“I’ve always said that acting and writing come from the same place of make believe. When you’re young and playing Power Rangers or Peter Pan, you’re essentially having a long devising session. You’re working in a group where there’s often a leader to devise a make believe world.” Eli Kent, Capital Times, 2010

Eli Kent is a playwright  and actor.  His first full length play Rubber Turkey was written when he was just 19 and earned him the Peter Harcourt Award for Outstanding New Playwright of the Year at the 2008 Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards. His third play The Intricate Art of Actually Caring won Best Theatre in the NZ Fringe Festival 2009, the Montana Award for Most Original Production at the 2009 Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards and was nominated for Outstanding New New Zealand play and Production of the Year. It has since had two return seasons in Wellington (with another scheduled for 2012), has been performed in Auckland in the Stamp Festival as well as the Christchurch, Nelson and Hamilton Arts Festivals and will be part of Arts on Tour in 2012.

In 2010 Eli completed a Master of Arts in Scriptwriting with the Creative Writing programme at Victoria University, Wellington.  His play Thinning premiered as part of the Young and Hungry Festival in Auckland and Wellington. Later the same year he was awarded The Bruce Mason Award, New Zealand's most significant national theatre award, which recognizes the work of an outstanding emerging New Zealand playwright.

Eli's play Black Confetti was workshopped in 2011 as part of Auckland Theatre Company's The Next Stage and will premiere in Auckland in 2012.

Aside from writing for theatre, Eli has recently completed his first short film project.  He has also participated in the inaugural South Pacific Pictures Emerging Writers Programme, performed as an actor in numerous theatre and film projects, and has had poetry published in Landfall and The Lumiere Reader.

In 2011, Eli was recipient of an Arts Foundation New Generation Award.  New Generation artists are acknowledged for having an X-factor that sets them apart from their peers. They have assured potential and their work is exciting. The Award includes $25,000 and a glas statuette by Christine Cathie.

Eli currently lives in Wellington and is developing two new works with his company The PlayGround Collective and Long Cloud Youth Theatre.


Eli Kent was selected as a New Generation Award recipient, presented by the Arts Foundation in 2011. This video was produced in a partnership between the Arts Foundation and TVNZ 7.


New Zealand playwright and recipient of Arts Foundation New Generation Award recipient, Eli Kent is interviewed by Eva Radich on Radio New Zealand Concert's 'Upbeat'
Born, Wellington, New Zealand
Writer/co-facilitator The Hunting of the Snark (Devised) BATS Theatre, Wellington.
Peter Harcourt Award for Outstanding New Plywright for Rubber Turkey, Chapman Tripp Theatre Award.
Writer, Bedlam, Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School;The Intricate Art of Actually Caring wins most original Production at the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards and the NZ Fringe Awards.
Graduated, Victoria University Inernational Institue of Modern Letters, Masters in Scripwriting;Winner - Bruce Mason Playwriting Award;Thinning commissioned by Young and Hungry Festival.
Black Confetti, commissioned by Auckland Theatre Company;Co-writer and co-director of A Black Day for Beazley short film;The Tinderbox - BATS, STAB season;Arts Foundation New Generation Award.