Victor Rodger

Victor Rodger (born 1969) is a New Zealand journalist, actor and award-winning playwright[1] of Samoan and Pākehā heritage. He has a recurring role as Dr. Henry Mapasua on Shortland Street. Rodger's father is from the village of Iva from Savai'i island in Samoa.[2]

Victor Rodger
Christchurch, New Zealand
Occupationactor, playwright
Alma materToi Whakaari New Zealand Drama School
GenreTheatre, Television

Rodger's play Sons won acclaim at the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards (1998) and received the Best New Writer and Most Outstanding New New Zealand Play awards.[3] In 2001, he won the Bruce Mason Playwriting Award.

Other plays include Ranterstantrum (2002) and My Name is Gary Cooper (2007), produced and staged by Auckland Theatre Company and starred a Samoan cast including Robbie Magasiva, Anapela Polataivao, Goretti Chadwick and Kiwi actress Jennifer Ward-Lealand.

Erotic, funny and full of machete-sharp dialogue, one of our most daring contemporary playwrights offers a new insight into the steamy side of Paradise. Sian Robertson, Theatreview, 2007.[4]

Rodger was born in Christchurch. In 1995, Rodger entered Toi Whakaari New Zealand Drama School in Wellington and graduated two years later. In 1997, his play Cunning Stunts was performed at Bats Theatre in Wellington. He gained the Fulbright-Creative New Zealand Pacific Writers’ Residency (2006)[5] based at the University of Hawai'i.[3] During 2004-2005, he studied film writing at the Maurits Binger Film Institute in Amsterdam.[5] In 2009, he was the Ursula Bethell Writer in Residence in Christchurch.[6] He held the 2016 Robert Burns Fellowship at the University of Otago.[7]

His play Ranterstantrum (2002) was commissioned for the bi-ennial New Zealand International Festival of the Arts.[1] He is also a writer and a storyliner for TV soap Shortland Street. His play Sons was published by Huia Publishers in 2008, and My Name Is Gary Cooper was published by Playmarket in 2012, in the anthology Urbanesia: Four Pasifika Plays.

His acting roles include Stickmen (2001), Mercy Peak and a recurring role on Shortland Street as Dr. Henry Mapasua.

In 2013 he was awarded the Contemporary Pacific Art Award at the Creative New Zealand Arts Pasifka Awards.[8]


  • 2008 Sons: Huia Publishers, 128 pages. ISBN 1-86969-303-5, ISBN 978-1-86969-303-9
  • 2012 My Name Is Gary Cooper, published in Urbanesia: Four Pasifika Plays: Playmarket Play Series. ISBN 9780908607433


  1. La Mama Theatre, New York. Retrieved 7 November 2009
  2. Playmarket New Zealand. Retrieved 7 November 2009
  3. New Zealand Book Council. Retrieved 7 November 2009
  4. Review by Sian Robertson, Theatreview 2007. Retrieved 7 November 2009
  5. Fulbright New Zealand. Retrieved 7 November 2009
  6. University of Canterbury. Retrieved 7 November 2009
  7. "Robert Burns Fellows". University of Otago Calendar (PDF). University of Otago. 2016. p. 144. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  8. "Arts Pasifika Awards". Creative New Zealand. Retrieved 1 December 2017.

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