Tag Archives: climate change theatre action

Still Waving: New Voices Climate Action Creative Writing Competition

Write, inspire and win! As part of our Climate Change Theatre Action 2017 event, ‘Still Waving,’ the Massey University School of English & Media Studies and Pukeahu ki Tua: Think Differently Wellington are proud to announce a climate action creative writing competition for new and emerging writers.


1st place – $300

2nd place – $200

3rd place – $100


Thematic guidelines

The creative writing competition aligns with Climate Change Theatre Action’s global theme, which is that “climate action requires a hopeful vision of the future”.

CCTA 2017 asks the question: “How can we turn the challenges of climate change into opportunities?”

We are looking for creative writing that provides hope, inspires positive action, and illuminates individual and collective solutions.  There is still time to change the course of climate change: it is not too late, but it will require a collective will the likes of which planet earth has seldom seen. How can you use your writing, your particular voice, to help people visualise, embrace and achieve that change? What specific images can we find to illuminate why people should care about the environment? How can we move people without preaching to them or becoming didactic?

Politics is a surface in which transformation comes about as much because of pervasive changes in the depths of the collective imagination as because of visible acts, though both are necessary. And though huge causes sometimes have little effect, tiny ones occasionally have huge consequences. . . (Rebecca Solnit)


We are accepting five types of entry:

  • Twitterature (tell a story in no more than 140 characters)
  • Flash Fiction 100 Words (tell a story in exactly 100 words – no more and no less)
  • Poetry (any length up to 200 words)
  • Short stories of up to 1200 words.
  • Personal essays of up to 1200 words.

To enter:

Please email your entry in the body of an email to climateactionwriting@gmail.com by 5pm (NZ time) on Friday October 6, 2017.

Entry is open to all new and emerging writers. We take this to mean anyone who has not published a book.  By entering you agree to publication of your entry and your name in social media. You may enter as many different items as you like.  Please include your full name and the city or town you live in, with your entry.

The judge:

We are grateful to Dr Ingrid Horrocks from the School of English & Media Studies for agreeing to judge the Still Waving Climate Writing competition.  Ingrid’s creative publications include two collections of poetry, a number of personal essays, and a genre-bending travel book.

More about Still Waving:

Still Waving, our 2017 Climate Change Theatre Action Aotearoa event, will take place on October 23 at Massey Wellington campus. There will be plays, readings, a performance art installation, and of course the prize-giving announcement of the fabulous winners of this competition!  Still Waving is part of the global Climate Change Theatre Action 2017, which involves 50 selected plays (including two from our school) and more than 180 events in 41 countries. This is the second time we have participated in CCTA and we are delighted to be back! Check it all out at: https://www.facebook.com/events/163701054197372/

More Creative Works from Waves

The EAC Climate Change Creative Writing finalists Stevie Greeks, Braidicea Warriner and Sophia Dempsey receive their awards from EAC president Olie Body

The EAC Climate Change Creative Writing finalists Stevie Greeks, Braidicea Warriner and Sophia Dempsey receive their awards from EAC president Olie Body

Last but not least in our series of posts of creative works from Waves: Climate Change Theatre Action Aotearoa (#climatechangetheatreaction), we bring you all in one place the links to the three finalists’ poems from the Expressive Arts Club Climate Change Creative Writing Competition.

The Expressive Arts Club is a large and vibrant student club at Massey Wellington campus open to students and alumni in our three Expressive Arts disciplines: creative writing, digital media production and theatre studies.  (Plus we do find their friends from other majors tend to want to join the fun too, which is fine by us as the more the merrier.)  EAC ran meet-ups and showcase events throughout 2015, culminating in the climate change creative writing competition in association with Waves.  Many more events are planned for 2016 so if you want to join the best student club on Wellington campus, see http://www.mawsa.org.nz/clubs/clubs-mawsa-2015/massey-wellington-expressive-arts-club/ for details.

