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 an afternoon “Taster” class (also based on your rankings), which you will attend on Monday and Wednesday afternoons.
- Dare to do Shakespeare
- Dance It Out
- Drag School
- Improv Comedy - Naked and Scriptless
- Musical Theatre
- Off the Page - Poetry in Performance
- Intro to Screen Acting
- Stage Combat
- Voice for the Performer
- Devised Theatre - Let's Play!
Dare to do Shakespeare
Tackling 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. The course will
concentrate on the simplicity of Shakespeare. His scripts give the actor ALL the
clues needed to create the character and the drama. We’ll help you find the clues with our brand new, London-based Globe tutor Adam, who is flying in specially for this week.
Adam Cunis, actor, voice artist and workshop practitioner, was born in London and grew up in the north of England. Adam specialised in Shakespeare at the University of Exeter before embarking on his performance career. Since then he has been thrilled to travel the world and share his practice with audiences and students in India, New York, California and Europe. He’s played comic and tragic characters alike both on the London stage and on tour. Adam has worked extensively with Shakespeare’s Globe in London for over ten years, working with tens of thousands of young people and older learners as well as supporting research and development. He enjoys playing villains such as Iago, Angelo and antihero Macbeth but has a soft spot for the comedies too: he has worked on productions of Macbeth, Othello, The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, The Merry Wives of Windsor and Measure for Measure. Outside of Shakespearean work Adam has been involved in productions of Shakespeare’s contemporaries Christopher Marlowe (Tamburlaine), Thomas Kyd (The Spanish Tragedy), John Lyly (The Woman in the Moon, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse) and Ben Jonson (Volpone) as well as new writing and productions of Stringberg’s Miss Julie and Chekhov’s the Seagull.
Dance for Performance
If dancing is your passion then this is your class! This class 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 Class. Kelsey eases her foot off the pedal and caters to all levels in an environment focused on fun!
Kelsey Andrews grew up in New Zealand, 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 for various international tours, performing and traveling around the world for 4 years, living in Mexico, America, and the Caribbean (just to name a few) during this time.
Kelsey believes in the world of dance and creative arts, and the opportunities to make a professional career within this sector. She is passionate about teaching, choreography, and sharing the arts with as many people as she can. Currently the owner and Director of KJ Studios with 4 custom built studio spaces and 600+ dancers coming though over 88 classes per week, the president of Create The Bay involving work with/choreographing for many local and national events throughout out NZ, NYDS is still the highlight of her year and she is, once again looking forward to moving and dancing with the NYDS KIDS for 2024!
Extravagance, fierceness, glamour, glitter and self-expression. Welcome to Drag School: an intensely fun week of lip sync, dance, clowning, makeup and character and costume design. In just 8 days, you’ll learn how to create slick, simple, sickening stage spots that’ll leave the audience’s jaw on the floor. Drag is a fast evolving performing arts industry in Aotearoa and NYDS Drag School is ready to prepare the never generation of superstars.This class is suitable for anyone interested in drag performance of any kind (kings, queens or in-betweens!), of any performance level or experience. Drag is a gear-heavy art form. Our Drag Class wardrobe of donated goodies is available but students are also encouraged to bring as much of their own gear as possible – particularly makeup and heels. A full list of ‘useful things to bring’ will be provided after enrolment.
Students that are gender diverse, transgender or non-binary will be given priority, as a reflection of the rare and transformational opportunity drag experiences can offer to queer youth. If you fit this criteria, please mark this on your application. If you are uncomfortable or unable to mark this directly on the form, please reach out to @hugogrrrl directly.
George Fowler is an rainbow diversity and inclusion consultant and a world-class drag performer based in Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa. As his alter ego Hugo Grrrl, he won Season 1 of ‘House of Drag’, making him the first drag king and transgender man globally to ever compete in or win a televised drag competition. He won an Absolutely Positively Wellingtonian Award and a Wellington Theatre Awards “Theatre Angel” Award for outstanding contribution to professional theatre 2020. He headlined the Austin International Drag Festival in 2019, and was nominated for Wellingtonian of The Year in 2018.
Improv Comedy – Naked & Scriptless
Spontaneity and imagination is where every creative work begins, so why does improvising terrify so many of the industry’s top practitioners? Students will learn to embrace the fear and freedom of acting without a script, how to trust their instincts and find the comedy, tension and game of a scene with their fellow performers. This class will focus on storytelling, characterisation and grounded techniques that can be applied to improvised scenes and beyond, all taught by Lori and Leona.
Lori Dungey has been an actor, tutor and writer and for over 30 years, specializing 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 with ConArtists and at the Herald Theatre in Auckland for the Stamp season. Most recently she performed with ConArtists in their Enid Untold: Five Go Mad on Improv – an Enid Blyton themed play. Before the current global glitch, Lori travelled to Germany each year to attend Ring Co. Lori is also and experienced screen actor with acting roles in both film and television including Lord of the Rings films and the television series Xena and Hercules.
Leona Revell is a founding member and co-director of SpontaneoUS, the resident improv company for Centrepoint Theatre. With SpontaneoUS she is a two time National Theatresports Champion. Leona is a familiar face on stages around Manawatū as a multiple Regional Theatre Award winner, MCing multiple community events such as the Palmerston North City Council Christmas concerts and a judge at various Performing Arts competitions in the region. Recent credits include Gabriel in “An Act of God and Jeanie in “That Bloody Woman” at Centrepoint Theatre, Performer as part of the Lola and Friends ensemble and writing and performing in FWB – Friends with Boundaries with Regan Taylor. Leona is passionate about Theatre and making it accessible to the wider community, which fits in well with her role as Centrepoint’s Outreach Coordinator where she creates inclusive and wide-ranging community performance projects. Leona has experience tutoring adults and youth, neurodiverse and people with disabilities. When Leona has spare time, she embraces the Crazy Cat Lady within and fosters kittens for the SPCA and likes to craft up a storm.
