School Holiday Drama Programs

One of the best weeks of my life was when I went to the Queensland Theatre Company’s Experience week when I was in Year Eleven.  It was a school holiday workshop where professional actors were our tutors and we had the opportunity to specialise in a particular theatrical style  as well as general lessons in stagecraft and acting.  It was an inspiring way to spend one week of my school holidays.   Back then, we went out to a different show every night, to expand our awareness and appreciation for the craft. I believe they still offer the program and no doubt it costs an arm, leg and a kidney today.   I had received some scholarship money and I kept telling my parents that they could use those funds again the following year, so I could secure my place once more.  I am sure that the scholarship money was long gone, because I kept insisting that it be used for these enriching programs. It was however money well spent, as it fuelled my creative spark and inspired me for the remaining weeks that I had to endure school without any drama.  (That’s right, way back then, drama was not a subject one did at school, so if you had a passion for acting, the only choice was to participate in extra curricular activities).  Perhaps if I had have been studying drama in school, I might not have needed to go.  Who knows?


Drama and Musical school holiday programs have therefore been around for a while and it seems that today there is no end of choice.  Mr Riley and Miss Libby have offered their second musical theatre week, which has been very popular.  Some students go down to Brisbane and participate in pre tertiary courses, that provide feedback for future auditions.  Others join companies, and do the “ show in a week”  program or mass ensemble cast musicals, while a few sign up for courses to hone their skills in specific areas.  


What students take away from these courses and experiences depends on the individual and where they are at on their theatrical journey.  For the majority, it will be simply a fun way to spend some of the school holidays.  For others, it might light a fire that will inspire them to work harder and strive to reach their goals.  For parents, it might offer a reprieve from “ what are we doing today” questions.  Regardless, it is a great way to meet like minded people who share your  interests  and to widen your view of the world.


Every holidays I get asked about whether BYTES is providing School Holiday workshops and I invariably give the same answer.  BYTES has a break over the holidays.  Providing creative experiences right throughout the year for so many students, requires a time of pause…… a time for recharging………a time to think about what is coming and reflect on what has been.   If I am entirely honest, I think kids sometimes need the same…… time to do absolutely nothing.  We lead such busy lives and the school term can be a crazy ride.   So go surfing, walk up a mountain or chill in our not so wintery weather.   You will come back revitalised and refreshed and ready to dive into your new term.  Remember that amazing creativity can come from being just a little bit bored.


For those of you who did participate in school holiday programs, I hope you had fun and are inspired to keep working on your craft, as I was, so long ago and for those of you who did nothing these holidays….? That is absolutely perfect……. because that is what I did too and we will be ready to take on Term 3 with vigour!   x R

Robyn Ernst