Thank you to Dr Ingrid Horrocks, creative writing senior lecturer, for expert judging of the entries in the EAC competition.  Here are all three finalists – congratulations to them all, and happy reading!

Links to read online the three shortlisted poems from EAC Climate Change Creative Writing Competition 2015.

1. Finalist: A race to extinction by Stevie Greeks

2. Highly Commended: Melting Clocks by Braidicea Warriner

3. Winner: Fade Out by Sophia Demsey

Waves online programme











Below you will find the full programme for Waves: Climate Change Theatre Action

Theatre Lab, 5D14, Massey University Wellington Campus, Wellington, 1pm November 1. (Waves is a paperless event, and so we have posted the programme here, and will provide free wifi to the audience.)  For more information about Waves, or to join us, see previous post at: Waves: Climate Change Theatre Action


Thank you to ‘Theatre Without Borders’, ‘The Arctic Cycle’ and ‘NoPassport’, in particular Caridad Svich (recipient of 2012 OBIE for Lifetime Achievement in Theatre), Chantal Bilodeau (Artistic Director of The Arctic Cycle), and Elaine Avila (Recipient, Mellon Foundation Environmental Arts Commission, Pomona College, Los Angeles) for curating and coordinating the global programme of Climate Change Theatre Action 2015 from bases in L.A. and New York.  Through the vision and hard work of these three women, from today (the global launch) to mid-December, more than 100 Climate Change Theatre Action events will be staged in 22 countries, featuring the work of more than 40 distinguished international playwrights.  This is the third and largest global theatre action event organised by the team, the others being ‘The Way of Water’ (2012, theatre action on oil spills) and ‘Gun Control’ (2013).

Waves, the only Climate Change Theatre Action event in Aotearoa and the first in the world of the global schedule, is produced and directed by Elspeth Tilley, with lighting design by Emma Bennetts of Backlight, film editing and multimedia technical support by Samuel Williams, and video recording by Mark Steelsmith. Scene-change visuals between items are from the Pacific Climate Change documentary ‘Storm Islands’, provided courtesy of director Steve Menzies.  The Massey University School of English & Media Studies fed and costumed the actors among many and various other supportive inputs.  Artcop21 (the global cultural programme of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change 2015, of which Waves is a registered part) provided free hosting for our event at http://www.artcop21.com/events/waves/  Link to other Artcop21 events worldwide from that page.

A huge thank you to all the Waves performers (whose intriguing details are at the end of the programme) and authors for providing their time, talents and inspirational creative work to Climate Change Theatre Action to help contribute a crucial cultural and artistic element to the worldwide conversation about our planet’s wellbeing.  A huge thank you to you, our audience, for coming out today to show your support for the role of the arts in provoking new thinking about the issues that matter. Follow the global project at #climatechangetheatreaction to see more events unfold worldwide over the next six weeks.


 Item 1: Danny’s monologue from ‘The Atom Room’ by Philip Braithwaite

Read by Philip Braithwaite

Danny and Sarah are a modern couple.  They are living in a long-distance relationship: he is in Wellington, and she is on Mars. But this is a universe where the Earth has been catastrophically damaged by tsunamis and nuclear meltdowns, and the rich elite are moving to outer colonies and Mars.

Sarah is an engineer and scientist in the Mars programme. Danny is on his own on Earth, working for Envirocorp, the only organisation left that looks out for the environment. Every now and then they can meet in The Atom Room: the most advanced virtual avatar programme in the galaxy. In his monologue, Danny is engaged in a series of interviews, trying to talk about the death of his planet, and why he refuses to leave it.

About the author: Philip Braithwaite has won multiple playwriting awards including the 2001 BBC World Service International Radio Playwriting Competition, the 2013-14 William Evans Playwriting Fellowship, and New Zealand’s top playwriting prize, the Adam NZ Play Award, in 2014.

