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Design for Stage and Screen in New Zealand

The Bachelor or Design for stage and screen at Toi Whakaari is the only course of its kind in New Zealand. It is one of the School’s newest courses and graduates of the Design course have already gone on to be Chapman Trip Theatre Award winners for set and costume design, worked on major movies and created opening ceremonies for Bloomberg and Deutche Bank.

There are still a couple of places left for entry in 2010…

Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School is the national drama school of New Zealand, a breeding ground for the film and theatre industry of New Zealand. Perfectly positioned in Wellington, home of Peter Jackson, Weta Workshop, Park Road Post Productions, the theatre hub and the Creative Capital of NZ, making full use of the networks and opportunities available, Toi Whakaari has evolved from a small acting school to a multi-disciplinary education centre developing practitioners with specialised skills who can work across all areas of stage and screen.

Student presenting designs at Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School

Student presenting designs at Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School

The most recent course on offer at Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School is the Bachelor of Design (Stage & Screen), a three year programme that develops designers with creativity, originality and critical thinking, empowering them as future members of NZ’s performing arts culture. The course equips students with the skills and knowledge to enable them to create and sustain a career; it celebrates diversity and ambition.

Last month Prime Minister John Key opened Toi Whakaari’s brand new design studios at Te Whaea: National Dance & Drama Centre in Newtown. The design wing is the latest addition to the centre and the attendance of John Key is testament to the importance of theatre and screen design to the future of the industry in New Zealand.

Graduates from the design course this year have already managed to score some of the most sought after jobs in Wellington. Ian Hammond and Emma Ransley will be working on Peter Jackson’s new film The Hobbit, Ian is also designing the children’s section of the World of Wearable Arts Awards in 2010. Jessica Sanderson (granddaughter of the late legendary Martyn Sanderson) is working with Taki Rua and the New Zealand International Arts Festival on Mark Twain & Me in Maoriland and also a documentary film. Local boy Richard Larsen, along with fellow designers Hammond, Sanderson and Rowan Pierce recently premiered their 4 part film Quarters, a project that they designed, wrote, filmed and produced.

As well as designers Toi Whakaari produces the production managers, directors, costume makers, technicians, actors, set-builders and lighting designers who go out into today’s film and theatre industry.

FOR MORE DETAILS GO TO WWW.TOIWHAKAARI.AC.NZ.

TUTORS AND INDUSTRY EXPOSURE
To expose the students to the best possible teaching the School employs a range of industry practitioners who are the best in their field to teach the students block courses. These include James Acheson (3 time Oscar winning costume designer), Kate Hawley (theatre and film costume designer – costume designer for The Hobbit), numerous WETA practitioners including Vibol Moeung who taught set model design and construction, Marc Hill (Wellington film and TV maker), Nicola Marshall (TV Designer) and Izzat Design (props, animation and special effects).

BACHELOR OF DESIGN FOR STAGE AND SCREEN – THE COURSE
The Bachelor of Design programme develops designers who demonstrate creativity, originality and critical thinking, empowering them as future members of NZ’s performing arts culture. The course equips students with the skills and knowledge to enable them to create and sustain a career; it celebrates diversity and ambition. Students are encouraged to investigate and develop a collaborative process of making work for theatre, film and related industries.

Model Making Class at Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School

Model Making Class at Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School

Design students benefit from working alongside students of directing, acting, entertainment technology, performing arts management and costume construction. Through sharing premises with NZ School of Dance and a key relationship with The Film School, student designers also have opportunities to collaborate with contemporary dance and film students.

INDUSTRY SUPPORT FOR THE COURSE
“We, and companies like Weta, will undoubtedly benefit in future from the fantastic course you are developing.”
RICHARD TAYLOR, HEAD OF WETA WORKSHOPS, OSCAR WINNER FOR LORD OF THE RINGS AND KING KONG

“One cannot stress enough the importance of such a course in the process of developing designers in preparation for work in all areas of the performing arts in New Zealand.”
AIDAN LANG, GENERAL DIRECTOR, NBR NEW ZEALAND OPERA

“I wholeheartedly support the design course. Being on site with the drama and dance school is a wonderful opportunity in which to develop industry practitioners of the future.”
GARY HARRIS, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, ROYAL NEW ZEALAND BALLET

“Design is a player equal to any actor. We must treat – and train – our designers as we would actors: with care, passion, hope and wonder.”
TOMMY HONEY, THEATRE DESIGNER & HEAD OF THE NEW ZEALAND FILM AND TELEVISION SCHOOL

“We welcome the fact that within your institution is the opportunity to train graduates in a fully holistic approach integrated with all aspects of theatrical production processes.”
STEPHEN BLACKBURN, GENERAL MANAGER, CAPITAL E NATIONAL THEATRE FOR CHILDREN

“It stands to continue and feed in depth the creative and artisan skills that are needed in this country’s theatre and film industry.”
RAYMOND BOYCE MBE, THEATRE DESIGNER

FOR MORE DETAILS GO TO WWW.TOIWHAKAARI.AC.NZ.

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