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Dramanet Summary to 13th February

Dramanet Summary to 13th February

Kia ora koutou,

It’s always a great time of year in Term 1. Don’t get me wrong, I know how busy we all are and the exhaustion felt as we get back into the swing of things after a long-enjoyed summer break, but the vibe of a school in term one is always a happy one – for students and staff alike. I hope this summary finds you all well, re-adjusted and enjoying the warm (actually, let’s face it ‘hot’!) months for teaching and learning…

This summary combines all of the threads and discussions held over the summer break and recent ‘back to school’ period as we head already into Week 3 of 2016…


  • My email last week welcoming our 770 subscribers to 2016 gives some timely reminders about how best to utilise the range of resources available to you, all completely FREE, on both Arts Online and within our Dramanet community.
  • Also, I hope you did not miss K.C. Kelly’s message, Welcome back educators, which shared the Washington Post photo essay: “How Classrooms look around the world in 15 amazing photographs”. For me, these images made and make for a great talking point with students; writing in role exercises; devising stimuli; and are a spring board for discussion around global equity and equality concerns in education. Print them, laminate them and go from there!

A Primary Focus – for teachers of learners in Years 1-8:

This year will see an increased focus from the AOL team on reaching out to our primary sector to support their delivery of arts programmes and, in particular, on unpacking and exemplifying student and programme learning progressions in the early curriculum levels (1-3), for all strands. This section of our summary provides targeted advice to our primary subscribers:

  • A dedicated primary teachers professional learning and development workshop titled: “Getting on Top of It: Drama in the Classroom” is being run by the Drama New Zealand Auckland Branch on Wednesday 24th February, 4.30-7.00pm at St. Kentigern College in Auckland and facilitated by Dr Elizabeth Anderson from the University of Auckland. I highly recommend any workshop facilitated by Elizabeth – you will walk away with ideas and things you can use straight away in your own classroom the next day!
  • This message from Amanda Stone may be helpful to primary teachers wanting to pick and stage a musical production at their school – with scripts, music files, staging suggestions and more all available to “download and go” in an instant!
  • Gail Denver from Maverick Musicals also shared to two new release intermediate level productions now available for schools.

He Reo Āwhina, He Reo Tautoko – A voice of help and support:

SGCNZ UOSWSF Dates and Co-ordinator Posts:

EOTC & Live Performance Opportunities:

  • The Young Auckland Shakespeare Company present Much Adoe About Nothing at the Pop-Up Globe in Auckland, Sunday 21st February at 1pm and 7pm
  • Amie Moffat shared the news that RED LEAP Theatre are touring the 2015 work, Dust Pilgrim to Hamilton, New Plymouth ad Wellington, details here. [Side note: I highly recommend this piece for teachers and students, and gained some really pleasing external assessment results for my own students who studied the work for their live performance examinations at all three levels in 2015. Exploring themes of oppression and being trapped, the richly visual and physical RED LEAP style also makes for an excellent influential model to follow for students’ devised works.]
  • Marama Tracey Lloydd from the Auckland Arts Festival shared details for The James Plays and other theatre opportunities for schools, students and teachers.
  • Bhavisha Singh from Indian Ink shared details for their tour of recent-work The Elephant Thief – check here for a performance near you.
  • Helen Sheehan advertised the details for the highly popular The Book of Everything tour, coming to a north island town near you.
  • EnsembleImpact present the Eglantyne tour with dance for schools still available to book!
  • Yana from Tim Bray productions advertised their 2016 lineup.
  • Taylor Griffin reminded teachers to book for the BARE SCHOOLS TOUR coming Auckland, Waikato and Manawatu areas.
  • Basement Theatre in Auckland also announced its partner schools for 2016.
  • Flaxworks Theatre Company in Auckland present their new work Miss Jean Batten at the Basement Theatre from 29th March – 9th April and have a special offer for schools.

Events and Workshops for learners:

  • Emma Bishop shared some exciting news: The Amici Trusts’ Junior Theatre New Zealand present “Train the Trainers” on 12th March in Auckland for ages Year 5 and up + teachers and practitioners with an interest in musical theatre. Robert Dil followed-up with this reminder as well.
  • Hawkins Theatre, Papakura in Auckland are showing Branagh Theatre Live: A Winter’s Tale and NT Live: Hamlet on the 15th and 22nd February respectively. Details here.
  • Public Works Performing Arts Collective in Association with Drama New Zealand present Steve Jarand (Canada) in Auckland for four workshops including a student workshop on Improvisation; teachers workshop focusing on using improvisation as a means of devising and character development and two public workshops with one on Mask and another on Improvisation.

Professional Learning and Development Opportunities:

  • Registrations are open for the Drama New Zealand national conference “Tutakina mai ahau ki te Awa – Meet me at the River” being held in Wellington in April. Details here. All queries to dnzconference2016@gmail.com
  • Drama New Zealand Auckland Branch offer both primary and secondary options in their first PLD workshops for the year: UPSKILL, happening on Wednesday 24th February at St. Kentigern College, 2.30-7.00pm (secondary) and 4.30-7.00pm (primary – no relief required!). Register NOW!
  • Louise Tourelle is facilitating a workshop in Wellington on Saturday 12th March at Toi Whakaari focussing on teaching strategies for working with Stanislavski, Brecht and Artaud concepts and practices.

Professional Reading & Viewing:

  • Re-share: items from Sir Ken Robinson on the importance of creativity in teaching are always worth a read!
  • Megan Herd shared a great PDF resource explaining and exploring the devised work and processes of UK company, Complicite

Teacher Resource Exchange – from the community; for the community:

Two new resources were published on the TRE this week:

  • The Drama ElementsConventions and Techniques posters developed and shared by Ben Moore at Avondale College, which have been very well-received and hugely popular as people dress their classrooms for the year.
  • This level two PAT lighting workbook to support standard 27700 was published by Stacey Harrison, HOD Dance and Drama at Rosehill College, who has led dedicated NCEA courses in PAT there for many years.

Our thanks again for these contributions! 


This summary will be uploaded to the Dramanet VLN group and our Twitter feed @ArtsOnline1. To access any of the threads on the Arts Online website archive simply type the username “artsonline” and the password “mailinglist” to do this.


Kia pai tō rā,

Ryan Benjamin

Arts Online Community Facilitator – Dramanet




Dramanet Weekly Summary

Dramanet Weekly Summary

A weekly summary of activity on Dramanet