Play Development

The Literary Unit runs an in-house programme of play and project development at its studio at Dominion Road.

ATC Literary is committed to assisting in the development of works from the diverse cultures that reside in Aotearoa New Zealand and to bringing a diversity of voices and languages to life in the theatre.

Projects are selected for development on their intrinsic merit, the imaginative reach of the writing or vision, the commitment of the playwright/creator to explore their work and the subject matter and themes as they relate to Auckland, to Auckland audiences and to Aotearoa New Zealand.

The key focus of ATC’s development is to identify and support playwrights and theatre makers who have the potential and the ambition to make work with the scale to be programmed as part of ATC’s main stage programme at the ASB Waterfront Theatre.


What we're looking for

Great theatre evolves in magical ways. As well as plays, we welcome projects that break the boundaries of customary practice and bring new collaborations and ideas to our artistic vision.


  • Verbatim, immersive and site-specific theatre
  • Shows suitable for touring and presentation at festivals in New Zealand and abroad
  • Collaborations with artists from other genres
  • Projects with an external research or presentation partner


  • In-depth dramaturgy sessions with playwrights on submitted scripts
  • In-house readings with a professional cast and director
  • Workshops with a professional cast and director
  • Supporting research that will enrich a creative process
  • Providing a dramaturg to work with a playwright/creator over the rewriting process
  • Supporting playwrights to develop their knowledge and experience of the rehearsal process
  • Free public play readings and audience engagement events to provide feedback for writers and creative teams

Young Writers Group

In 2017 we established a Young Writers Group for emerging playwrights aged 18 – 30 years. Please contact us if you are interested in making a submission for a future workshop programme.

Artistic Associates

The inaugural NAVIGATORS season of work was presented in October 2017. Three artists were commissioned by Auckland Theatre Company to develop ground-breaking new performance work. The Navigators marked the beginning of that journey.

Artistic Associates Malia Johnston, Kate Parker and Katie Wolfe each presented a new work in the early stages of development over a festival-style weekend.

Moon by Malia Johnston was a dance-theatre piece inspired by the night sky as a place of dreams and imaginings.

The Wild Seed Thief, created and directed by Kate Parker, was an original environment fable featuring stunning visual imagery.

The Haka Party Incident, created and directed by Katie Wolfe, was documentary theatre based on an event that changed race relations in Aotearoa forever: a violent stoush between the University of Auckland engineering students preparing for their mock haka down Queen Street and members of the activist group He Taua.