Festival of New Theatre: Book Now!

Young & Hungry Festival of New Theatre 2017!

14-29 July 2017
BATS Theatre, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington  
Tickets: / [email protected] / 04 802 4175

Young and Hungry is your chance to celebrate and support young talented theatre practitioners in three amazing new kiwi plays! Our 24th year sees a pop-tacular descent to hell, real reality TV, and an epic comedy about a Mongolian warlord flipping burgers!

6.30pm on Propeller StageOne Night Only
8.00pm on Heyday DomeFallen Angels
9.30pm on Propeller StageAttila the Hun

Written by Finnius Teppett / Directed by Stella Reid

You’re in for one hell of a night!

The world’s most famous boy band, FourEver, is nearly ready to take the stage for their only New Zealand show. All that stands in their way is each other, their fans, the media, and the ghosts of their dodgy past. Making it out of the green room alive would be a miracle, let alone lasting the rest of the tour…

Written by Emily Duncan / Directed by Rose Kirkup

When the cameras stop rolling who will stick to script?

Max Angelis has made his fame and fortune with his reality TV show Max’s Angels. However, beasts and demons are released in his celebrity perfect home when two fallen angels arrive to take revenge and reveal explosive truths about his family. It will be the most heated episode of Max’s show ever. 

Written by Abby Howells / Directed by Patrick Davies

War, peace and a side of grease!

A comedy set in a late night fast food restaurant, featuring terrible customers, disgusting food, Tom Cruise, a new duty manager. Oh, and also ATTILA THE HUN, he’s there too. 

Y&H SEASON PASS: see all three plays – any night/s that suit you – for just $51 full price or $36 student/concession!


$20 Full Price or $51 Season Pass (to see all 3 plays)
$15 Concession or $39 Season Pass (to see all 3 plays)
$15 Group 6+ (per person)
$10 School  or $25 Season Pass (to see all 3 plays)

For 24 years Young & Hungry and BATS Theatre have been providing talented young people with a platform to perform, produce and create great theatre. With the Y&H Playwright Initiative producing three new kiwi plays a year and the annual Festival of New Theatre at BATS Theatre, Y&H feeds the theatrical hunger and quenches the creative thirst of younguns’ under 25.

Twitter / Instagram / Snapchat: @YANDHWGTN

OUTLIERS – public shows!

 The tour is under way and we’re already getting great feedback!

“They were amazing!!! My students buzzing!!!’ – St Margaret’s, Christchurch

‘Loved the monologue from Queen, my kids just adored the whole collection of scenes. … every single student had one particular excerpt that resonated with them – definitely a something for everyone show.” – Heretaunga College, Wellington.

‘Physical performance is one of the strengths of this show with dance routines, intimacy, aggression and physical metaphor.’ – Zoe Joblin Theatreview

We’re going to almost 40 schools in 7 weeks from Queenstown to Kataia! There are spare performance slots in just a few North Island locations. See if we can fit you in:  Tour Calendar

How to catch a public show:

Just have a small number of drama students? Need an inspiring night out immersed in contemporary NZ Theatre? Want to check us out to see how it works?

If you’re in Wellington, Whangarei or Auckland then you can catch one of our public evening performances.

 – Wellington – 6:30pm, Thursday 25 & Friday 26 May at BATS Theatre, 1 Kent Tce  Get Tickets.

 – Whangarei – 7pm, Friday 2 June at OneOneSix, 116a Bank St, $10/ $5 on the door

 – Auckland – 7pm, Friday 9th & Saturday 10th June at TAPAC (The Auckland Performing Arts Centre), 100 Motions Road, Western Springs. Get Tickets

Kim Bonnington

Kim Bonnington has agreed to write our study resources. Read more about her below.

The resources, the Q&A and a digital filming of the work form part of Young & Hungry’s commitment to provide more curriculum support for the National Schools Tour.

The resources will include pre and post show activities that will explore drama techniques, conventions etc.   

