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 one “Afternoon Taster” (also based on your rankings), which you will attend on Monday and Wednesday afternoons.

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 and currently takes great delight in workshopping Shakespeare with the ‘mature’ folks of U3A (University of the Third Age).

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. Kelsey eases her foot off the pedal and caters to all levels in an environment focused on fun!

Kelsey Andrew has a huge passion for all things creative… movement has always been a big part of her life and something she believes is very important throughout all walks of the world. Growing up in New Zealand, Kelsey danced from a very young age and moved to Australia in 2011 to pursue her love of dance. After completing her two year full time course – and gaining a scholarship in her second year – Kelsey went on to sign with a Melbourne Agency and begin dancing with international tours, performing and travelling around the world for 4 years, living in Mexico, America and the Caribbean. Kelsey now owns her own studio in Tauranga (@kj.studios) and loves being able to bring creative arts and opportunities to as many people as she can! Her classes focus not only on technique but on allowing students to find what is unique about them and their style and to empower creativity and individuality. Kelsey is honoured to be a part of the NYDS team again and can’t wait to be dancing with you all soon! 

Drag School

Ever dream of donning a frock or tails, glamming up and being faaaaabulous?Open to all guys and gals, who are keen to be more than they are! Extroverts, introverts, rugby players and drama geeks,this class is all about being open to new things; challenging our concepts of gender; collaboration and hard work, all while having a stunning time. The class will cover many aspects of ‘drag’, from the art of creating your alter ego character, including costuming, performance, choreography, attitude, lip synching and styling. You will learn how to mince in heels, strut in suits, rock some feathers and excite an audience. We will also work along-side the Makeup Design class to create some sickening, gag worthy looks for your persona to take to the stage!

Kia ora everyone my name is Trinity formally known as Trinity Ice. I was born and raised in Napier and now reside in Auckland. I’ve been a Drag-Queen for 12 years and during this time I’ve worked to develop the Art of Drag by studying makeup artistry, hairdressing and tweaking my art form over the years. Drag has opened many doors, enabling me to take part in NZ House of Drag, perform at Caluzzi New Zealand’s original Drag Queen cabaret and speak about transgender rights. There’s also the fun stuff – meeting Rupaul Drag Superstars and local celebs. I’m passionate about Drag, it’s a fabulous performance outlet, allowing performers to create an utterly different and larger than life persona. I’m very excited to be involved with NYDS and look forward to meeting you all and sharing what I do and love.

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.

Lori Dungey has been an actor, tutor and writer and for over 30 years, specialising in improvisation. She came to Wellington 20 years ago from Canada for an International Theatresports Tournament and never left. Based in Auckland, she works as an actor, tutor and Creative Director with ConArtists. She’s a 2-time World Theatresports champion and has performed in Canada, Singapore, Fiji, Australia, Germany, and all over NZ, including a successful season at the Adelaide Fringe Festival and the Hamilton Rose Festival with ‘Austen Found – The Undiscovered Musicals of Jane Austen’. Lori has performed in the Comedy Festival, at the Hearald Theatre for the Stamp season and most recently in ‘The Dinner’ at Downstage Theatre. She travels each year to Germany to attend Ring Con, which has allowed her the pleasure of sipping Craig Parker into hot pants.

Musical Theatre

Aspiring musical theatre performers will love coming together with kindred spirits to work as an ensemble and study their craft in our popular 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’, ‘A Chorus Line’, ‘Sweeney Todd’, ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ and ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’.

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 Rānana / London grown poet and spoken word educator. She is a former UK Slam Champion, third ranked in the World Slam Championships 2014, winner of the European Poetry Slam in Madrid 2016 and a 2017 BBC Slam Finalist. Sara has performed at Glastonbury, is a TEDx speaker, has featured on the BBC and toured extensively both in the UK and internationally. Sara recently graduated with distinction with a Master’s in Creative Writing & Education from Goldsmiths University and completed the acclaimed Spoken Word Education Programme. She worked as a poet in residence at a London secondary school for two years and has recently taken on the role of Education Director / Associate Artist with new spoken word production company Motif Poetry where she leads the education programme, bringing poetry into schools and communities across New Zealand and around the world.  Sara toured New Zealand in 2015 with fellow NYDS tutor Ben Fagan and during her return visit in 2016 she finished her second poetry collection ‘Louder Than Words’, which includes voices of students from NYDS.

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.

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 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.

Will Wallace
Bio to come.

Stage Combat

Warm up your battle cry and stretch out those muscles, 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 discovered Stage Combat in 1999, when he was a student at The National Youth Drama School. There he met his eventual teacher and mentor, Tony Wolf. Allan studied under Tony for many years as his apprentice and when Tony moved on to start a new chapter of his life in the US, Allan assumed the mantle of heir-apparent and began teaching workshops and choreographing for professional and educational institutions across New Zealand, yet he looks forward to return to NYDS. He has taught for many years and relishes the chance to provide people with the skills and confidence to use their own natural creativity and personal talents to create safe effective staged violence. He has worked as a movement coach and motion capture performer for ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ and ‘Justice League’, alongside his padawan, Ryan McIntyre.

Theatre of Disturbance

Challenge is the word of our time and what this class is all about. Being part of this collaborative class will teach you to disrupt and challenge your own and the audience’s concepts of performance. You will explore the Art of Disturbance by using movement; the architecture and natural environment of the school; improvisation; devising techniques and your own ideas and curiosity. This new and exciting class incorporates the concept of Viewpoints and is perfect for everyone and anyone – actors, directors, designers, technicians, dancers, composers and musicians – drawing on the strengths and knowledge of all students to create a multi-layered company. We challenge you to view and create theatre in a different way.

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 and Contemporary Movement classes 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 in 2016 with a performance degree in Saxophone and now teaches and performs throughout England.

Already an award-winning director, actor, designer and improviser Patrick Davies started at NYDS teaching Acting Shakespeare (3 years) and then Directing (also 3 years), so it’s time to change it up. He has worked with the Northland, Auckland and Otago Youth Theatres; as well as Circa, Basement, Court, Fortune and Centrepoint Theatres. He began his Master in Theatre Arts (Directing) at Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School and Victoria University in 2006 where he began working with Viewpoints and Composition. He has since taught and directed using these tools in New Zealand, Germany, Romania, Serbia, USA and the UK.