Writing for Theatre

Writing for Theatre (ages 16-25)

The most important part of a writing class is the act of actually writing. This course is about learning the craft of theatre writing and practising that craft every lesson. To find your voice as a theatre maker, the first step is pen to paper.

In this course you will learn the core principles of playwriting, the many facets of the craft, what you can do with it, and the various steps you can take to getting your script on a stage.

Classes will be divided between discussing and learning about the craft of playwriting, understanding the current climate of theatre making in New Zealand; plus writing exercises and dedicated time to your major project – a short play which will have a rehearsed reading at the end of the course.

So much of theatre making is collaboration, and this includes the writing stage. Writers will get the opportunity to watch a director find vision in their work and actors bring their world and words to life.

This course is specifically directed at aspiring writers and theatre makers between sixteen to twenty-five – it’s about young people finding their voice and ability to capture their generation. Once deciding upon an idea for a short play each student will be given a contemporary playscript to read and use as a tool for their own work.

Though called a class much of the course will feel closer to a weekly workshop. A large emphasis will be placed on giving and receiving feedback on each other’s work in class. The course will cover story, character, structure, subtext, creative values – the principles of playwriting – as well as the process of theatre programming, festivals, and finding collaborators.

Students will leave the course with a short play and the tools to craft and write full length work. First and foremost this is a course about finding your voice as a playwright, and having the confidence to start putting your work on its feet.

Timetable and Enrolment


Term 4 2020
Start: 15th October
End: 10th December
Thursdays 6.30-8.30pm


Scots College Creative and Performing Arts Centre          


Ben Wilson

Target Market

16-25 Years Old

(incl GST)




About Ben Wilson

Ben Wilson is a New Zealand based playwright with a Masters in Scriptwriting from the International Institute of Modern Letters. Ben has been taught by some New Zealand’s leading writers including – Ken Duncum, Briar Grace-Smith, Dave Armstrong, Gavin McGibbon.

His first play I’ll Be Fine was produced and performed at BATS Theatre, Wellington, in 2014 when he was eighteen. The production travelled to Aucklands The Basement theatre in 2015 where it performed as part of the Basements Schools programme. I’ll Be Fine was nominated for the 2015 Playmarket’s Playwrights B425. His second play Call Me Bukowski premiered at BATS Theatre in 2015 and was nominated for the 2016 Playmarkets Playwrights B425 award.

In 2016, while completing his Masters in Scriptwriting with Ken Duncum, Bens third play Fred is Cold was produced at BATS Theatre. His radio play Plain Crazy was also produced and broadcast that year by Radio New Zealand. 

In 2016 Ben was shortlisted for the Peter Harcourt best new playwright award at the Wellington Theatre awards for Fred is Cold.

In 2017 his play Super Clean was produced at Victoria University as part of the New Zealand Fringe Festival and in 2018 his ensemble play Almost Sober was produced at Wellingtons nightclub Club 121 for a sold-out two-week season.

In 2019 his play Post-It Notes was produced at BATS Theatre as part of the New Zealand Fringe Festival. Post-It Notes earned Ben his third Playmarkets Playwrights B425 nomination. In 2019 he was commissioned by Wellingtons Long Cloud Youth Theatre company to write and co-devise his anthology play Breaks.

He was the 2020 winner of Playmarkets best new play by a playwright before 25 for his play Homemade Takeaways.

Our Location

Rata Studios
Based at Scots College
1 Monorgan Road
Wellington 6022
Rata Studios
Based at Scots College
PO Box 15064
Wellington 6243