The other week, I went to the changing of the guard at the Auckland Playmarket office: Stuart Hoar is moving on to less reading (of other people’s writing) and more writing (of his own) (which is as it should be), and will be replaced by Allison Horsley, formerly Court Theatre Literary Manager.
There was food and drink on hand, and there were a few more familiar faces than I expected — should be no surprise after being in this writing gig for so long, but still —and the hour I had set aside to pay my respects very quickly became almost two hours of catching up and talking with:
Roy Ward, current freelance theatre director and, although I should let it go, will forever be the person who rejected my application to write for Shortland Street;
Murray Lynch, Playmarket big cheese;
Sam Brooks, dramatist, critic and man-about-town (I didn’t actually talk to him — but I waved as he flew by);
and the very lovely Roger and Dianne Hall — yes, that Mr Hall — and he was refreshingly to-the-point with our brief discussion on writing for theatre and developing audiences in competition with the small, small screen.
The audience laughed in the right places, their applause was gratifying, and the Q-and-A that followed was enlightening for all present. Afterwards, it was nice to chat with individual audience members like: Auckland Theatre Company artistic director Colin McColl; Bright Star and Pasefika playwright and Playmarket respresentative Stuart Hoar; the indomitable Webmistresse (retired) and her husband; Luncheon and Officer 27 playwright Aroha Awarau; screenwriter Kathryn Burnett; and Titirangi Theatre stalwart and early supporter of the work Duncan Milne.