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Performing Arts coming to town

Performing Arts coming to town

UCOL’s Performing Arts programme – coming soon to the Wairarapa – has just placed another two students on the road to success.

The six month Performing Arts programme at UCOL’s Palmerston North campus has an excellent track record for preparing its graduates for further study, including at Toi Whakaari: The New Zealand Drama School.

Programme leader Penni Bousfield says two of last year’s students are doing well at Toi Whakaari this year, and two of this year’s students have just won places at the respected Wellington Performing Arts Centre, studying for certificates in screen acting.

UCOL Wairarapa plans to introduce Performing Arts next year, as part of a suite of new programmes tailored to meet the community’s needs.

Penni says there’s an added bonus for the Wairarapa with the performance that will be staged in Masterton by Performing Arts students once a year. “It involves all of our students who always turn on a great show. And of course it’s open to the public.”

Community leaders have welcomed plans to introduce the programme.

Vivien Rickard, Wairarapa Arts Culture and Heritage Coordinator, says it is just what the region needs. “It will appeal to many currently disengaged young people who have talent but might otherwise slip through the cracks. For example, you see some of them doing wonderful work like break dancing at the Origins Festival in Masterton. But then they disappear. Those same young people may find their niche – and an opportunity – studying Performing Arts at UCOL.”

Vivien says the new programme will also appeal to older people. She adds that it’s great that it provides a base for students to go on to further study at schools like Toi Whakaari.

Jan Gerritsen, Manager of Community Services for the Masterton District Council, also supports the new UCOL Wairarapa Performing Arts programme, saying it is in line with the Wairarapa Arts, Culture and Heritage Strategy.

“Our goal is to encourage growth and development. One way to do that is through advanced training. The UCOL programme fills a gap by providing an introduction to performing arts skills and a base for further training.”

The UCOL Certificate in Performing Arts is a six-month, open-entry programme, that gives students the opportunity to gain a foundation of knowledge and skills in acting, dance, singing, musical theatre, voice and acting for camera.


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