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Drama, dance and performance workshops

Flexing those drama muscles.

You need all ages in the theatre scene and it's good to start them young, says theatre director Belinda Campbell.

Belinda, along with dancer and choreographer Anita Zwart, have combined talents to offer school holiday workshops in drama, dance and performance.

Called Level Up, the initiative offers workshops from January 27 to 31, separated into age groups 7-9 year olds, 10-12 year olds, teens and adults.

The workshops are one hour for 7-9 years olds and two hours for the others.

Belinda, who describes herself as a “Gizzy girl at heart”, came home from Melbourne before lockdown to direct The Addams Family for Musical Theatre Gisborne.

Anita was choreographer for the same show.

Belinda says they welcome people of any level of experience to the workshops, to take part in whatever works for them.

“Kids can come to just one workshop, or all three. It's the perfect place to try drama for the first time, but those with experience have an equally good time.

“Come and have fun with us.

“You can't underestimate the kids, they are hilarious. Their insight and humour is incredible.”

Belinda said from the outside the games in the workshops might look like “just a game”.

“But they're all honing some kind of drama or theatre skill. Drama class has loads of benefits. It builds confidence, develops empathy and cooperation, problem solving, quick thinking, social skills — the list goes on.”

There will be an element of improvised performance, a little scene work, and everyone will come together for a final showcase.

Belinda said the aim of the workshops was to bring new people into the theatre scene and upskill the more experienced members.

“It's not just for kids. I'm really looking forward to working with the teens and adults too. We get to dive a bit deeper into all those things that make performance really come alive. I could talk acting all day. I love it. “I truly believe everyone should give it a go. Everyone has something unique to offer the stage.”

Belinda likes that the kids can get the benefit of all three workshops if they decide, or just try one to see if it is their thing.

“We want to get people excited about the arts and create a diverse, inclusive and accessible theatre scene in Gisborne.

“It's a taster. Come in and have a try — maybe you might like it.”

• Register online at www.evolutiontheatre.org.nz/holiday-classes.

'EVERYONE SHOULD GIVE IT A GO': Workshops next week for children aged between 7 and 12 are being offered by theatre director Belinda Campbell (front) and choreographer Anita Zwart. Picture by Rebecca Grunwell