Education Archives - NORPA

Theatre For Schools

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Do you remember the first time you experienced the magic of a live theatre show? Ask any playwright, actor or theatre maker and it’s often their early exposure to the theatre that had a profound effect on them.

Each year NORPA puts together an exciting program of shows that inspire, educate and engage with young people of all ages. We connect with pre-schools, primary, high schools and home-schoolers across the region.

We offer student group prices (teachers complimentary), provide teacher resources specific to each show, and organise additional activities such as workshops, opportunities to meet the cast and educational visits to NORPA.

For more information please download our Theatre for Schools flyer and booking form, or contact our Education Coordinator or Box Office.


The 91 Storey Treehouse

Friday 6 March, 10:00am & 12:00pm
On demand workshops can be booked with this performance

Andy and Terry’s Treehouse has reached an amazing 91 Stories! It’s now more fantastically dangerous than ever, with a deserted desert island, a whirlpool, and a giant spider! 

But Andy, Terry and Jill have no idea they’re about to face their biggest challenge yet! Mr Big Nose has sent his grandchildren to the Treehouse, and they don’t want to just sit quietly. Can Andy, Terry & Jill master this extreme babysitting challenge? What does mysterious fortune teller Madam Know- It-All really want? And will the Big Red Button really destroy the world? 

The team behind the 13-, 26-, 52- and 78-Storey Treehouses Live on Stage return with a fantastical trip through this wild, weird and wonderful world for children 6-12 and their adults. Just beware of the Fortune Teller… 

Animal Farm

Wednesday 6 May, 11am
On demand workshops can be booked with this performance

Animal Farm, one of the most enduring political commentaries returns in a multi-award winning, critically-acclaimed theatre production. George Orwell’s intensely powerful fairy tale allegorizes and satirizes communist governments while illustrating with stunning simplicity how greed and power corrupts with devastating consequences to all who yield. 

Revolution has taken place at Manor Farm. The pigs have assumed control and all the animals, fueled by enthusiastic camaraderie and guided by a set of self-imposed rules, are promised a better life free from the self-serving greed of humans. However, it is not long until the rules that promised equality and freedom become the shackles that bind the animals once again.

Created by shake & stir and directed by Michael Futcher, Animal Farm promises to be one of the most shocking, relevant and wickedly funny theatre events of 2020. 


Thursday 14 May, 11am
Followed by workshop at 12:40pm

Playlist is Beyoncé meets the women’s marches meets Australian Idol. It’s full of suburban dreams and pop star fantasies.

Five incredible young women talk about their favourite female pop stars and how these narratives inspire and shape their personal worlds in this genre-defying dance theatre work. 

The extraordinary cast represent a unique and powerful cross section of emerging artists in contemporary Australia, featuring Ebube Uba, a Nigerian-Australian actor and dancer; Neda Taha, a Tongan-Iraqi-Australian hip hop dancer; May Tran a Vietnamese-Australian slam poet; comedic actor Tasha O’Brien; and Croatian- Australian pop star Mara Knezevic.

Created by PYT Fairfield (Jump First, Ask Later), one of Australia’s most celebrated makers of brave and transformative new work that reflects the cultural diversity of contemporary Australia.

Bell Shakespeare’s
The Comedy of Errors

Wednesday 23 September, 11am

Shipwrecked and separated 25 years earlier, two sets of long-lost twins miraculously find themselves in the same city on the same day. What could possibly go wrong? 

The Comedy of Errors is a hilarious romp of swapped identities, misguided love, mistaken imprisonment and chaotic mishaps, leading to an unbelievably crazy day for bumbling twins.

At the heart of this tale of comedic misfortune is an old man searching for his lost children who has found himself in the fight of his life…to save his life. As far-fetched coincidences unfold, chaotic hilarity ensues and a man’s life could be saved — if only everything would go to plan.

Directed by Janine Watson (Romeo and Juliet, Ensemble Theatre’s Unqualified) this is a beautiful story about reunion, wrapped up in an evening of entertainment and laughter. 

After a day of mistaken identity leading to unfair thrashings, wrongful arrests and false charges of infidelity, robbery, madness and even demonic possession, can the twins possibly reunite and live happily ever after?


