Battye, Susan (New Zealand)

Playwright Susan Battye has previously been the Programme Manager for the Bachelor of Maori Performing Arts, at Te Wananga O Aotearoa and head of Drama at Epsom Girls Grammar School. She studied in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1978 for a Diploma in Drama and Education with Dorothy Heathcote and gained M.A. in Education Studies from Loughborough University of Technology in 1993. Most of her plays have been written for use in schools and Susan's publishing history is a credit to both their calibre and her knowledge of what teachers want. In 2001 she co-wrote Ponsonby Road with Tim Bray for an adult audience.

Susan began writing plays for students she taught at Greymouth High School because she could find nothing to direct that came close to fitting their needs, and nothing in the curriculum that reflected the local community's social history. Together with Thelma Eakin in 1977 she wrote and directed The Shadow of the Valley, a play about New Zealand’s biggest industrial accident, the Brunner Mine disaster of 1896. The play was subsequently published by Oxford University Press and has since received many performances throughout New Zealand. The playwrights’ co-written historical novel, The Mine’s Afire, based on the play was short listed for the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards in 2010.

For details on Susan's plays, go to:

EditorsNew Zealand