Kim Bonnington works as an accredited Arts Facilitator for Education Support Services for the University of Otago.  She has most recently been an Arts facilitator on the Secondary Student Achievement Contract, working with Secondary School teachers on developing Culturally Responsive practice within Teaching as Inquiry projects.

She has a long history of service on the Drama New Zealand Executive and has held a number of different contracts in the development of NCEA.  She is particularly interested in how students respond to theatre according to their own language, identity and culture and will be using this as her core pedagogical practice in her work designing the education packs and workshops.​

Comments from teachers on the 2018 resource kit: 

“I have looked through the resources and will be using all of them at different times of the year/s. I am very grateful for them.”

“Very helpful.”


“Great to have more in depth resources to embed the learning and the film will help remind the students before exam time.”



Casting for the EnsembleImpact National Schools Tour is complete!

Director Kerryn Palmer says “We had a great time at auditions in Wellington and Auckland. It was really challenging to choose four people from such a strong group of auditionees.”

The team start rehearsals in April with the tour beginning 8th May. There are still a few school performance times available. See our booking page for more details about the tour or email Clare Kerrison.

Simon Paenga, Outliers, 2017 EnsembleImpact National Schools Tour, Young and HungrySimon PAENGA
Gisborne born Simon Paenga began pursuing his passion for performing at Lytton High School. His array of accolades in singing, acting and dancing, led him to study at NASDA in Christchurch, where he graduated with a degree in Performing Arts, majoring in Musical Theatre. Since then he has appeared in Musicals both here and in Australia, and recently completed his third year of the National Tour with Duffy Theatre.

Hannah Kelly, Outliers, 2017 EnsembleImpact National Schools Tour, Young and HungryHannah KELLY
Hannah went to Wanganui High School, has a BA (Hons) majoring in Theatre & Film from Victoria University and attended The John Bolton Theatre School in Melbourne. She is a regular performer with Wellington’s Patacake Productions and won Best Actress in the 2015 Short + Sweet Festival for the play Last Meals. Hannah plans to take her solo clown show to Melbourne Fringe later this year!

Lee Ah Yen Faatoia, Outliers, 2017 EnsembleImpact National Schools Tour, Young and HungryLee ah yen FAATOIA
Of Samoan, Chinese and German descent, Lee went to Mangere College in Auckland and studied acting in Australia with AAA Sydney acting school.  He’s spent most of his acting life since 2011 on camera. He most recently studied with “Kacie Stetson Studio- Acting from the core” (Auckland). Lee plays drums and is also a martial artist. 

Hilary Penwarden, Outliers, 2017 EnsembleImpact National Schools Tour, Young and HungryHilary PENWARDEN
Hilary attended Sacred Heart Girls’ College in New Plymouth and has her honours degree majoring in theatre at Victoria University. She is now an actor and director in Wellington and a member of the multi-award winning theatre company, The Bacchanals. In 2015, she participated in the Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand’s Emerging Theatre Practitioner Programme at Shakespeare’s Globe in London. 

Festival of New Theatre Registrations open

Young and Hungry are calling for Wellington’s young performers, designers, techies and theatre-lovers to register as cast and crew for this year’s Festival of New Theatre.

We are looking for actors, assistant directors, stage managers, designers of sets, costumes, lighting and sound, production crew and publicists aged 15-25. No previous experience necessary.  You’ll be mentored the whole way through rehearsals and production.

About the Festival

The annual Festival of New Theatre is comprised of three new New Zealand scripts, written specifically for young people and commissioned through the Playwrights’ Initiative.   The festival is performed and designed by 15-25 year olds in a two-week season at BATS Theatre in Wellington, with each of the three productions being performed every night.

Professional theatre practitioners are contracted by Young and Hungry to mentor cast and crew in all facets of the Festival’s production, including: acting, lighting design and operation, sound design and operation, costume design, set design and construction, and stage management.