Thursday 27 November, 11am
On demand workshops can be booked with this performance

Flow is a yarn about country, Yaegl country. It’s an urban tale of finding identity in music and hip hop. It’s a personal story of family pride, friendship and defining moments. It’s an ancient story about the water that flows through this country. 

Mitch King is a Yaegl and Bundjalung man – he is a teacher, a hip hop artist, a dancer and community man. In Flow he explores our connection to water and the relationship we have to the rivers of this place throughout history, from the ancestors to the present. Join Mitch as he takes us deeper into country to discover childhood stories and the power of music, family and connection.

This is a work for everyone who wants to know more about where they live.


We believe no one has more energy and imagination than kids. Many of the companies visiting NORPA also offer workshops for school aged children and our community. We also offer On Demand Workshops that can be tailored to performances.

For more information please download our Theatre for Schools workshops flyer and booking form, or contact our Education Coordinator or Box Office.

The Comedy of Errors – Workshops
Bell Shakespeare

Friday 14 August
In-school workshops available
Lismore City Hall workshop 2:00–3:15pm
Audition 3:45–4:45pm

Regional Access Workshop

Regional students booked in to see The Comedy of Errors at NORPA are eligible to participate in Bell Shakespeare’s complimentary Regional Access Workshops.

Designed to prepare students for the production, these practical, 75-minute workshops guide students through the plot, key characters, themes, scene work, design, and insights into the production itself.

John Bell Scholarship

Students from regional schools across Australia are eligible to audition for the John Bell Scholarship. A life-changing opportunity for budding performers, three students will be selected to spend one incredible week training with Bell Shakespeare.

Auditions take the form of 15-minute masterclasses with a Bell Shakespeare artist, workshopping text and receiving feedback on performance.

Three students will receive one week of training and ongoing mentorship from Bell Shakespeare. They will undertake acting masterclasses with Bell Shakespeare artists, observe rehearsals, see live theatre and perform their winning monologue for John Bell, Artistic Director Peter Evans and a Bell Shakespeare cast.

For more information visit: https://www.bellshakespeare.com.au/learning/scholarships/john-bell-scholarship/

Playlist – Workshops
PYT Fairfield

Thursday 14 May, 12:40pm (following 11am performance)

Making PLAYLIST: How PYT makes new Australian Work.

Working to develop text, dance moves and engaging in PYT’s unique conversational practice, the students will make their very own mini-version of Playlist, led by the cast and creatives of the performance. Students will be encouraged to reflect on the performance and their own responses to identity, intersectional feminism, and female empowerment in contemporary Australia; these conversations evolve into a dance theatre presentation.

Duration: 90 mins
Suitable for ages 14+

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On-demand workshops for schools

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Enhance your school’s performing arts program by booking a bespoke student workshop or teacher masterclass.

Drawing on our network of trusted industry professionals, both locally and nationally, we can tailor a workshop to suit your interests. Whether it’s puppetry, voice, physical theatre, Indonesian language and arts, or contemporary dance, our workshops provide experiences and skills at the absolute highest level.

These workshops can be held as an incursion at your school or in our studio at Lismore City hall. Workshop dates, times and numbers are flexible and can be arranged to suit your needs.

On-demand Workshops

From more information please download our brochure and contact our Education Coordinator or our Box Office.

Workshops currently on offer include:

For teachers

Teacher Masterclass with NORPA Artistic Director Julian Louis

This masterclass is for teachers and aims to expand awareness and references for the devised theatre process through practical exercises and gaining insights into projects created by theatre maker Julian Louis.

Stages 1—4

Indonesian Language and Arts  with Jade Dewi (Stage 1-3)

Inspire an inquiry and appreciation for Indonesia, its arts, language, cultures and people for all ages.
Jade Dewi Tyas Tunggal is an award winning dancer, choreographer and is a NORPA Associate Artist.

Visual Theatre and Puppetry with Valley Lipcer and Gabrielle Griffin (Stage 1-3)

After a live puppetry demonstration, students are guided through the process of making a simple puppet. They will learn essential puppetry manipulation skills and work together to make short shows for the classroom audience, with professional input to stimulate new ideas.
Gabrielle and Valley have over 30 years of national and international puppetry and visual theatre performing credits between them.

