Full Day Workshops

If you are placed in a “Full Day Workshop” you will be in this class full days for the whole week and will not take any other classes.

Technical Stream

NYDS is all about pushing your performance envelope and every performer needs to know their instrument whether it be your body, your voice, a pen, or an entire building! Theatre techs transport every audience member into a world of their making by mixing voices and music, bringing light into the darkness, and creating a seamless spectacle from a collection of acts by working together as a theatrical machine. Once again NYDS will be inviting students to explore the other side of the curtain with two Technical Theatre classes working out of the HNHS auditorium and off-campus at the Napier and Central Hawke’s Bay Municipal Theatres. Both classes will include light and sound rigging, plotting, show operation, stage management, design elements, and more. Beginners Tech is open to students who are completely new to the backstage world and those students who might have done one or two shows before. Only students who have done a previous tech course at NYDS or who have worked extensively in their school or local theatre are invited to take the Advanced Tech class. Both classes aim to instil safe, professional, and industry accepted tech practices in an environment where you are encouraged to experiment. Taking either tech class means you like to sweat, walk a little on the geek side, are keen to work as a team, and generally want to make the magic happen.

Please indicate your preference for either the Beginners or Advanced class when you apply, but be aware that the teaching team may make final placement decisions after assessing student skill level during the first day of class.

Please note: A Technical T-Shirt is required and is available to techies only for $20.

The NYDS 2017 Technical Stream is taught by Bonnie Burrill and Paul Tozer*
*with the support of Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School.

Bonnie Burrill works as a freelance production manager, technical manager, lighting designer and technician on arts festivals, tours and theatre productions throughout NZ and internationally. Most recently she has been working with Auckland Theatre Company, Black Grace, Tauranga Arts Festival, Taranaki Arts Festival, Auckland Arts Festival, The NZ Festival, Festival of Colour and The Conch. Bonnie is a graduate of Unitec School of Performing and Screen Arts with a Diploma in Performance Technology.

Paul Tozer graduated from Toi Whakaari’s Diploma of Entertainment Technology course in 2007 and since then has been working freelance on various theatre productions in Wellington and abroad. Paul has worked as the Production Manager for Victoria University’s Summer Shakespeare, toured to AK09 and Queensland’s The Dreaming Festival with Taki Rua’s ‘Te Karakia’ as Lighting / AV Designer, and worked in various roles on the critically acclaimed ‘Death and the Dreamlife of Elephants’. Paul’s Lighting and Audio Visual designs have toured both nationally and internationally. He is experienced in a wide range of production roles from Stage and Production Management to Set Construction and Technical Direction. Paul is currently in his sixth year working at Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School as Production Coordinator.

Advanced Acting

For those looking towards a career in acting for stage or screen or wanting to prepare for tertiary training auditions. This class will work with scripts and narrative works, both traditional and modern, and focus on performance skills and the ability to work with a director. Students will need to prepare two 2-minute monologues – one from any Aotearoa/NZ work and one classical or modern piece (i.e. Shakespeare, Restoration, Pinter, Stoppard, etc.). Students will receive further work to be completed prior to the weeks start. The class will challenge each individual in skill workshops and with the Directing class on scene work and connection with a scene partner.

Prerequisite: This is an advanced class designed for older, more experienced students. Applicants should be 16+ and provide a CV of experience or a letter of recommendation.

Anya Tate-Manning is a performer, director and writer from Wellington.  Anya trained at Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School and Otago University.  A member of the hit show ‘Puppet Fiction’, which returned to Edinburgh Fringe for the third year in a row in 2017, Anya has performed at festivals throughout New Zealand and Australia.  Anya also founded the political satire show ‘Public Service Announcements’ in 2010 with comedian James Nokise and continues to make political satire in Wellington.  Other recent performance work includes ‘The Devil’s Half Acre’ (Trick of the Light Theatre), ‘An Hour with Ackbar’ (NZ International Comedy Festival), and ‘My Best Dead Friend’ (Perth Fringe World).  Anya has also performed poetry in the acclaimed show ‘Fiery Tongues’ at the Edinburgh Fringe, Glastonbury Festival and NZ Fringe (Winner Best Ensemble 2017). Anya will be touring NZ with Silo Theatre’s show ‘Hudson and Halls Live!’ this year (Winner Best Supporting Actress, Wellington Theatre Awards 2016) and will also graduate with an MA in Scriptwriting, for which she received the David Carson-Parker scholarship for Best Script.

Circus Skills

Open to everyone – you don’t have to be a gymnast!
A fantastic course involving aerial tissu and rope skills, static trapeze and aerial ring (lyra), acrobatic balancing and tumbling, group and partner work, object manipulation (hoops, balls, scarves,clubs, poi and more), unicycle and rollabola. Although you don’t have to be a gymnast to give it a go, a good level of strength and fitness will help you make the most of this course. You will have the thrill of presenting some very exciting and spectacular work after only one week with skilled and supportive tutors!

