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School Holidays Activities for Theatre Lovers

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by Lucy Graham (subscribe)
I'm a Melbourne based freelance writer with a diverse portfolio including performing arts articles and reviews, human interest stories, and social comment. Visit my blog for an overview lucy-mattersoflife.blogspot.com
Published June 10th 2013
Shows, Short Courses and Tours Galore for Kids/Young Adults
Legally Blonde, Princess Theatre
There are SO many options on offer for theatre loving kids

Do you know a young person who dreams of a life on stage?

If so, Melbourne is definitely the place to be this winter school holidays. This city has theatrical opportunities literally coming out of its ears for children, young adults and families. The skies may be gloomier overhead, but you can look to the limelight for inspiration, entertainment and enlightenment.

Aside from an unprecedented number of professional shows that are accessible to children, some of our brightest performing arts institutions are flinging wide their doors with open days and workshops to satisfy your budding dancer, thespian, rockstar, circus performer, opera-buff or puppeteer.

Bookings for many of these events are closing soon, or will fill fast, so get onto it early to avoid disappointment.

Drama
Ages 8-18
School holiday courses are being offered for kids aged 8-18 by NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Art). Locations include Melbourne (East Brunswick) and Bendigo and focus on areas like acting on screen, acting bootcamp, and audition essentials. You can find out more here.

Ages 13 – 18, VCE, Adult
Victorian College of the Arts is offering a range of five day courses for secondary school students, those currently undertaking VCE Drama (Unit 4), and adults. Find out more here.

Giant Ants Polyglot Theatre
Polyglot Theatre's Giant Ants are not so very scary

Closer in town, Federation Square is being invaded by giant ants thanks to Polyglot Theatre. In an interactive installation theatre event, children need to locate the giant breadcrumbs in the square to feed them. Details here.

Music
Also at the Victorian College of the Arts comes the five day pop song writing bootcamp for wannabe rockstars which includes industry tips on how to write a hit song, and then the opportunity to perform at a live recorded concert on the fifth day. Find out more here.

Instant rockstar
You can be an Instant Rockstar at Arts Centre Melbourne

Up the road a little way at Arts Centre Melbourne, your 8-12 year old can take part in a two-hour session making their own video clip at Instant Rockstar. This event will run all year. More here.

Circus
Not sure if circus is for you? Don't knock it 'till you've tried it.

NICA Circus
Run away to the circus during school holidays with a 'Come and Try' course. Photo: NICA

NICA (National Institute of Circus Arts) in Prahran is offering 'Come And Try' courses over the school holidays for all ages (including adults). Check out what is on offer here.

Dance
Your budding ballerina is going to pirouette around the kitchen when you tell him/her about People's Day at the Australian Ballet. This is a great opportunity to get an insight into the country's biggest ballet company.

The Australian Ballet
Photo: The Australian Ballet

At People's Day, those aged 10 years and older are invited to sit-in on rehearsals and get a taste of a ballerina's work day. More here.

But never fear, the 5 – 8 years olds have not been forgotten. The Australian Ballet is also offering 'Dance Play' for kids who love to move and be physically challenged.

Or if you're up for a guided tour (for people aged six and older), past rehearsal studios and costume workshops, you can find out more, and book here.

Performances/Shows
So now we come to the performances themselves. And what a choice we have this winter! There really is literally something for everyone.

At the Regent Theatre in Collins Street, King Kong the Musical will be in full swing during school holidays. Organisers warn the show is not suitable for patrons under the age of 10. Find out more here.

King Kong the Musical, Esther Hannaford
Question is, which show to attend?

Up the hill at the Princess Theatre is the very pink and eminently entertaining Legally Blonde. You don't have to be a girl to enjoy this show, but you do have to know one to get the jokes. Read reviews here.

Over the way on Birrarung Marr, Circus Oz is on the trapeze with Cranked Up, always an astonishingly funny show with a decent dollop of irreverence. More about the show and ticketing info here.

Circus Oz Cranked Up
Fitness Meets Theatre with Fantaysia Fitness

From the quirky to the sublime: Arts Centre Melbourne will stage the Australian Ballet's Swan Lake. No more to be said. Look here.

The Barber of Seville
Family-friendly opera at Elizabeth Murdoch Hall

And for younger families, The Melbourne Recital Centre (Elizabeth Murdoch Hall) is offering Rossini's opera, The Barber of Seville, in a family-friendly length (50 minutes) for $18 a head. You can take your babe under two in arms at no cost, but please check the conditions beforehand here.

The only question that remains now is how many of these wonderful opportunities you can squeeze into the school holiday break, and how far the entertainment budget will stretch. Good luck with that. But then whatever you decide, you can't really make a bad choice.
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Why? Shows, short courses and tours galore these school holidays
When: School holidays
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