Workshops » Howick Little Theatre

By: Howick Little Theatre  06-Dec-2011
Keywords: Theatre, Acting

Some of the biggest and most illustrious names in New Zealand theatre have shared their skills through workshops at Howick Little Theatre in the past 13 years. The subjects of these weekend workshops have included acting, directing, vocal techniques, Shakespeare, lighting design and set design, and fees have been kept very affordable thanks to support from Creative Communities NZ/Manukau City Council.  


  • "Shakespeare  – As You Like It" workshop for actors, with Michael Hurst, Shakespearean authority and one of New Zealand's most experienced actors and directors.
  • "Directing Actors – Enabling directors to get more out of a performance by developing acting craft" – for actors and directors, with Jennifer Ward-Lealand.


  • "Cleaning and Maintenance of Theatre Lights" with award-winning lighting designer Nik Janiurek.
  • “Impulse, Vocal Tune Up and Connection – a workshop for actors”, with leading professional actor, director and voice/acting tutor Cameron Rhodes, which focused on connecting impulse/instinct with breath, voice and script.    
  • "Directors' Workshop" with leading professional actor, director and acting tutor Miranda Harcourt. This was an opportunity to learn approaches and techniques that help draw out the best of any actor/director relationship. 


  • "The Actor's Voice", with leading voice teacher and Unitec's Head of Voice Kirstie O’Sullivan. The workshop covered how the voice works; relaxation techniques; fundamental breath work; articulation; and pitch, pace and volume.
  • “Let There Be Context”, with top actor, director and tutor Stuart Devenie. This workshop explored context and how it can assist the actor in the conscious creation of a company of actors on stage rather than a group of individuals performing in the same space, and workshopped scenes from different periods as a way to develop processes that the actor may apply to any script.
  • "Lighting Design Workshop" for beginner and intermediate designers, with award-winning designer Nik Janiurek, explored the process and intricacies of lighting a theatrical production.
  • "Directing Actors – enabling directors to get more out of a performance by developing acting craft", with professional actor/director and teacher Jennifer Ward-Lealand. This course took the form of a master class where participants were directed in scenes or monologues, with strong emphasis on identifying and developing acting craft and shaping scenes.
  • "Bringing Your Performance to Life – An acting technique workshop", with leading acting coach Miranda Harcourt. Her workshop embraced a range of styles and techniques in order to maximise talent and develop skills.


  • "Owning the Stage – Improvisation to Enhance Your Performance Skills" with professional actor/director and tutor Clare Kelso of ConArtists. The workshop explored improvisation techniques to help improve scripted, devised and improvisational performance.
  • "The Actor's Voice" with Unitec's Head of Voice, Kirstie O'Sullivan. The workshop covered how the voice works; relaxation techniques; fundamental breath work; articulation; and pitch, pace and volume.


  • "Exploring the Actor's Craft" with professional actor/director and voice coach Cameron Rhodes. Cameron explored connecting voice and movement, releasing character through physicality. 
  • "Actors in Search of a Character" with leading actor/director, TV and radio presenter Oliver Driver. The actors explored and discovered characterisation through mannerisms, speech patterns, attitudes and body language.
  • "Shakespeare in Action" with Jonathon Hendry, head of acting at Toi Whakaari New Zealand Drama School and a leading Shakespeare interpreter. The workshop focused on bringing the Bard's characters to life with a dynamic "play" that brings confidence and energy to performance and helps unlock the secrets inside his use of language.


  • "Acting Is Reacting – Exploring and Developing Acting Craft in Scene or Monologue Study" with professional actor/director and teacher Jennifer Ward-Lealand. Participants were directed in scenes or monologue, with a strong emphasis on developing acting craft.


  • "Whatever Happened to Comedy? – a short course in acting", with professional actor/director Stuart Devenie. Examining the serious business of comedy, its changing nature and the acting questions the changes reveal.


  • Professional director John Callen directed an HLT main production, Speaking in Tongues, working with the cast, crew and observers to improve directing/acting skills and knowledge.
  • "From Scratch: Creating Characters for Theatre" – an acting workshop with acclaimed director/co-writer with the award-winning Indian Ink Theatre Company, Justin Lewis.


  • "Shakespeare to Shortland Street – Acting in a Parallel Universe", with leading director/actor John Callen.
  • Advanced Lighting Design and Special Effects, with award-winning lighting designer Bryan Caldwell.
  • Improvisation with professional Theatresports Auckland actor/tutor Clare Kelso of the ConArtists.


  • Acting and Devising with Ben Crowder of Theatre Stampede.
  • Directing with Ben Crowder of Theatre Stampede.


  • Acting with Miranda Harcourt, then head of acting with Toi Whakaari: the NZ Drama School.
  • Set and Costume Design with Tracy Grant, an award-winning designer both in NZ and overseas, who works for the Auckland Theatre Company and NZ Opera, among many others.
  • Lighting Design with David Seaton, Head of Technology for Auckland’s The Edge, incorporating the Aotea Centre, Herald Theatre and the Town Hall. 


  • Acting with Christian Penny, co-founder of the acclaimed Theatre at Large and now the director of Toi Whakaari NZ Drama School.
  • Directing with Christian Penny.


  • Lighting Design with Steve Marshall, head of Performance Technology at Unitec. Formerly with the Maidment Theatre.
  • Set Design with award-winning designer/architect Dorita Hannah, then head of department at Victoria University, Wellington.

Keywords: Acting, Theatre

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Other products and services from Howick Little Theatre


Venue Hire » Howick Little Theatre

Looking for somewhere to hold small business conferences, wedding receptions, anniversary celebrations or birthday parties, Howick Little Theatre's two function rooms are available for hire. The 110-seat theatre is available in three seating configurations (the "L" plan, the traditional proscenium arch, and the thrust stage – not pictured). The 110-seat flexiform theatre is also available for limited use. Lots of free and easy parking.


Costumn Hire » Howick Little Theatre

Gowns Capes and overcoats Suits – pants or skirt Jumpers and cardigans Skirts and slacks Jackets Blouses Nightwear Petticoats Hats Rock’n’roll skirts and petticoats Swimwear Fur coats/jackets/stoles Crinoline hoops, petticoats and panniers Wigs, falls, buns, hairnets, snoods, crepe hair. Commercial organisations such as professional theatres and film companies. A crinoline, top hat or fur coat.


Drama Classes » Howick Little Theatre

Students will be encouraged to free their imaginations and explore the notion of play as a creative tool while also learning to trust their abilities to communicate through physical expression. In-class presentations are staged during the year and there will also be an opportunity to share work with friends and family later in the year.