Jess Soutar Barron


Jess Soutar Barron is a writer and project manager and avid collaborator on creative initiatives. She has a background working in corporate communications in the public and private sectors. Her particular skill is in translating between the creative sphere and the world of bureaucracy! Jess’ ‘first career’ was in television production and she holds a Bachelor of Communication Studies and a Master of Arts. Her board experience includes time on the Creative Hawke’s Bay board as well as sitting on school and daycare boards.


Rachael Blampied


Rachael is a former NYDS student and current tutor of one of the Screen Acting classes. Rachael completed a Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts at Unitec in 2006 and is an experienced screen actress. Perhaps most recognised for her role as Bree on ‘Shortland Street’, Rachael’s screen credits are many and include playing NZ’s incredible WWII spy Nancy Wake in the TV movie ‘Nancy Wake : The White Mouse’, also rugby TV movie ‘The Kick’ and recently filmed for American TV series ‘Ash vs Evil Dead’. Rachael studied music (voice and piano) for many years and has performed at Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park. She lives in Auckland where she works as an actress, voice artist and a TV and Film Producer – making commercials, music videos and films.

Waitawhara Tupaea


Waitawhara Tupaea is a former NYDS student. He is a young person who is an active and emerging member of the arts and events community in Hastings City. With an avid interest in social policy and politics, Waitawhara is currently studying his degree part-time in politics and international relations.  As a youth representative he is developing skills in governance and currently sits on the Hawke’s Bay Youth Theatre board,  the NZ Association of Fringe Festivals, and is currently board chair of the Fringe in the ‘Stings. Using the skills and experiences he is learning, Waitawhara wants to work to ensure NYDS remains a safe, diverse, and creative place for all rangatahi.

Trace Tidd


Trace Tidd has been a part of the NYDS teaching whanau since 2014 when she first came on board as a tutor in the Musical Theatre stream, and is firm believer in the profound and far reaching benefits of performing arts education and experiences for all. She is particularly passionate about mentoring, teaching and working with young people, recognising that the performing arts can be an invaluable vehicle for rangatahi to cultivate a sense of purpose, belonging, acceptance and enduring friendships.

Trace is based in Whakatane, the sunny Bay of Plenty, with her two daughters. She is the principal of Stage Door Performing Arts Academy Ltd and works as a performer, tutor, vocal coach, theatre director and private singing teacher.