Powerful Playbuilding with Lisa Apostolides (Stage 1-4)

In this exciting practical workshop young people will be facilitated through the essential steps of Playbuilding. Through discussion, brainstorming and improvisation, and learning to working collaboratively, a short play from a starting point or theme will be created. Intention and purpose of the play, dramatic structure, forms and conventions, dramatic devices and transitions will all be explored. Lisa Apostolides is the Director of Byron Youth Theatre and has trained at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London and Greenwich University.

Stages 3—6

Contemporary Dance  with Jade Dewi (Stage 3-6)

This workshop grounds dancing in the weighted earthiness and gestural richness of modern dance techniques as well as newer philosophies of movement that depart from classical dance.
Jade Dewi Tyas Tunggal is an award winning dancer, choreographer and is a NORPA Associate Artist.

Monologue Preparation with Toni Scanlan (Stage 5-6)

Students will learn how to research a character by looking at the information that is revealed in the monologue itself. Exploration of physicality and voice production will be used to access emotional truths in a way that is unselfconscious and fun.
Toni has worked with Queensland Theatre, Belvoir, Sydney Theatre Company, NORPA and ABC TV.

Voice workshops with Adrian Williams-Brett (Stage 5-6)

Students will gain a clear understanding of the different aspects of voice and how they fit together, experience of the power and magic of language and learn a set of voice exercises that form a comprehensive vocal warm-up.
Adrian currently teaches voice for NIDA and the Byron Bay Film and Television School.

Acting Through the Dynamic Body with Caroline Dunphy (Stage 3-6)

Learn vital principles of acting through the foundations of dynamic presence and movement. Caroline has practiced the Suzuki Acting Method of Acting in both Japan and Australia as a senior company member for nearly 20 years and believes in the power and sensibilities of the East in enhancing performance focus, agility and imagination. This workshop consists of energetic individual and group-based exercises based and influenced from renowned director Tadashi Suzuki and improvisational play through movement and text.

Devising Theatre with Caroline Dunphy (stage 3-6)

Collaboration and telling stories with an ensemble voice is an empowering means to making brave theatre. Caroline Dunphy has spent the past few years working in multi-disciplined devised theatre with many of Brisbane’s best independent companies. This workshop integrates  physical and oral storytelling to create multi-disciplined material for performance.

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Work experience

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Work experience at NORPA

For students thinking about a career in the creative industries, a work experience placement with NORPA is a fantastic place to start. Places are limited, and fill up quickly, so get in early.

We offer four week-long work experience opportunities, every year to secondary students keen to explore their potential creative careers. Work experience dates are scheduled at the beginning of each year to align with the company’s creative development periods, rehearsal periods and during the presentation of the season productions, to maximise students’ exposure to the diverse workings of the company and Lismore City Hall.

During their week at NORPA students will experience the internal workings of a professional theatre company and performing arts venue, their days will include working alongside the technical, administrative and creative teams on a variety of projects. NORPA staff are keen to share their love of theatre with young people and can answer questions about how to begin working towards a career in a highly creative, exciting and rewarding industry.

NORPA also offers internship places to support the professional development of artists, producers and theatre technicians.

For more information please contact our Education Coordinator via email at [email protected] or call 1300 066 772.


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Theatre Club

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Our Theatre Club is the perfect way for enthusiastic young theatre lovers from across the Northern Rivers to come together and share an unforgettable experience.

Open to 15-18 years olds, NORPA’s Theatre Club is a year-long program of in-house theatre experiences. Theatre Club Members enjoy:

  • Free tickets to select NORPA season shows
  • Priority access to workshops associated with NORPA season shows
  • Professional experience working behind the scenes on NORPA Productions (Dreamland and Fold: A Domestic Circus)
  • Mentoring opportunities

Theatre Club Members are invited to become part of the NORPA family and help us spread the word about theatre and NORPA in our community, schools and through social media.

We strongly encourage young people who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and young people with disabilities to apply.

how to apply

Open to young people 15-18 years.
Limited places.
Application is essential. Please email our Education Coordinator for details, or apply here.

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