Young People’s Theatre Newcastle

Theatre School

YPT Theatre School offers a structured developmental program to allow children between the ages of eight (year 2) and eighteen (year 12) to follow their interests and develop theatre skills.

YPT is for all children interested in theatre/drama – there is no expectation that new students are especially ‘talented’. Our expectations are that children make a commitment to classes, that they attend on a regular basis and that they do their very best. 

We’ve provided a list of the most frequently asked questions about our theatre school below. For FAQs specific to our Theatre Company and auditioning for shows, please visit our Theatre Company page. For information on visiting our theatre to see a show please visit our contact page. 

Theatre School Enrolment

YPT accepts students from Year 2 to Year 12 at school. Students are placed in class according to their class at school, ie. a Year 4 school student is placed in a Year 4 YPT class. (Students in Year 1 may fill in a Waiting List From to be placed in a Year 2 class in the following year).

If you are interested in your child attending the Theatre School, please visit the Office during office hours on Saturday between 9am and 1pm, to complete a Waiting List Form. Our waiting list procedure reflects the high demand for our classes and ensures that families on the waitlist are serious about joining our theatre school. To ensure equity, all Waitlist forms must be completed and submitted in person at our Hamilton office.

If you would like to place your child on the waiting list please do the following:

  1. Visit the YPT Office between 9am and 1pm on a Saturday
    (Young People’s Theatre Newcastle – Corner Lindsay & Lawson Streets Hamilton)
  2. Discuss your child’s requirements with a member of our team
  3. Complete our Waitlist form and receive a YPT information sheet

Please note that places at our theatre school are in demand and it is recommended you place your child’s name on the waitlist as early as possible. Interested students do not need to supply evidence of performance ability and there is no audition to gain entry to the theatre school. Vacancies are offered according to the date the waitlist form was submitted. For semester re-enrolments, places are offered to current students prior to children on our Waiting List.

Theatre school fees and timetable information below.

Fees are paid on a semester basis, ie. 2 school terms. For insurance purposes, students are not permitted to start classes prior to the finalisation of enrolment and fee payment. Fees may be paid by direct debit, cash or EFTPOS.

Fees are charged according to the length of the class:

  • Drama classes Year 3.1 to Senior are of 90 minutes duration
  • Drama Year 2 and 3.2 classes, Musical Theatre, High School Jazz and Tap Dance classes are of 60 minutes duration
  • Primary Jazz and TAP classes are 45 minutes duration
  • Singing Lessons are of 30 minutes duration

There are no additional fees related to productions.

2018 FEE SCHEDULE (fees per semester)

90 minutes class fees:

  • $320.00 for the first child in the family
  • $320.00 for the second child
  • $310.00 for the third child and subsequent children

60 minute class fees:

  • $220.00 for the first child in the family
  • $210.00 for the second child
  • $200.00 for the third child and subsequent children

45 minute class fees:

  •  $165.00 for the first child in the family
  • $155.00 for the second child
  • $145.00 for the third child and subsequent children

Singing lessons are $32.00 for a 30 minute weekly lesson. Minimum enrolment in Singing is for one (1) term making the final fee dependent on the number of weeks in the term – on average there are 9 weeks in a term making the fee $288.00

2018 Class timetable

VENUE ADDRESSES

  • YPT Theatre is on the corner of Lindsay and Lawson Streets in Hamilton.
  • Hunter School of the Performing Arts (HSPA) is on Lambton Road Broadmeadow.
  • Scots Kirk Hall is 21 Murray Street Hamilton.

Frequently Asked Questions

YPT has Waiting Lists for many classes. The speed with which a child can be placed in class will depend upon the year the child attends at school (which will also be their YPT Class) and the time of year the name is added to the Waiting List – if we are about to do re-enrolments, there is a much greater chance of gaining a place in a YPT class.

Saturday drama classes do often clash with other activities like sport. In deciding to attend Theatre classes, we ask children and parents/carers to consider their other commitments. Often choices must be made about the activities available for children on Saturday mornings and parents/carers must also be available to transport children to classes.