His work has been produced in New Zealand, Australia and Europe, and he has collaborated with the Royal Court Theatre in London, the BBC and SEEyD theatre company. His radio plays have been produced on the BBC World Service and Radio New Zealand. Oh and he once had a beer with Alan Rickman.  You will be the first in the world to hear a reading from this brand new work.

Item 2: Mōrehu and Tītī by David Geary

Mōrehu – Hamish Boyle

Tītī – Moira Fortin-Cornejo

Al Gore/Aurora – Sara McBride

Mōrehu is an ancient male punk rocker tuatara. In the Māori language of the Indigenous Peoples of New Zealand, Mōrehu means survivor or remnant. Tuatara means ‘spiny back’. Tuatara are rare, medium-sized reptiles found only in New Zealand. They are the last survivors of an order of reptiles that thrived in the age of the dinosaurs. Mōrehu is stuck on a drifting raft with Tītī, a young female sooty shearwater bird, muttonbird, Puffinsus griseus, or tītī (pron. Teetee). The young of these birds are a traditional food source for Māori, preserved in copious amounts of their own fat and salt. So though they may perish in large numbers before reaching adulthood, the tītī can rest assured those who eat them regularly will die prematurely of heart attacks.

AG/Aurora Australis – a famous person and The Southern Lights – makes an appearance as the raft nears Antarctica.

About the author: David Geary writes plays, television, film, fiction, and haiku on twitter @gearsgeary. He is of New Zealand Māori and Pākehā heritage, and is now also a citizen of Canada. He teaches at Capilano University, North Vancouver, in the Indigenous

Filmmaking and Documentary programs, leads playwrights’ workshops for Playwrights Theatre Centre, and works as a freelance dramaturge. He is the author of ‘Lovelock’s Dream Run’, co-wrote and co-directed the television documentary ‘The Smell of Money’ and his short story collection, ‘A Man of the People’ was published in 2003. He has worked as a scriptwriter and storyliner for television including Shortland Street, Mercy Peak, Jackson’s Wharf and Hard Out.  He won the Bruce Mason Playwrights’ Award in 1991 and the Adam Foundation Playwrights’ Award in 1994. ‘Mōrehu and Tītī’ was written specifically for Climate Change Theatre Action 2015.  This is its world premiere.

Item 3: Climate Change Poems from Aotearoa
Readings selected and presented by Dr Ingrid Horrocks

Many recent poems by New Zealand writers grapple, directly or indirectly, with questions of climate change. In “The Uprising,” which appears in nature poet Dinah Hawken’s latest collection, Ocean and Stone (2015), Hawken considers the rising oceans. So does Lynn Jenner in her book of poems, Lost and Gone Away (2015). Several Massey graduate students, among them poets Lynn Davidson, Sarah-Jane Barnett, and Janet Newman, have spent time exploring new ways to engage with and write about the environment. Ingrid will read fragments from some of these recent works.

About the authors: Dinah Hawken was awarded the Lauris Edmond Award for Distinguished Contribution to Poetry; Lynn Jenner has won both the Adam Prize in Creative Writing and the NZSA Jessie Mackay Award for Best First Book of Poetry; Lynn Davidson is widely published and just completed her PhD in Creative Writing at Massey University; poet and Massey creative writing tutor Sarah-Jane Barnett just released her new (and second) poetry collection, titled Work; and Massey Master of Creative Writing student Janet Newman just  won the Open category of the New Zealand Poet Society’s 2015 International Poetry Competition.

Item 4: Flotsam by Elspeth Tilley

Mariana – Anna Barden Shaw

Natalia – Charlotte Tilley

Stefan – Jack Hitchens

Mariana has a tough job, judging climate-change-refugee applications. Her teenaged daughter Natalia has been reading Facebook and is less than impressed with her mother’s decisions.  Things don’t look good, weather-wise – but it’s OK, Mariana can afford to build a nice big wall to keep it all at bay.

