Students tell us that in addition to having an amazing time and learning new skills, they gain self-confidence, a sense of community and connection, and an opportunity to indulge their passion with like-minded individuals. Many also tell us that for the first time in their lives they feel accepted and free to truly be themselves.

Parents tell us that they witness remarkable personal growth in their children and are incredibly grateful for the unique learning opportunity NYDS provides.  Also that their son or daughter simply won’t stop talking about NYDS and can’t wait to come back next year!

Teachers tell us that students return to school post-NYDS as more inspired, self-assured, passionate and motivated learners. They also tell us that this energy in turn inspires other students, actually making their job in the classroom easier.

But don’t take our word for it, check out the testimonials below…

Probably the best week of my life. I’ve never met a group of people who were so passionate about the arts. Both the tutors and the students taught me so much – and I’m confident in saying I’ll never forget this week. Thank you for giving us this opportunity! I cannot wait for next year.
– Victoria, student, Queenstown

If you could have known our son before NYDS, you would not believe it was the same child. We saw such huge personal growth in our son, in confidence, self-awareness and belief—and the change in his personality was almost instantaneous. This is where he ‘fits’. This is his life unfurling before our eyes. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
– Ursula, parent, Hawke’s Bay

A HUGE thank you to everyone at NYDS. My son arrived at Drama School a nervous wreck. I can not count the amount of ways he tried to get out of going over the 24 hours before it started. Your staff were welcoming, caring, aware. He returned a week later a changed boy. He has gained a confidence within himself. He has realised that he can make friends. He has found people the same as him – and all this has happened in a safe environment in which to grow. Please understand that you have done more than teach drama, you have opened up a whole new world for my son…THANK YOU.”
– parent, 2008

It was the first time my daughter had been away from home with people she didn’t know. She felt from day one, included, well informed, busy and had to learn more about managing self and time, while having a blast. She loved every minute of her week with you guys and can`t wait for next year. Thank you.
– Liz, parent, Rotorua

Any program that gets teenagers out of bed for 7am every day in their school holidays and has them asking to go back next year as soon as it has finished is doing everything right!”
– Karen, parent, Hawke’s Bay

Going to NYDS was one of the best decisions I have made as a young performer. Three amazing and life changing weeks of my life that I will never forget. I recommend NYDS to anyone who has a passion for the performing arts. Thank you NYDS for making me the performer I am today!!!!
– Jenna, student, Hawke’s Bay

On behalf of our six kids who attended this year, a BIG THANKS to everyone at NYDS!!! They were blown away and came back inspired, fulfilled and buzzing to share their new skills and confidence with their peers, our school at large and our local community. Most of them slept until 1pm on Monday to catch up, but all had a wonderful time and were extremely well looked after. Well done and again, thanks for everything!!!”
– Vicki, HOD The Arts, Blue Mountain College, Tapanui, West Otago

Amazing tutors with so much knowledge. It was so much fun and I learnt more than I ever could outside of NYDS. And it felt like a family.
– Iana, student, Auckland

I learnt to stay true to myself in acting. People often think that acting is putting on some sort of mask, when it’s not. It’s conveying the truth in your character and in yourself in every way possible!
– Ruby, student, New Plymouth

Thank you to all those involved in this year’s Drama School. My wife and I came to the Opera House yesterday evening and were blown away by the level of talent, team work and confidence. The three girls we took home raved about it for the three hour journey! They learnt heaps and had lots of fun. The tutors were fantastic. It was obviously life-changing stuff for them. I’m sure this week will be a defining moment in our daughter’s life, one that sets her up with life, leadership and team player skills applicable for whatever career she takes up. We owe a lot to NYDS, thank you.
– John, parent, 2007

Brilliant tutor! Amazingly supportive and her experience helped the entire class perform to their best.
– Aleisha, student, Gore

My tutors were incredible. They combined the necessary theory with physical exercises, which reinforced what we’d learnt. The class explored an aspect of theatre I thought I’d never even go near, but now I can’t imagine ever performing without using the techniques and skills I’ve gained from them. So inspiring.
– Luke, student, Whangarei

I gained friends, skills, fun, everything I could ask for. Over the past 3 years I have gone from a shy kid to someone who is really outgoing, and I thank NYDS for my confidence.
– Rory, student, Oamaru

When I’m at NYDS, I feel like I’ve found the one place I really belong.
– Brody, student, Hawke’s Bay

My son just arrived back home in Golden Bay, elated and exhausted after his second time at NYDS. Thank you NYDS for providing this enriching opportunity, and thank you to the wonderful billet family for taking care of him.
– Bronwynn, parent, Golden Bay

My tutor’s level of expertise was fantastic and his enthusiasm and energy helped me get out of my comfort zone and really try new things.
– Lilly, student, Hawke’s Bay

Not only did I gain an amazing skill base, but I also gained a sense of myself. I met some of the most amazing friends and it is fantastic being around a group of 250 like-minded people. For the last year I have been trying to find myself and NYDS helped to finalise that for me. Words can’t even begin to explain that heart surging rushing warm feeling I get when I remember back to my week at NYDS.
– Tessa, student, Nelson

Thank you so much for giving my students such an awesome week. They have been raving about how marvellous it all was. My film people have told me to send all film people off to NYDS. I know these things are a lot of work so THANK YOU. You have made my kid’s eyes shine with enthusiasm and for that I am very grateful.
– Cindy, High School Careers Advisor, Hawke’s Bay

Our son had the best seven days – exhausted, exhilarated, stimulated and rearing to go back next year. A wonderful experience.
– James, parent, Tauranga

Our daughter attended NYDS again this year and hasn’t stopped talking about her experiences on our six hour drive home! We can’t thank the NYDS team enough for sharing their talents.
– Sue, parent, Whangarei