The rehearsal and design process runs over ten weeks to ensure that enough time is given to both the actors’ character development and the technical students’ design realisation.

Key Dates:

Registrations close: Sunday 26 March
Auditions: Saturday 8 & Sunday 9 April
Production interviews: 6 – 9pm Wednesday 12 April
Rehearsals start: mid May
Performances season: 14 – 29 July

The 2017 Plays:

ATTILA THE HUN By Abby Howells

A comedy set in a late night fast food restaurant, featuring terrible customers, disgusting food, Tom Cruise, a new duty manager. Oh, and also ATTILA THE HUN, he’s there too.


Life gets raw and real when an NZ TV star is made to pay the price for his reality show.

ONE NIGHT ONLY By Finnius Teppett

The world’s biggest boy band is in town for one performance. The fans are there, the press is there, but what’s happening with the boys?

Register Now

OUTLIERS All Playwrights confirmed

The playwrights whose work is in the 2017 EnsembleImpact National Schools Tour are confirmed!

OUTLIERS will include an extract from Manawa by Jamie McCaskill. Jamie was awarded the Bruce Mason Playwrighting Award in 2012, the year Manawa debuted. His current projects include Tikapa productions and the The Māori Side Steps webisode series.

Also included in the tour is a monologue from A Cripple Talks About Anatomy by Henrietta Bollinger, The play was shortlisted in 2012 for Playmarket’s b4 25 competition. Henrietta’s current projects include the Token Cripple column for Salient magazine.

The rest of the playwrights are Greg McGee, Briar Grace-Smith, Sam Brooks, FME Desmarais, Nathan Joe, Ralph McCubbin Howell and Lori Leigh. List of all the extracts.

Curriculum support materials include free digital access to a filming of the work, online study guide and the chance to add on an UNPACK IT! workshop at low cost.

Tour route, pricing and key information

The EnsembleImpact National Tour is a 50-minute bare bones programme of quality NZ theatre that comes direct to your drama room or auditorium. Touring 9 May – 23 June.

The tour is going to nearly 30 schools so far, with Wellington, Christchurch, Timaru, Queenstown, Waikato, Northland, Auckland, Whakatāne and Hawkes Bay confirmed. There are still performance slots in all those areas available. Don’t see your area represented yet? Get in touch to make it happen! [email protected]

2016 Bruce Mason playwright: Sam Brooks


We’re back into our Wellington office this week after a structural all-clear. Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the latest seismic activity.

The other major event on Sunday 13th was that NZ Playwright Sam Brooks received the 2016 Bruce Mason Award. We’re including the fabulous ‘Beyonce’ monologue from Sam’s Queen in the 2017 EnsembleImpact National Schools Tour. 

Sam is already part of the Young and Hungry family. His play The 21st Narcissist was commissioned in the 2014/15 Playwright’s Initiative and in the 2015 Festival of New Theatre.

The EnsembleImpact National Tour is a 50-minute bare bones programme of quality NZ theatre that goes direct to a school’s drama room or auditorium. Touring 9 May – 23 June. 

The tour is filling out with over 20 schools in Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Queenstown, Waikato, Northland, Auckland, Whakatane and Hawkes Bay confirmed.  There are still performance slots available in those areas and areas not yet represented.

Tour route, pricing and key information 

“At the end of it, that’s what we do. We make people feel a little less alone in the world.”- Sam Brooks, 2016 Bruce Mason Playwright

OUTLIERS – Prescribed List playwrights confirmed

We’ve confirmed two NZ playwrights from the NZQA prescribed list who will feature in OUTLIERS, the 2017 EnsembleImpact National Schools Tour.

The cast will perform the outgoing monologue from Greg McGee‘s Foreskin’s Lament and an extract from the work of Briar Grace-Smith.

Kerryn Palmer (Director) and KC Kelly (Dramaturg) are busy reading a a range of modern NZ plays which reflect the OUTLIERS theme. We’ll be sharing more confirmed playwrights in late November and the finalised list of extracts will be available to teachers in January 2017.