Most YPT Drama classes are held on Saturday morning, i.e. from 9am to 10:30am or from 10:30am to 12pm; Senior students, ie Year 10 to 12 school students, may choose to attend either a Saturday morning on a Monday evening class; there is a Year 2 Drama class and one Year 3 Drama class on Tuesdays.

SEMESTER 1
Re enrolment Deadline: Friday 26 January

Term 1 (8 or 9 weeks)
Monday class – 5 February to 2 April
Tuesday class – 6 February to 3 April
Wednesday class – 7 February 4 April
Saturday class – 3 February to 30 March

Term 2 (8 or 9 weeks) 
Monday class – 30 April to 25 June
Tuesday class – 1 May to 26 June
Wednesday class – 2 May to 27 June
Saturday class – 5 May to 30 June

SEMESTER 2
Re enrolment Deadline: Friday 22 June

Term 3 (9 weeks) 
Monday class – 23 July to 17 September
Tuesday class – 24 July to 18 September
Wednesday class – 25 July to 19 September
Saturday class – 28 July to 22 September

Term 4 (9 weeks)
Monday class – 15 October to 10 December
Tuesday class – 16 October to 11 December
Wednesday class – 17 October to 12 December
Saturday class – 20 October to 15 December

Public Holidays
Queen’s Birthday – Monday 11 June (no class)

There are no classes during school holidays.

Most classes are held in the drama and dance rooms at the Hunter School for the Performing Arts (HSPA), Lambton Road, Broadmeadow. Senior Drama classes are held at the theatre. The Year 2 class is held at the YPT theatre. Some Year 9 classes are held at Scots Kirk Hall, 21 Murray Street Hamilton. For exact locations for each class see the Class Timetable FAQ.

Classes are taught by senior YPT tutors who are current drama practitioners with background skills and training. Tutor/student ratios are small as all classes have at least 2 tutors and some have 3 tutors.

Learn more about our team and management committee.

To be eligible to audition for YPT productions, young people must be enrolled in YPT classes. When YPT students are provided with information on upcoming productions, they are notified of the Audition Criteria.

For more detailed information please refer to the Theatre Company FAQs.

YPT requires that parents notify any health or other issues that could affect the welfare of their child at YPT. Issues may include general, medical or custody issues, learning difficulties or physical disabilities. At enrolment, we require parents to provide details of any issues and possible strategies to support their child while they attend YPT.

Students have a right to be:

  • treated with courtesy and respect
  • presented with a clear explanation of YPT rules and policies in relation to what is expected of them
  • presented with a sequential curriculum that is appropriate for their age, stage of development, drama skill level and understanding
  • presented with opportunities to audition and participate in productions and other activities
  • given clear instructions regarding expectations and explanations about drama activities
  • given feedback in the form of positive analysis of their work
  • provided with a caring environment

Student have a responsibility to:

  • treat others with courtesy and respect – including other students and tutors
  • accept the rules and policies as they apply to them and to provide appropriate feedback
  • participate conscientiously in class activities, rehearsals and productions and to perform to the best of their ability
  • listen to explanations and follow instructions
    ask questions if they don’t understand
  • on request, give feedback about others’ work based on the content of the lesson
  • accept constructive comments on their work
  • always behave in a safe manner

Regular attendance is required to maintain a place in class. Punctuality arriving at classes is essential, as late entry of students is disruptive to the class. Attendance of less than 75% of classes could result in the place not being available in the following semester and the student being ineligible to audition for productions.

Students may apply for a leave of absence from classes for prolonged family holidays and ongoing illness. Leave will not be approved for sport, other weekly commitments; participation in productions with other theatre companies; or events with other community organisations.

Contact ypt@ypt.org.au if you have any questions about this policy.

  • Students are required to wear a black YPT logo T-shirt to classes, auditions and rehearsals. YPT logo t-shirts are available at the Office.
  • Students must wear comfortable clothing which allows them to move freely and without embarrassment. Shorts, leggings, track pants etc. are appropriate.
  • Tight clothing and excessive jewellery are not acceptable
  • Students must wear flat, enclosed and soft soled footwear; thongs are prohibited as they may create safety hazards
  • Students may change into stylish clothing after classes and/or rehearsals.
  • Tutors and directors enforce the clothing policy.