Pipi-Ayesha Evans is a circus and physical theatre performer with 15 years experience performing and teaching circus. In performance Pipi specialises in a range of circus skills including aerials, stilts, acro-balance and poi. She has performed throughout New Zealand and in Nepal, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, China, Japan, France and the USA. New Zealand productions include ‘Maui-One Man Against the Gods’, ‘Cats’, ‘Circus Aotearoa’ and ‘The World of Wearable Arts’. Her current performance focus is solo circus theatre show ‘The Blue-Bearded Lady’ which she has toured in Australia and New Zealand. It has been described (on Theatreview) as ‘utterly charming in a ghoulish kind of way’. Pipi teaches a broad range of circus skills including aerials, acro-balance, acrobatics, stilts, juggling and object manipulation; also yoga, physical theatre and act development.

Pipi will be joined by a co-tutor, who will be confirmed in the new year.


This class focuses on engaging with and developing the actors’ relationships to illuminate the text/narrative/story/characters. We will cover investigating the basics of directing; articulating your own directing style; leading the creative rehearsal room; and tools to coach actors. We take a peer-supportive approach wherein we learn to discuss each others work, addressing challenges by seeking solutions together. The theoretical work is matched with practical application as students will direct the Advanced Acting class in multiple short scenes with the guidance of the tutor. This is an intensive week and students will receive text work to complete prior to the start of school.

Prerequisite: This is an advanced class designed for older, more experienced students. Applicants should be 16+ and provide a CV of experience or a letter of recommendation.

Already an award winning director, actor and improviser Patrick Davies moved to Wellington in 2006 for his Master in Theatre Arts (Directing) at Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School and Victoria University. He has directed, taught and performed in NZ, Germany, Romania, Serbia, USA and the UK. He has worked with the Northland, Auckland and Otago Youth Theatres; as well as Circa, Basement, Court, Fortune and Centrepoint Theatres and taught at Theatre Studies Departments at Otago and Victoria Universities and Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School. He cannot keep away from NYDS.

Make-up & Costume Design

Design is an often overlooked field and yet arguably it’s an area with some of the most exciting career opportunities in the industry. Hugely popular at NYDS 2016, this course will cover the foundations of costume and makeup for stage and screen beginning with the design of a concept, following through to completion. Students will sepcialise in either costume or make-up with taster classes in the other stream. A great foundation if you aspire to work in design, costuming or makeup for screen or stage, or if you just love to dabble in visual creativeness.

Please note: Students will be required to pay for a personal theatrical makeup starter-kit at a cost of approx. $75.00. These professional quality kits will be purchased in bulk by NYDS and will be provided to students on the first day of class.

Make-up tutor, Nicole Heydenrijk started her career as a make-up, body and specialFX artist in the Netherlands around 25 years ago. Body and face-art was becoming popular in the country and Nicole had the privilege to work with and learn from some of the best artists. Nicole entered many competitions, expanded her career into 3-D effects, specialFX and prosthetic work and has been working with foam latex ever since. In New Zealand Nicole founded BODYFX 15 years ago. BODYFX has a leading role in the body art industry in New Zealand and beyond, specialising in body art and specialFX assignments for corporates, advertising and events. BODYFX has a main office and school in Auckland run by Nicole’s daughter Yolanda Bartram, whilst Nicole teaches specialFX around the country and leads production innovation.

Costume tutor, Angela Elliot began her career as a Chef but her hobby to create outfits for herself and others started well before then. It was not long before she traded the stove for a pair of scissors and attended the Costume Construction course at Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School. Graduating in 2012, having produced works for shows at Bats and after a brief stint at Weta Workshop, Angela returned to HB to focus on commission work and supporting local theatre. Angela has worked closely with The Drama Workshop and HaBYT creating costumes for the young talent of today. She is well known for being able to create appropriately styled attire within a limited budget and used mainly recycled material to clothe the entire cast of ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ at the 2016 Shakespeare Festival.


From a desire to nurture the telling of our stories on the stage, this class is new to NYDS for 2017 and introduces the craft of writing for the theatre. Students will explore the basics of plot and character development, scene structure, theme and dialogue, and will touch on production considerations and the role of the dramaturg. With an emphasis on finding a unique voice, students will work on exercises designed to inspire ideas and creative risk-taking and will be supported to write scenes and work on an original one-act play over the course of the week.

