1. Tapac

Host to many independent performance groups, Western Springs-based Tapac also runs some of the most stimulating drama classes with tutors Fiona Edgar, Nina Burchett and Tim Bray Productions' Youth Theatre. Performance pros take the kids through TV/film, creative drama, improv, puppetry, mime and physical theatre for all age groups. Check out the school holiday programmes, online soon.

tapac.org.nz, dramaworks.co.nz timbrayproductions.org.nz
2. Aspiring Young Actors

As the name suggests, Jacque Drew and Jeff Szusterman's school trains professionals, so entry is by audition in February for the year, culminating in an end-of-year performance. Most students have agents and work professionally (you've seen them on TV, for sure). aya.co.nz
3. Mixit Youth Project


Based at Henderson's Corban's Estate Arts Centre, Mixit's weekly workshops brings locals and young people from refugee backgrounds together through dance, drama and performance, with a major performance every summer. mixit.co.nz Ph: (09) 838 3095

4. The Performance.net

An education-driven programme with classes all over Auckland, The Performance Net is as much about building life skills and self esteem through fresh and upbeat classes from preschool to high school. theperformance.net
5. Young Auckland Shakespeare Company

The youth offshoot of Auckland Shakespeare Company (ASC) is linked with the city's top Shakespearean actors, with a mix of teen and adult classes and professional performances, including the annual summer shows. More info at aucklandshakespeare.com
6. Howick Children's and Youth Theatre

Formerly Uxbridge Children's Theatre, this venue attracts children who turn into long-term students. Drama, performance and development classes, Trinity College speech and drama qualifications, school holiday programme for primary and intermediate ages, and technical and stage management classes, with productions in July, August, October and December. Ph: (09) 537 4943 hcyt.org.nz