You know we’re pretty passionate about the creative arts here at We Are Gold Coast, and there’s no doubt there are a tonne of opportunities for people that want to witness those arts in action across the city.
But what happens when you’re a kid and sitting in the audience for a three-hour performance is just a bit too much? Well you take to the stage yourself, of course. That’s exactly what children across the Gold Coast are doing thanks to a bunch of enterprising organisations who offer specific programs for kids hoping to find their feet as performers across a range of disciplines.
With a focus on performance, Gold Coast Choir engages more than a hundred children in rehearsing and performing a diverse repertoire across the Gold Coast. Under the direction of Anthony Phipps – himself a music teacher, tenor and violinist – the choir formed in 2014 with the goal of giving kids the chance to perform at the Commonwealth Games. Now with that goal ticked off the list and scores of other public performances under their belt, the choir is recruiting new kids with rehearsals taking place weekly at Helensvale and Mermaid Beach. And there’s a big focus on learning through play – especially for the five to seven year olds.
“I find the more I can teach through games, the more students are learning specific concepts I set out to achieve,” said Anthony. “Making it fun removes inhibition and boredom that can be associated with rote learning.”
The Gold Coast Choir has a repertoire far beyond most other choirs, from contemporary pop and rock songs through to Broadway classics, and it’s that diversity that sets the choir apart from others. There’s also the fact that rehearsals are open to parents, that children of all ages are invited to perform solos and engage at their own level and that there is a significant focus on public performance outside of competitions and eisteddfods.
Where: Mermaid Beach (Thursday afternoons) or Helensvale (Friday afternoons)
Cost: approximately $150 per term
Celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2015, Gold Coast’s Spotlight Theatrical Company, which started life as the South Coast Revue Company, has a permanent home in Benowa and is a much-loved institution. Since forming, Spotlight has become one of the leading amateur theatrical producers in Australia, catering for both adult and youth theatre as well as popular music theatre. The company’s youth theatre program teaches theatre and drama skills in the first three terms with a focus on a performance in the fourth term and 90 minute classes are held every week of term. All school-aged kids are catered for with a young adults program now also catering for those aged up to 21.
Where: Spotlight Theatre is located on Ashmore Road, Benowa.
Cost: approximately $215 per term
This theatre academy has been teaching Gold Coast kids for more than 20 years. And organiser Kellie Rossiter says it’s always been about making sure children have the chance to shine. There are term-based theatre classes as well as holiday programming which mimic summer camps in other countries. Holiday workshops, which take place in Ashmore and run for three consecutive days focus on acting, dancing and singing and the term classes which run for one hour each week see students learn all aspects of drama and performing with performance opportunities including eisteddfods and school fetes.
Where: Guardian Angels Primary School, Ashmore
Cost: $110 (holiday program) to $165 (term program)
HOTA, Home of the Arts extends its programming from the gallery and the stage to offer hands-on art experiences for children. During their ‘Let There Be Rock’ exhibition there were opportunities for kids to make rock wigs, learn air guitar and workshop with the guys from Regurgitator. During Gold Coast Film Festival children learn to shoot – on film or video, create star portraits, and act. There are artlab events constantly on offer at HOTA, catering to kids of all ages – during term as well as school holidays. And they’re usually one-off events that require little commitment or prep. Winning!
Where: HOTA, Home of the Arts, Bundall
This theatre company for children and young people offer world leading drama classes created by celebrated teachers and industry professionals with years of experience. The theatre company is highly regarded by arts workers across the Gold Coast for developing youth theatre and cultural development projects and has a proud tradition of creating daring, challenging and transformative new works with young people front and centre. There are three programs for young people on the Gold Coast. Billy Goats is for three to five year olds, which focuses on the power of play. Goat Track Kids is for primary school aged children and it focuses on confidence, creativity, connection and self-care while delivering excellence in drama. And Fast Track is for 12 – 17 year olds with a focus on learning through doing production-based work.
Where: Goat Track Theatre has its own theatre space in North Tamborine but drama classes are also held at Helensvale, Robina, Ormeau and Tugun.
Quite simply, the Youth Music Venture teaches young musicians how to play in a band. For free! The 12-week program (spread over four months) puts 13-18 year olds into bands, readying them for all things music before they perform on stage at an annual showcase. With an intake in May and a focus on youth in the Palm Beach, Burleigh, Elanora, Robina, Currumbin and Coolangatta catchments, four to six bands are established based on performance ability and interests and each Sunday (apart from school holidays), they meet at Palm Beach to rehearse.
Where: Palm Beach Scout Hall
How much: free