Fees must be paid prior to a student attending a class. However, families may seek a refund if the student notifies intention to withdraw from class within 3 weeks of enrolment.

Yes. Drama is a mandatory class, ie. all YPT students are enrolled in Drama. YPT offers Drama, Musical Theatre, Jazz and Tap Dance classes and individual Singing lessons. If families so choose, students may also enrol in other classes – but they must continue to be enrolled in a Drama class.

Musical Theatre and Dance classes are 60 minute classes and are held at the Theatre. See the class schedule for days and times.

Individual Singing lessons are 30 minute lessons and are held on Monday & Tuesday afternoons and Saturday mornings. Venues are YPT Theatre & HSPA. Tutors are Freya Atkinson & Maddie Watts. Singing lessons are $32 for a 30 minute weekly lesson. See the Theatre School Fees for more info.

Please note: YPT is an approved Active Kids Provider (for dance classes only). Visit the Active Kids website for more information, and to apply for a voucher.

Please contact the Office if you are interested in these extension classes.

Dropping off and picking up your child 

Parents are required to follow class venue rules

  • Hunter School for the Performing Arts (HSPA) require YPT to follow their gate locking policy, ie. gates are opened 15 minutes before classes start and are locked 15 minutes after classes are finished. Gates are locked during classes for child protection and security purposes
  • punctuality is essential – late entry of students to classes is disruptive to the other students
  • students should arrive 10 minutes before classes are due to start and be picked up within 10 minutes of finishing time.
  • a late pick-up fee applies to parents who pick their children up more than 15 minutes after the completion of the class
  • parents/carers should check that a tutor is in attendance before leaving their child at the venue
  • please ensure that the adult transporting the child knows where the class is being held and the start and finish times

Duty of Care

  • students are supervised at class venues for specified class and/or rehearsal times
  • supervision is in place for 15 minutes before and after classes
  • students are not supervised between the end of classes and the beginning of production rehearsals
  • YPT observes security procedures associated with class venues
  • if parents are late picking up students after class, tutors will contact the parents and wait with the student for 15 minutes. If the parent is more than 5 minutes away or cannot be contacted, the student will be taken to the Theatre Office (cnr Lindsay and Lawson Streets Hamilton)
  • if parents wish to pick up their child prior to the scheduled class finish time, they must pick them up personally or provide a signed note for the tutor to indicate the departure time
  • if parents organise to pick up their child away from the class venue, YPT is not responsible for the child once they leave the class venue
  • gates at Hunter School for the Performing Arts (HSPA) are locked. The gates are unlocked 15 mins before classes commence and relocked during classes. Contact the YPT Office if you arrive to find the gates locked.

Once enrolled, students maintain their place in class for as long as they abide by Theatre School rules. Students re-enrol and pay fees twice a year, ie. at the start of each semester.

To finalise an enrolment (or re-enrolment), parents must, by the due date:

  • return a signed Enrolment Form
  • pay the prescribed fee, and
  • submit a Working with Children Check clearance

The security of our students is our prime concern. Parents are not permitted to video/take photos of students during class demonstrations, rehearsals or performances.

In line with child protection legisation, we require employees and volunteers (parents/carers) to comply with the Working with Children legislation. All employees and volunteers (including at least one adult in each family) is required to submit a Working With Children Check to the Office.

Student Membership: students are YPT members by virtue of their enrolment in Drama classes.

Adult Membership: At least one parent in each family is required to become an Adult Member. Annual membership fee is $5.

Adult Production Membership: adults, invited to perform in YPT productions and who do not have children currently enrolled at YPT, are required to become an Adult Production Member, Fee $5.00.

Year 12 students who have attended Theatre School classes for at least the previous two years may apply for Associate Student Membership when they are in Year 12. This membership allows Year 12 students to maintain their connection with the organisation, and to audition for productions while not being required to attend weekly classes.

Applications for Student Associate Membership are lodged, on the appropriate form, with the Principal of the Theatre School and are awarded at the Principal’s discretion. Associate Members are eligible to audition for YPT productions.

