Youth Ensemble

The NORPA Youth Ensemble is for young people with an interest in or curiosity for any of the elements of live performance making from music creation to acting to visual design and everything in between. The Youth Ensemble will meet regularly to learn skills and techniques in acting, physical theatre, voice, writing for stage and character development.

If you are aged 14–21 years old and want to dive into theatre making, this course runs throughout the year and culminates in a major Youth Ensemble production made and performed on the NORPA stage!

This exciting project has a dual focus – performance training and theatre making. The Group, alongside experienced theatre practitioners and teachers Noa Rotem and Kate McDowell, will meet every Thursday from 4:30-6:30 pm at the Clunes Hall to develop ensemble performance skills utilising the whole body and the full force of their creative minds.

Ensemble members will explore the use of heightened physicality and responsiveness to one another in improvisation, the creation of a ‘group body’ which allows individuals to have a felt sense of the bigger picture on stage and their ways of belonging/contributing to it, and gain capacity to build visual metaphors and imagery. Other skills developed will include:

NORPA is interested in who you are as a young person and your place in the community. We invite you as a creative thinker who may or may not have had previous training.

The project, in its approach to building a performance ensemble, will be unpacking the ideas of ‘YOU’ being in a position of power. The NORPA Youth Ensemble is a space where you, your ideas, and what you care about matter.

Program & Dates:

Thursdays from 4:30-6:30 pm at the Clunes Hall

Term 1:
March 3rd- April 7th (6 weeks)
Physical principles of performance training

Term 2:
April 28th – June 30th (10 weeks)
From text into physical play
Research through practice: learning conventions for devised theatre-making including working from existing text

Term 3:
July 21st – Sept 22nd (10 weeks) plus an overnight theatrical adventure (23 and 24 July)
Theatre making
Building blocks for the production – scenes and movement sequences, music and set design.

Term 3 School Holidays:
Saturday Oct 1st until Friday Oct 7th
1-week intensive rehearsals plus show at NORPA Lismore City Hall

For ages:

14–21 years


Pay in 4 instalments:
term 1 $160
term 2 $160
term 3 $160
holiday rehearsal /production $380
Total payment at end of program = $860

OR pay upfront:
$820 (5% discount)

$100 Creative Kids Vouchers from NSW Government can be used for this program


Facilitators: Kate McDowell & Noa Rotem

Kate McDowell

Kate McDowell is a Writer & Performer based in Lennox Head, who collaborates with diverse artists at home and abroad. She holds an MFA from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA). Kate is Artistic Associate for Sprung! Dance Theatre, and NORPA Associate Artist. For NORPA Kate was Writer/Deviser performer for Into The Forest, Researcher and Story Developer for Wildskin, Assistant Director/Stage Manager for Dreamland and Design Assistant for Journey To an Unnamed World. In 2018 Kate’s full-length site-based solo work Wonderbabes premiered with NORPA and the Lismore Quadrangle, supported by Lismore City Council and Southern Cross University and as a satellite event of the Byron Bay Writers Festival. Kate is Director for the remount of French Cafe by the Sprung! Ensemble for the NORPA 2022 Season.

Noa Rotem

Noa Rotem is a director, performer and teacher. She has worked and trained extensively in Australia and overseas with companies such as The Human Theatre, The Danger Ensemble, Little Dove Theatre Art and Anne Bogart’s SITI Company (NYC). She is co-founder of MaKom Collective (based in the Northern Rivers), and is a graduate of the Soma School of BodyMind Centering ® (Paris), HaKvutzah School of Dance (Tel Aviv), the University of Sydney and of the Actor’s College. Noa’s performance credits include ERA (NORPA/ MaKom Collective, 2021), Intimacy (BelcoArts, Canberra 2020), Little Dove Theatre Arts’ Evangeline(2019 &2015), Cordelia (2011), Six Women Standing in Front of A White Wall (2006 & 2007); La Boite Independents’ The Hamlet Apocalypse (2011), La Voix Humaine (2012); Big Love (NYC 2009); Zen Zen Zo’s Dracula (2007) and SCW1 (2006). Noa has directed a wide range of plays, often with and for young people. These include Medea (Brisbane, 2019), Life is elsewhere (Hong Kong, 2015), Maktub (Hong Kong 2014), The Odyssey (Hong Kong, 2013), Ninety-nine (Hong Kong, 2012), Chang Boils The Sea (Hong Kong, 2011), The Courage Project (Hong Kong, 2010), A Christmas Carol (Hong Kong, 2009)