Phil Braithwaite enjoyed early success in his writing career when, shortly after graduating from university, he won the 2001 BBC World Service International Radio Playwriting Award. Since then his work has been produced in New Zealand, Australia and Europe, and he has collaborated with groups from the Royal Court Theatre in London, the BBC and the SEEyD theatre company. His radio plays have been produced on the BBC World Service and Radio New Zealand. Phil has also worked as a scriptwriting and theatre teacher at Massey University, Victoria University of Wellington, and Whitireia Polytechnic. He has provided mentorship for young playwrights at the Fortune Theatre, Dunedin; and in 2013-14 he was the William Evans Playwriting Fellow at the University of Otago. In 2014 ‘The Mercy Clause’, which won the 2013 Adam NZ Play Award, was premiered at Palmerston North’s Centrepoint Theatre. ‘The War Play’, which premiered at the Fortune Theatre in 2015, is perhaps Braithwaite’s most personal piece.

Short Film Intensive

This course demands passionate, dedicated and creative people committed to both working in a team and to the many hours required to tell a story through film. You’ll gain hands-on experience at every stage of the process, including collaborating on a script, the skills required to create authentic performances on screen and the opportunity to work with professional production equipment. This is a challenging course and you’ll need to be committed to overcoming barriers of inhibitions and self-consciousness. Students will experience first-hand, the demands, pressures and excitement of real filmmaking and after eight days you will have a short film to add to your CV and friends for life.

Please indicate your preference to focus on either the Performance or Production streams when applying, but in true indie filmmaking spirit, prepare to roll up your sleeves and work behind the camera either way.

Prerequisite: Applicants must have previous acting training and/or experience.

Performance tutor Vanessa Stacey is a multi-talented musician, actor and filmmaker. After graduating Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School in 1999, she spent three years on the internationally popular television show ‘The Tribe’, which she also began to Direct. Vanessa worked for five years as a Presenter / Actor / Producer and Director with Channel 5 in the UK and has appeared in numerous television shows and films in NZ, including ‘Out of the Blue’ and ‘Outrageous Fortune’. Musically she has collaborated with many including EWH, Module, her current bands Chocolate Box and The BONE$. She has worked as Senior Tutor and Coordinator of the Whitireia Screen Acting Course (now Film School), UCOL’s Preforming Arts Program and the Creative Communications Program at Massey University, where she was the 2012 & 2013 Artist in Residence.

Production tutor Cristobal Araus Lobos trained at Unitec and has since been telling NZ stories on film in exciting and innovative ways. Cris knows the production process from beginning to end, having written, directed, produced or edited several of his own and others feature films and shorts. His debut feature film ‘The Waiting Place’ was awarded Best Digital Film from New Zealand Film and he shot and edited ‘1nite’ for which he received Best Technical Contribution (NZ Film Award). Cris went on to edit and direct ‘Netherwood’ for which Will Hall received Best Supporting Actor at the NZ Film Awards. Cris has also worked in television, directing on the Jono project and the Emmy-nominated kid’s show ‘Let’s Get Inventing’. He currently runs Del Sur Productions.


Work, play, create and share in a supportive environment for the entire week. Perhaps turn your favourite poem or riff into a song. Learn tricks that will help you unlock the creations within you.

1. A passion for music.

2. A creative spirit.
3. Reasonable competence on a chord instrument (keyboard or guitar).

Thomas Oliver is a singer-songwriter who is internationally recognised as one of the leading players of the Weissenborn lap-steel guitar. Thomas won the 2016 APRA Silver Scroll Award for his single, ‘If I Move To Mars’, the first release from a full-length album due out in early 2017. With over two million views on his YouTube channel, Thomas has developed an international audience from his home base in New Zealand, has performed throughout NZ, Australia, Europe and Vietnam, and has toured and shared the stage with such legends as Joe Cocker, Eric Clapton and Fat Freddy’s Drop. Oliver’s diversity in vocal delivery has also earned him a reputation as a vocalist in Drum & Bass and other electronic music, and his list of collaborations includes some of DnB’s most respected producers, including Black Sun Empire, Rido, Concord Dawn and Urbandawn, and boasts releases on prestigious labels, including Andy C’s RAM Records and Goldie’s Metalheadz. 

Street Art

Ditch your traditional notions of art, this is art urban style. Students in this class will be playing with paints, spray paints, stencils and other materials and experimenting with different forms of street art seen from the inner city streets of New York, to down town Rotorua. Students will examine how urban artists use the city environment to make a statement, to challenge or simply to beautify. You don’t have to be an artist, but an open mind is essential.

Born in 1977 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Mauricio Benega moved to New Zealand in 2004 and now lives and works as a full time artist in Hastings.  He graduated with a Bachelor of Visual Arts & Computer Graphics in 2001 from the University of Tuiuti Parana, Brazil.  He has also completed post-graduate studies in School Administration & Visual Arts from FAE Business School in Curitiba, Brazil (2014) and a Diploma of Visual Effects & Motion Graphics from Media Design School in Auckland (2009).  Mauricio has worked with youth in urban Auckland and enjoys working on a variety of different projects at the same time – illustrations, paintings, graphic design, signage and murals.  Mauricio‘s work can be found in collections in NZ, Brazil, Australia, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, Germany, USA and Bali.