Home Group & Afternoon Tasters

If you are placed in a “Home Group” you will be in this class for the bulk of the week but will also be allocated two “Afternoon Tasters” (based on your rankings too), which you will attend on Mon/Wed and Tue/Thu afternoons.

A Cappella – Get Pitch or Die Tryin’

Learn about the origins of this popular style of music as we take a journey through the history of A Cappella, from Church Choirs to BarberShop, from Spirituals to Doo Wop and much more. Students will learn about the many different genres that came to prominence throughout the history of A Cappella and will hone techniques to create their own A Cappella music with friends. We will explore melody and harmony with many combinations of voice, instrument emulation including beat boxing and body percussion as well as loop pedals and multitrack recording.

Michael Rowlands is a graduate of the New Zealand School of Music and is an accomplished jazz musician and all-round performer. He has played and taught music both in New Zealand and the United States and worked as a professional musician on cruise ships around the world. Also passionate about acting, Michael has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as an early member of HaBYT and currently teaches and performs with The Drama Workshop, most recently in the role of Claudio for the Shakespeare Festival’s production of ‘Much Ado About Nothing’.  Possibly Michael’s most celebrated achievement to date has been the production of the NYDS 2016 music video N*YDSYNC.

Acting Shakespeare

Acting Shakespeare can be a daunting task even for the most experienced of actors; we get so caught up in the text we forget that Shakespeare himself was an actor and wrote for actors, not academics. Shakespeare’s characters are funny, sexy, serious, smart, sassy and above all human. This course will concentrate on combining verse and text analysis with some secret tricks of the trade to bring the stories and the characters to life.

Ken Keys, Founder, and one-time Administrator and Artistic Director of NYDS, is delighted to be invited to teach the Shakespeare class. Shakespeare is his first love, even his obsession! He has taught, and directed, the Bard for 30 years: at Havelock North High School (where his students regularly shone at the Sheilah-Winn Festival); at NYDS; with the Hawkes Bay Youth Theatre; with the Shakespeare Globe Centre, where he was instrumental in setting up the NSSP (National School’s Shakespeare Production) and the YSC (Young Shakespeare Company), who represented NZ at the London Globe. For several years, Ken taught Summer Schools at the London Globe Theatre and he has been guest Shakespeare tutor with the U.S.A. National Theatre Festival and with Toronto’s famous ‘Shakespeare In Action’ Company. He regularly takes workshops around NZ.

Contemporary Movement

Physical Theatre is all about taking risks and awakening the imagination of performer and audience. This year’s new and exciting class will mix several forms of physical theatre using music, movement, characterization and story telling while collaborating within a strong ensemble to create innovative work. The power of imagination and the willingness to learn are all you need for this class.

Jamie Sharp has lived a varied artistic career across the last ten years as an actor, dancer, choreographer, producer, composer, musician and tutor of the Cutting Edge Theatre class at NYDS. Jamie has performed globally, at the Edinburgh Fringe, in Hong Kong, America, Istanbul, Singapore, France and on the London stage. Jamie has worked directly with Frantic Assembly and is joint director of a new creative facilitating company for aspiring performers.  Jamie graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music in the UK earlier this year with a performance degree in Saxophone.

Dance for Commercial Performance

If dancing is your passion then this is your class! This Home Group is aimed at intermediate level dancers and up, and covers a variety of styles in a professional environment (dancers work off-campus at a local dance studio) led by our world experienced tutor. With a foundation of basic jazz technique, the main focus of the course is on dance performance in the commercial dance industry. Perfect for the trained dancer who is keen to explore dance in the performance sense for musicals, cruise ships, music videos etc. By the end of the week you will have a comprehensive understanding of what the world of commercial dance is all about and an appreciation for the demands of working in it.

If you love to dance but you’re not a dancer in your ‘normal’ life, or you sneak in a dance when nobody’s looking, then this is the perfect Afternoon Taster. Kelly eases her foot off the pedal and caters to all levels in an environment focussed on fun!

Growing up in New Zealand, Kelsey Andrew danced from a very young age and had the opportunity to learn from many talented New Zealand dance teachers and choreographers.  She moved to Australia in 2011 to pursue her love of dance.  After completing a two year full time course at Jason Coleman’s Ministry of Dance and gaining a scholarship in her second year, Kelsey went on to sign with a Melbourne Agency and spent four years dancing, performing and travelling around the world, including India, Bahrain, Singapore, Mexico and the Caribbean.  Kelsey has choreographed ‘Seussical the Musical’ for OCPAC Theatre Company in Melbourne, a New Zealand tour of ‘Mamma Mia’ and is working on the Tauranga production of ‘Rock of Ages’ this year.  Kelsey teaches and choreographs in Tauranga and Auckland.

Improv Comedy – Nakes & Scriptless

Do you have the balls to go scriptless? There are no lines to learn or cling to, just the ability to drop your inhibitions and learn the joy of spontaneity and imagination. Students will explore improvisation and comedy through character, timing and relationship, being creative within a dynamic and collaborative environment. Say YES and forget the script.

Will Robertson is an actor, writer and filmmaker with a passion for improvisation since his High School Thetresports days in Christchurch. Screen credits include roles in television’s ‘Girl Vs. Boy’, feature films ‘Fresh Meat’ and ‘Atomic Falafel’, and short film ‘Space Trash Men’, nominated for the Show Me Shorts Festival. Whilst completing a BA in Film and English at Victoria University Of Wellington, Will was a founding member of the hugely successful ‘PlayShop’, which still runs weekly late night shows, as well as long form seasons. Will is a member of ConArtists, the Public Works Manager for the company, and a TYP tutor. He also runs a weekly improv development program ‘Improverished’, designed to bridge the gap from amateur Theatresports to improvisation at a professional company level.

