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 15 years. The subjects of these weekend workshops have included acting, directing, vocal techniques, Shakespeare, lighting, costume design and set design, and fees have been kept affordable thanks to wonderful support from Creative Communities/Auckland Council.  

In January 2015, there are workshops planned in the areas of lighting design (Nik Janiurek), stage management (Nick Martin) and sound design (Hanneke Beets). Put your name down and we will let you know when registrations open.

If you want to be kept informed about upcoming workshops, have your name added to the workshop emailing list or contact us at If you are interested in ongoing drama classes with leading professional tutors, see HLT's Drama Class page for details.

Past Workshops at Howick Little Theatre


  • "An Introduction to Directing for Theatre" with HLT member Terry Hooper BA (Hons) in Theatre. Run over eight weeks, the course taught participants the basics of directing theatre, then each one put their newfound skills to work directing a short item, complete with lighting, props and costumes, for an HLT club night in front of an invited audience.
  • "Acting Workshop: Connecting actors to their emotional impulses" with Juliet Furness, actor and teacher with 17 years’ acting, studying and teaching experience in the US and New Zealand.
  • "The Craft of Acting" with Jennifer Ward-LealandThis course took the form of a master class where participants were directed in scenes.
  • "An Introduction to Directing for Theatre" with HLT member Terry Hooper. Run over eight weeks, the course taught participants the basics of directing theatre, then each one put their newfound skills to work directing a short item, complete with lighting, props and costumes, for an HLT club night in front of an audience.
  • “Accents & The Actor's Voice” with internationally trained voice tutor Kirstie O’Sullivan, head of voice for the Actor’s Program. 


  • "Set Design", with John Parker, one of NZ's most accomplished set designers. Over four days participants worked collaboratively on the set and costume designs for HLT's 2012 production of Peninsula, a NZ drama by Gary Henderson. They learnt how to deal with text, form a concept, make a scale model, come up with costume designs and communicate their plans.
  • "The Craft of Acting – developing acting craft to improve the actor's performance", with Jennifer Ward-Lealand
  • "Sound Design", with Robert Hunte from Unitec. Students learnt about sound, how it behaves, how to use sound equipment and setting up and running sound tracks during productions.
  • "Lighting Design, with Nik Janiurek. A workshop for beginners and intermediate lighting practitioners that explored the intricacies of lighting a production. 


  • "Shakespeare  – As You Like It" workshop for actors, with Michael Hurst, Shakespearean authority and one of NZ'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. Learning 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 relaxation techniques; basic breath work; articulation; and pitch, pace and volume.
  • “Let There Be Context”, with top actor, director and tutor Stuart Devenie. This workshop explored how context 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 of lighting a production.
  • "Directing Actors – enabling directors to get more out of a performance by developing acting craft", with actor/director Jennifer Ward-Lealand. This course was a master class in which 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. Learning a range of styles and techniques 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 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; basic breath work; articulation; and pitch, pace and volume.


  • "Exploring the Actor's Craft" with actor/director and voice coach Cameron Rhodes, who explored connecting voice and movement, releasing character through physicality. 
  • "Actors in Search of a Character" with actor/director 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


  • "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 HLT's Speaking in Tongues, working with cast, crew and observers to improve directing/acting skills and knowledge.
  • "From Scratch: Creating Characters for Theatre" – an acting workshop with 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, who works for the Auckland Theatre Company and NZ Opera, among 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.