About the author: Elspeth Tilley is a graduate of the University of Queensland drama programme, the La Boite improvisation, devising and writing for theatre courses, the Gold Coast Institute of Technology acting courses 1 and 2, and the Queensland Film Academy screen actor training programme. An experienced actor for stage and screen, she now teaches theatre and creative activism at Massey University Wellington, publishes on performance and postcolonialism, and enjoys directing regular student theatre both scripted and devised.  She was inspired to write ‘Flotsam’ to illuminate the massive damage and inequalities climate change is wreaking in the Pacific.  ‘Flotsam’ is an official Climate Change Theatre Action selection, chosen by the curators for inclusion in the worldwide programme.  This is its world premiere. 

Item 5: Earth Duet by E.M. Lewis

Read by:  Grace Bucknell and Jack Hitchens

An elegiac poem, for two voices.

About the author: E.M. Lewis is an award-winning playwright, librettist, and teacher of playwriting. She was a finalist for the 2014 Shakespeare’s Sister Fellowship, received the Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University in 2010-2011, and won both the ATCA/Steinberg Award and the Award for Outstanding Writing of a World Premiere Play from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle for her play ‘Song of Extinction’. She won the Primus Prize for her play ‘Heads’. Her work has been produced around the world – and we are very excited to be able to bring it for the first time to New Zealand.

Item 6: Our Corner of the World by Jacqueline E. Lawton

Emily – Alice Guerin

David – Tobias Nash

Emily and David have moved to Detroit, where you can buy a house for a dollar. Emily stands on the porch of their once-condemned new home that they are slowly renovating. The lawn that surrounds the house is covered with abandoned tires and dirt. There is a cracked sidewalk and an empty street.  Emily stands on the porch and cradles a young baby in her arms. David enters on a bike. Emily does not turn to look at him.

About the author: Jacqueline E. Lawton was named one of the top 30 national leading black playwrights in the USA by Arena Stage’s American Voices New Play Institute and is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including the 2015-2016 Kenan Institute’s Creative Collaboratory Project Grant, two Young Artist Program Grants from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities for Playwriting; the Ellsworth P. and Virginia Conkle Endowed Scholarship for Drama; the Jean McKenzie Schenkkan Endowed Scholarship in Playwriting; and the Morton Brown, Nellie Lea Brown, and Minelma Brown Lockwood Endowed Scholarship in Playwriting.

Item 7: Expressive Arts Club Climate Change Creative Writing Competition Finalists
Melting Clocks, by Braidicea Warriner, read by Braidicea Warriner

A Race to Extinction, by Stevie Greeks, read by Elspeth Tilley

Fade Out, by Sophia Dempsey, read by Sophia Dempsey

Item 8: Prizegiving
Announcement and presentation of the prize for best piece of Expressive Arts Club Climate Change Creative Writing

Item 9: Korero
Please stay for a chat. We invite you to ask questions of the performers and artists, express your views, and generally linger for a relaxed korero about climate change and what we can do about it.

About the Fantastic Waves Performers:

Alice Guerin.  Last year Alice played a Russian spy and a Swedish housewife in the same show.  She’s excited to be in Waves as she truly cares about climate change and believes it is a topic that needs to be talked about more.

Anna Barden Shaw wanted to be part of the Climate Change Theatre Action as it is something that she feels passionately about. Over the years she’s played all sorts of roles from witches to prostitutes, the last being a settler’s wife in ‘The Ragged’ earlier this year. Now she finally gets to play someone a little more mundane – a lawyer, a mother of a politically aware teenage girl (which she also has!). Her astrology always said she should be a lawyer – Anna figures this is the closest she will get.

Braidicea Warriner recently completed a Bachelor of Arts where she developed a passion for writing screenplays. The weirdest thing she’s ever written is a love poem from a grassy lawn to a willow tree. Some of her favourite-sounding words include; effervescent, epiphany, clandestine and cacophony.

Charlotte Tilley has studied drama from age 7 and has distinctions in Trinity College London musical theatre and performance exams. Previous stage roles include an orphan, a wolf and the captain of a sinking ship, with her favourite being Rapunzel for ‘Fractured Fairytales’.