The EnsembleImpact National Tour is a 50-minute bare bones programme of quality NZ theatre that comes direct to your drama room or auditorium.  Touring 9 May – 23 June. 

Tour route, pricing and key information 

Or email Clare Kerrison [email protected] to make a booking enquiry now.

OUTLIERS features extracts from modern NZ plays that voice what it is like in the out-groups and in-groups of a normalising world. Whether punk, hoon, goth, geek, queer, nerd or whatever, this show can open discussion about the labels we identify with and the ones we’re stuck with.

Excellent use of dramatic conventions which relates clearly to the external NCEA exam – very easy to write about. – Havelock North High School

Again our students were inspired by the ‘coolness’ of NZ theatre – a great achievement, thank you! – Selwyn College

2016 Annual Appeal

Remember the time you had…falling in LOVE with theatre?

… on the stage for the first time sweating with your cast mates, now your LIFE-LONG friends?

… HUGGING the ladder with your toes, rigging the lights you designed with the help of your Y&H mentor?

… with your new Y&H ambassador mates, watching the NZ Opera (THE OPERA!)?

… when the NZ play came to your school, and just seemed to reach out to your bones and GET you?

Remember that time?

There are life-changing experiences that we have in our youth, the times we have that mean everything to us. We make key friendships, have fun, discover ourselves, learn, and have light-bulb moments about our lives, careers and loves.

For 22 years the Young and Hungry Arts Trust has been providing these moments to young people. Most of it for free or low-cost. But it should go without saying that it’s not free. It’s a tough funding world for arts organisations and we’re inviting you to give-a-little for the next generation.

Donate Now

We’re inviting all our alumni, friends and supporters to help us reach our target of $5,000 by 18 November so we can continue empowering young people to create, participate in and appreciate New Zealand theatre.

So whether you can afford $5, $10, $80, $200 or the whole shebang, please give-a-little to support the next generation have the time of their lives while falling in love with theatre.


Young and Hungry Arts Trust

Kerryn Palmer confirmed as Director for OUTLIERS

kerryn-palmerYoung and Hungry Arts Trust are thrilled that Kerryn Palmer has agreed to direct, OUTLIERS, the 2017 EnsembleImpact National Schools Tour. Kerryn directed the 2014 tour, Asian Invasion, which was described by one teacher as ‘the high-water mark’ of EnsembleImpact’s repertoire.

Tour information and bookings.

I am really excited to be directing another Ensemble Impact production.

Asian Invasion 2014 was a highlight for me, working with a fabulous and diverse cast and a real smorgasbord of dynamic NZ texts.

Outliers 2017 presents another challenging and exciting theme that I am looking forward to embracing with an energetic new cast.  The theme is one close to my heart. Growing up in a small rural town and not really finding my own “tribe” of people until my 20’s, I  am aware of what it is to think a little differently from the status quo.

We are currently pouring over several NZ scripts in order to find the right balance of extracts that will speak to young people in an exciting and engaging way about being proud of who they are regardless of their beliefs, behaviors, thoughts and abilities.

About Kerryn Palmer

In 2003 Kerryn completed her MTA in directing at Toi Whakaari-New Zealand Drama School and Victoria University Wellington (VUW), graduating with distinction.

Kerryn regularly directs at Capital E National Theatre for ChildrenBATS Theatre and Circa Theatre. She has also created several immersive site-specific/generic works. (Pandemic, Sniper, Adrift, My Shout- Another Round At The Thistle Inn)

She has directed many touring shows that travel around New Zealand, most recently Capital E’s Kiwi Moon. and Ensemble Impact’s Asian Invasion.  Kerryn is passionate about new New Zealand plays and has directed several debut performances, four of which have either won or been nominated for Chapman Tripp new play or best new playwright awards.

Kerryn is currently a teaching fellow in the Theatre Department at Victoria University and is working on a PhD in Theatre for Young Audiences.