachelor of Maori Performing Arts, at Te Wananga O Aotearoa and head of Drama at Epsom Girls Grammar School. She studied in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1978 for a Diploma in Drama and Education with Dorothy Heathcote and gained M.A. in Education Studies from Loughborough University of Technology in 1993. Most of her plays have been written for use in schools and Susan's publishing history is a credit to both their calibre and her knowledge of what teachers want. In 2001 she co-wrote Ponsonby Road with Tim Bray for an adult audience.

Susan began writing plays for students she taught at Greymouth High School because she could find nothing to direct that came close to fitting their needs, and nothing in the curriculum that reflected the local community's social history. Together with Thelma Eakin in 1977 she wrote and directed The Shadow of the Valley, a play about New Zealand’s biggest industrial accident, the Brunner Mine disaster of 1896. The play was subsequently published by Oxford University Press and has since received many performances throughout New Zealand. The playwrights’ co-written historical novel, The Mine’s Afire, based on the play was short listed for the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards in 2010.

For details on Susan's plays, go to:


Mizusawa, Ken (New Zealand / Singapore)

Ken Mizusawa is Japanese by birth, a New Zealand playwright by nature and a Singapore civil servant by way of the teaching profession. He is currently a Teaching Fellow at Singapore’s National Institute of Education (NIE), Nanyang Technological University, where he teaches a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the English Language and Literature Academic Group. He writes plays for young people and his works have been staged in Singapore and New Zealand.


Urale, Makerita (New Zealand)

Makerita Urale is a documentary director and a leading figure in contemporary Polynesian theatre in New Zealand. She has produced landmark productions in the performing arts. She is also a playwright. She is the writer of the play Frangipani Perfume, the first Pacific play written by a woman for an all female cast. Working in different art mediums, Urale also works in film and television. She is the director of the political documentary Children of the Revolution which won the Qantas Award (2008) for Best Māori Programme. Urale was born on the island of Savai'i in Samoa.The family moved to New Zealand in the 1970s where they lived in Wellington. Urale has two brothers and three sisters, and the siblings also work in the arts and media. Urale's sister Sima Urale is an award winning filmmaker and their brother King Kapisi is a hip hop artist.

In 2000, Urale's play Frangipani Perfume (1998) was listed Top 10 plays of the decade by New Zealand literary magazine The Listener. The play was first staged at Bats Theatre in Wellington in 1998 with a cast of three women which included her sister Sima. The director of the first production was Erolia Ifopo followed by other directors when the play toured the country and internationally. In 2004, the play was published by Play Press and is a key text in theatre studies at schools and universities. The play is about three sisters, born in the tropical islands of Polynesia who move to New Zealand where they work as cleaners. The story explores the women's dreams and aspirations through the use of lyrical poetry, imagery and stylised movement. The play was nominated Most Original Production at the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards. The play has toured in New Zealand as well as internationally including Canada, Australia and UK. It has also had playreadings in Toronto and New York. Urale has written plays for children including The Magic Seashell and Popo the Fairy as well as children's books and feature articles in magazines.