Know all the words to “You Will Be Found” by heart?
Regularly find yourself binge watching “Hamilton”?
Cant Stop your toes from tapping along to “You Cant Stop the Beat”?
Then this class is for you!
Students in our popular Musical Theatre class will unite with kindred spirits from across Aotearoa New Zealand as they get put through their singing, acting and dancing paces. In recent years NYDS Musical Theatre students have studied and performed extracts from ‘Spring Awakening’, ‘Little Shop of Horrors’, Jesus Christ Superstar’, ‘Dear Even Hansen’ and ‘Come From Away’. Sign up for our Musical Theatre course if you are up for a challenging week of all singing, all acting and all dancing fun!
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. Trace gained qualifications in Musical Theatre and Acting from Wellington Performing Arts Centre (now Whitireia) and holds a Diploma in Contemporary Vocals from Excel School of Performing Arts. Trace is the owner and principal of Stage Door Performing Arts Academy Ltd in Whakatane. She is also a private singing teacher and works professionally as a performer, Theatre Director, 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.
Off the Page – A playful approach to poetry in performance
Intro to Screen Acting – Two Classes
‘Get off your screens’ – a familiar cry. But at NYDS we want you on the screen. During this course you’ll discover what goes into effective on-camera work, what it takes to create a compelling performance, the challenges actors face, and the techniques they need. Students will become familiar with the unique processes necessary for the screen actor and learn the process from the inside out. This intensive course will challenge and inspire you. One of our classes is run by Will Wallace and the other by Miryam Jacobi.
Will Wallace trained as an actor at the Unitec Performing Arts School. His plethora of credits include roles in television and film, such as ‘Vermilion’; ‘Step Dave’; ‘Shortland Street’; ‘Legend of the Seeker’ and ‘Go Girls’ ‘Westside’ and ‘Head High’. Also an accomplished film maker and editor, Will runs Fiftyone50 Productions – a successful production company specialising in everything from actor showreels to drama, corporate and documentary films. Amongst all this Will also finds time to teach screen acting at Unitec.
Miryam Jacobi grew up in Hawke’s Bay, attending Hawke’s Bay Youth Theatre and NYDS before training at Toi Whakaari; NZ Drama School. As an actor, she starred in the indie features Follow the Random and There’s No ‘I’ In Threesome as well as popular local comedy series’ Auckward Love and Only in Aotearoa .
An award-winning filmmaker, Miryam has shown narrative work at Show Me Shorts, Galway Film Fleadh, Melbourne Women in Film Festival, Vail Film Festival, Down Under Berlin Film Festival and more. In 2021, Miryam served as 2nd Unit Director on Amazon’s feature Don’t Make Me Go starring John Cho.
Miryam co-founded production company 2113 Creatives and has produced and directed commercial content for WellingtonNZ, Sir John Kirwan Foundation, Fonterra, MediaWorks, Look Good Feel Better NZ, Eden Park, Auckland Theatre Company, Diabetes NZ and more.
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 movies such as “The Hobbit trilogy”, ‘The Planet of the Apes trilogy’, ‘Ghost in the Shell’, ‘Hunger Games’ and ‘Justice League’ and most recently was “seen” as the titular bear Cokey, in “Cocaine Bear”, as well as Kong in “Godzilla vs Kong”
Voice for the Performer
Tessa Livingston is the In-House Vocal Coach and a Voice Agent at BigMouth Voices. Working with Demo Reel Production and Audition Management for talent on the books. Her working background is as a speech pathologist, vocal coach, voice over artist, actress, podcaster and content creator.
Signed with both an acting and voice agency, Tessa is skilled in commercial voice over, character voice and accents. She has voiced for companies such as Google, Air New Zealand and Toyota. She specialises in voice health, safety and production for vocal performers. With a background in drama teaching, acting, and a graduate of ‘The Actors Program’ Tessa is able to build confidence in the performers she works with. She is all about empowering people to feel how your voice is produced in the body for the most reliable and successful outcome. Voice is for fun, let’s start using it that way.
Let’s make some theatre together! Let’s create something new! Let’s play!
The devised theatre programme is an opportunity to create an original piece of theatre – it gives you the power to create your own thing, using your own authentic voice. As an ensemble you will refine the topic, do the research and make the whole thing up during your week together at NYDS.
What are you passionate about? Is there something that has been claiming your ‘brainspace’? Is there something you really want to say to your peers, or your elders, or to younger people, to the world? Do you just want to make people laugh? Or maybe you feel unsure about what you have to contribute, that’s okay too; we will investigate this together and I promise you, you have something interesting to say.
You will be strongly supported by Sabrina Martin, your tutor, who offers guidance through training, facilitation and direction. We will work with movement as a base practice, with a lot of playfulness and inclusion for those who do not have a full range of motion – all bodies, brains and abilities are welcome here.
Sabrina Martin is an actor, singer and director, who trained in physical theatre in Glasgow, Scotland, after completing drama school in Aotearoa. In 2022, Sabrina directed Tea With Terrorists starring Sameena Zehra and Gag Reflex starring Rachel Atlas (winner of 2022 NZ Fringe Festival). She was nominated for Director of The Year in Wellington for these two productions.
With 25 years on stage traversing the many styles of theatre, a number of Sabrina’s theatrical works have been devised, including working with Danish theatre company Cantabile 2, and her own solo show May Contain… She loves working in found spaces, creating immersive environments for audiences.