Grace Bucknell fell in love with performing when she was cast as chief ferret in ‘Toad of Toad Hall’ aged 10. She has studied drama for 10 years and is completing her diploma.

Hamish Boyle has spent the past the past three years regularly escaping into Wellington from the Hutt, only to stumble around the stage and screen and call it acting. Credits include Summer Shakespeare 2015 and 2016, Young and Hungry 2015, and Alone it Stands with Lord Lackbeards.

Ingrid Horrocks is a Senior Lecturer in the School of English and Media Studies at Massey Wellington. Ingrid is a poet and nonfiction writer. She has published books of poetry and travel writing, and her work has been anthologised in collections such as Essential New Zealand Poems and New Zealand Love Poems.

Jack Hitchens.  So far Jack has been in 6 different musicals, including The Gabe, from New Zealand’s original ‘Next to Normal’ cast which premiered mid last year. He originally had his stage debut, wearing a full red ruby dress with intense high heels and bright red lipstick, as a sassy sister, Ruby, in the pantomime, Pantalot.

Moira Fortin-Cornejo.  Birds seem to like Moira… she has played many birds before, and from different cultures, Chilean and Rapa Nui.  Now she’s very happy to play a New Zealand bird… not a kiwi… but nearly!

Sara McBride played Santa when she was 12, so gender bending roles are nothing new to her. The play was about Santa being forced to go a health and fitness camp to lose weight.  In one scene, she had to run through the audience and … her pants accidentally fell down in front of everyone. Like the true professional she is, Sara pulled her pants up and kept acting. That early brush with mass embarrassment didn’t diminish her love of theatre as she has continued acting and singing throughout her adult life.  Currently, Sara is part of Wellington Footlights, where her specialties include singing, dancing, and making sure her costume doesn’t fall off.

Sophia Dempsey is a veteran of three NaNoWriMos, twice winner of the senior high school poetry competition, and likes to indulge in Facebook conversations that look like philosophy students got drunk on metaphor.

Stevie Greeks is an Expressive Arts student, who believes in the power of the written word to start important discussions.

Tobias Nash is a writer and student whose acting experience comes mostly from school plays, helping out with university projects and pretending to be interested in other people’s opinions, but he’s keen to broaden his horizons and try something new.

Waves: Climate Change Theatre Action

Join us for Waves, a provocative afternoon of short plays by international and local playwrights, spoken word poetry, and readings from the finalists in our Expressive Arts Club Climate Change Creative Writing Awards.







Waves is our contribution to Climate Change Theatre Action (#‎ClimateChangeTheatreAction‬), a series of worldwide readings and performances led from New York by Theatre Without Borders, The Arctic Cycle, and No Passport as part of Artcop21 – the global cultural programme of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change.

We are the only Climate Change Theatre Action event for Aotearoa – so register now to be part of the audience at 1pm on Sunday November 1st in the Theatre Laboratory (5D14) at Massey University Wellington Campus.

Students and staff from Massey’s theatre studies and expressive arts programmes will entertain, console and confront you with works humorous and intense, problem-illuminating and solution-focussed, powerful, sometimes funny, sometimes catastrophic, often moving and inspirational. The works include exciting new world premiere short plays from David Geary (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Geary), Jacqueline Lawton (http://www.jacquelinelawton.com/bio.html) and E.M. Lewis (http://emlewisplaywright.com/). Our own English & Media Studies creative communication tutor and NZ playwriting star Phil Braithwaite (http://www.playmarket.org.nz/playwrights/philip-braithwaite) will give us a reading from his new work, The Atom Room, plus we launch some brand new talents.

Make sure there’s a seat for you and your party: register now to reserve seats at https://masseyuni.wufoo.eu/forms/waves-climate-change-theatre-action-aotearoa/

See more info and follow for updates at our FB event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1486295995032736/