Musical Theatre

Aspiring musical theatre performers will love coming together with kindred spirits to study their craft in our Musical Theatre class. Students will spend the week working to hone their skill in acting, singing and dancing as they aim to develop into triple threat performers able to Razzle Dazzle with the best of them! In recent years students have studied and performed extracts from ‘Spring Awakening’, ‘Evita’, ‘Mamma Mia’, ‘Grease’, ‘Putting it Together’, ‘A Chorus Line’ and ‘Sweeney Todd’.

Trace Tidd fell in love with Musical Theatre as a child, and has never been far from the stage since, performing in countless shows and concerts around New Zealand. She gained qualifications in Musical Theatre and Acting from Wellington Performing Arts Centre and holds a Diploma in Contemporary Vocals from Excel School of Performing Arts. Trace lives in Whakatane where she runs Stage Door Performing Arts Academy and is a private singing teacher. Trace also works professionally as a performer, vocal director and performance coach. She loves all aspects of the performing arts, but is particularly passionate about coaching young people in the ‘ways’ of Musical Theatre.

Poetry in Performance

Are you harbouring a crush on spoken word? Maybe you write, maybe you want to write, maybe you just get on the youtube – either way, this class will be a safe and creative space for you to express your own stories. With the international spoken word scene expanding like a soufflé, the poetic communities of Aotearoa are going from strength to strength. Using a range of poetic forms, we will reach across communities and between disciplines to find the voices of our young storytellers – voices that are authentic, silly and critical.

Sara Hirsch is a London based performance poet, a former UK Slam Champion and came third in the World Slam Championships in 2014. Now an accomplished spoken word educator, Sara is currently completing her writer/teacher Masters degree at Goldsmiths University. She has performed across the UK and abroad, has featured at Glastonbury Festival and recently appeared on the BBC. Sara toured New Zealand in 2015 with fellow NYDS tutor Ben Fagan, before returning to the UK where the pair wrote their two-hander spoken word show ‘Made To Measure’, which they took to the Edinburgh Fringe in August. Sara has recently released her debut poetry collection ‘Still Falling’ with Burning Eye Books and it includes some poems written at NYDS last year, so she can’t wait to return to be inspired yet again.

Screen Acting – Two Workshops

With the continual development of the film and television industry in NZ, actors have more opportunity to gain work on screen. But what does it take to create compelling performances on screen? What challenges face actors and what techniques will they need to learn? Through classroom exercises we discover what goes into effective on-camera work and enable students to become familiar with the unique processes necessary for the film actor. This intensive course will challenge and inspire you.

Alex Ellis is an actress, publicist and producer of Flaxworks theatre company based in Auckland. She has performed in New Zealand tours of ‘Murder by Chocolate’, ‘Biscuit & Coffee’, ‘Carol & Nev’ and ‘Drowning in Veronica Lake’, and most recently starred in ‘A Model Woman’, ‘Seed’, ‘Sister Anzac’ and ‘Wild Bees’. She has also performed shows internationally and toured her solo show ‘Drowning in Veronica Lake’ in Australia in 2015. Alex recently starred in the short films ‘Play Dead’ and ‘You Only Die Forever’ and the feature film ‘ARA’. She was nominated for Best Performer in both the Auckland and Dunedin Fringe Festivals for ‘Drowning in Veronica Lake’ and won Best Actress in the V48HR Short Film Competition for ‘Speed Bumps’. Alex also teaches at Shine Drama School in Auckland.

Rachael Blampied is a former NYDS student and current member of the NYDS Board. She completed a Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts at Unitec in 2006 and is an experienced screen actress. Rachael’s screen credits include playing the infamous Bree on ‘Shortland Street’ and NZ’s incredible WWII spy Nancy Wake in ‘Nancy Wake: The White Mouse’, also ‘The Kick’, ‘Ash vs Evil Dead’, the webseries ‘Darryl: An Outward Bound Story’ and most recently the TVNZ series ‘Dirty Laundry’. Rachael studied music (voice and piano) for many years and has performed at Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park. She lives in Auckland where works as an actress, voice artist, and a TV and Film Producer. – making commercials, music videos and films. She tells bad jokes, loves food, and has two kittens that she cannot pat hard enough.

Stage Combat

Warm up your battle cry and stretch out those biceps, things are going to get physical. Stage Combat will give you the skills to create dynamic and effective fight scenes while keeping you and your partner safe. We’ll look at techniques used in theatre, television and film and look at how we can physically define different characters and storylines with these and many other skills and techniques.

Allan Henry grew up in Hawkes Bay and first attended NYDS as a student in 1999, since then he graduated in 2006 from Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School. He has worked in numerous film, TV and theatre projects throughout New Zealand and overseas as both an actor and fight choreographer. In 2008 he travelled to London to study at the British Academy of Dramatic Combat and gained a Gold Distinction as an Actor Combatant. As well as working as an actor Allan enjoys teaching and working with young people whenever he can. He recently returned from Vancouver working as a movement coach for ‘The BFG’ and he is currently working on the Motion Capture team at Weta Digital, having been a lead character performer for ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies’.