Member News

We communicate with families through email, the Skoolbag APP and our newsletter ‘Spotlight’.

General YPT News

We share general news on our current productions and achievements to our social media and website news page.

The Drama Jamboree is the annual presentation of drama class work for parents and families. Each student is given the opportunity to perform on the YPT stage with their class group.

Classes work as a team during Term 4 on the item they will present – it is therefore essential that students attend all classes in Term 4. If a student is unavailable to perform at the Jamboree it is important that they let the tutors know as soon as possible in Term 4.

The Jamboree is scheduled over a number of days in late December including Monday and Tuesday afternoons and Sundays. Musical Theatre and Dance classes are integrated throughout the schedule.

Visit the YPT Sparkle and Shine page for information on this annual concert. The page also includes a selection of photos from past concerts.

Many students show remarkable commitment to YPT from their enrolment as a young primary student to holding positions as tutors, directors, technical supervisors as late high school students and young adults. YPT believes that it is important to recognise young people who make an outstanding contribution to the organisation through their positive participation in classes, in productions, in assisting backstage as crew and in the directing teams. In recognition of such commitment, students in their post school years may be nominated for the Arthur Boswell Award.

The award is named in honour of Arthur Boswell who was a devoted YPT volunteer from 1962 till his death in 1995 – including holding the position of president for 28 years. Arthur’s commitment to YPT is one of the reasons that the organisation is built on solid foundations.

Extension Classes

YPT offers extension classes to currently enrolled drama students. These can be booked through the YPT office. Extension classes (mostly 60mins) are available in:

  • Musical Theatre
  • Tap Dancing
  • Jazz Technique
  • Singing lessons (30mins)

Please note: YPT is an approved Active Kids Provider (for dance classes only). Visit the Active Kids website for more information, and to apply for a voucher.

Musical Theatre Years 2 to 4
Tuesday 5 – 6pm @ YPT Theatre

Musical Theatre Years 5 to 6
Tuesday 5 – 6pm @ YPT Theatre

Musical Theatre Years 7 to 9
Monday 4 – 5pm @ YPT Theatre

Musical Theatre Years 10 to 12
Monday 4 – 5pm @ YPT Theatre

Jazz Dance High School
Wednesday 4 – 5pm or  
5 – 6pm @ YPT Theatre

Jazz Dance Primary School
Wednesday 5 – 5.45pm @ YPT Theatre

Jazz Dance Advanced
Wednesday 5.45 – 6.45pm @ YPT Theatre

Tap Dance Primary school
Wednesday 4.15 – 5pm @ YPT Theatre

Tap Dance Advanced
Wednesday 6.45 – 7.45pm @ YPT Theatre

Singing Lessons
Monday & Tuesday afternoons and Saturday mornings. Venues are YPT Theatre & HSPA. Tutors are Freya Atkinson & Maddie Watts.

Class Demonstration Day & end of year Jamboree

Families are invited to watch their child in class at a specially organised demonstration day. This is an opportunity to see what their child has been learning in class.

The Drama Jamboree is the annual presentation of drama class work for parents and families. Each student is given the opportunity to perform on the YPT stage with their class group.

Sparkle & Shine Concert

The Sparkle and Shine Concert is directed by tutors in our Drama School, and is a celebration of what YPT stands for – theatre for young people by young people. 

The annual concert supports the YPT Remembers Reuben Scholarship

YPT students perform in a selection of numbers from Musical Theatre pieces to dance, drama and more! More about Sparkle & Shine, plus photos of past concerts.

‘Think Beyond’ Senior Drama Course

The Think Beyond course is designed for Years 11 and 12 students who wish to challenge themselves beyond what they would encounter in a drama class. Students keen to learn more about theatre and acting and/or who endeavour to pursue a career in the entertainment and/or creative arts industries are encouraged to consider the Think Beyond program.

The weekly Think Beyond class is on Tuesdays 6 – 7.30pm at YPT.

The YPT Tech Team

At YPT it’s not just young people on stage, but behind the scenes too. YPT students in Year 7 and above can apply to join our expert Tech Team, which plays a vital part in every production!

This is for students interested in stage crew, stage management, lighting, sound or the fly tower.