Established in 1990, Original Scripts Theatre School is one of the South Island 's longest standing independent theatre schools. The name and slogan highlight one of the most important differences between this theatre school and others in New Zealand . Co- founder and owner, Wendy Steeds, has been very productive in her writing over the past 22 years and as a result the school has a substantial library of “original scripts” available for classes. Having a resident playright enables the teaching staff to add new students and customise the regular productions as needed, creating a truly original experience for the students and audience every season.
The Original Scripts slogan “Committed to Excellence in the Performing Arts” encapsulates the other essential difference between Original Scripts and other drama schools throughout New Zealand. All students appear on stage in front of a paying audience at least twice a year. This is possible because “Original Scripts” provides a safe and friendly environment where students can train and develop their theatre skills to the level required for public performance.
The school is broken up into 4 levels of students according to age and experience. The Junior school, where students are taught the basics of stage craft and acting. The Intermediate school is where the students' skills are developed by the experienced teaching staff and again the students learn all aspects and disciplines of live theatre. Wendy and co-owner and producer Sonia Chappell, are particularly proud of the large teenage school that has built up over time. Some of the students have been with Original Scripts since they started school themselves. These students benefit from improvements in confidence, self esteem, self discipline, memory and the ability to interact with others. Finally there are the adult students who enjoy similar results to the rest of the school and derive great enjoyment from regularly rehearsing and performing.
The sense of achievement and thrill that all the students get is amazing, as well as building in them a life long passion for live theatre.
Theatre classes run to the same four-term schedule operated by the Ministry of Education (Primary Schools) although there may be a need to call extra rehearsals during production times.
“Original Scripts” believes that all students should be treated with respect and should be able to experience as many different styles and forms of theatre as possible while striving for the highest standard in their every day life.