About NYDS

Each year for eight days in April, 265 students aged 14-19 come from all over New Zealand and beyond to sunny Hawke’s Bay to experience what they often describe as “the best week of my life”.

In our 34th year, NYDS is thrilled to once again offer world-class instruction in the performing arts including film, theatre, technical theatre, songwriting, dance, circus skills, performance poetry and more. Workshops are taught by industry professionals, who are both active in their creative field and passionate about sharing their skills and experience.

Aside from the obvious — our mandate is to provide an exceptional calibre of education in the performing arts for youth — NYDS is all about inspiring and connecting our next generation of creative thinkers — that’s you! Whether you plan to pursue the performing arts further, have other career goals, or aspire to be our future Prime Minister, at NYDS you’ll gain confidence and skills to set you up for life.

NYDS is pretty much a family… but one you get along with! During the school you’ll spend almost every waking moment surrounded by the creative energy of others who share your passion for the arts. Whether it’s learning something mind-blowing in class, getting to know your host family or finding your bearings at the hostel, connecting with some words of wisdom from a guest speaker at a lunch time meeting, being moved by an evening performance, experiencing the adrenaline of being on stage yourself as part of the final ‘Sharing of Work’, or getting your groove on at the Saturday night party, you’ll be part of it!

Did we also mention that once you’re in, you’re kind of in for life? That’s one of the things we love most about NYDS. Many of our tutors first attended NYDS as students. And with thousands of students since the first NYDS in 1991, it’s pretty hard not to bump into us. You’ll find former NYDS students at the forefront of our creative industries—working as artists, technicians, managers and producers in theatre, film and television, and teaching at top tertiary training institutions in the arts. As a member of this unique creative community, you’ll make invaluable connections and friends for life.

If you would like to see what others have to say about NYDS go to our Testimonals page. Or if you’re ready Apply Now.