Class Information

We have classes available at our Merivale Campus, our South Brighton Campus and our Halswell Campus.

Sign Up

To sign up, please email us and tell us the name and age of your child and your choice of class.

Merivale Classes:

South Brighton Classes:

Halswell Classes:

We try to respond within 24 hours and let you know availability.

We acknowledge that parents may need, for ease of transport, to have two children of different ages in the same class. Where individual ages of children are spread across two classes we generally can accommodate this by putting them both in the older class. This only works between classes one step up. Talk to us and we can offer suggestions, or trial a combination that works.

Canvas Bag Drama School offers a non-obligation one class trial. Please ring or email to book your space and complete an enrolment form upon arrival. We appreciate your courtesy in confirming a permanent enrolment or not, within 24 hours of the trial class.

For more detailed information about our conditions of attendance and policies, please review the Parent Information.

2024 Calendar

Terms are usually 9 weeks. We are closed on statutory holidays.

Term 1
5th February - 9th April
Term 2
29th April - 1st July
Term 3
22nd July - 19th September
Term 4
14th October - 9th December

Holiday Workshops

Canvas Bag Drama school run 2-3 day holidays workshops in collaboration with the Isaac Theatre Royal.

Workshops are age ranked: 7-9 years, 10-12 years and 13-17 years.

These workshops are designed to challenge children and teenagers with new ideas about acting and performance. Students will immerse themselves in a fun social environment and learn improvisation skills through a selection of high energy and fun games. They will dabble in musical theatre including voice work and contemporary choreography in the beautiful surroundings of the majestic Isaac Theatre Royal.

The workshop will take place over three days culminating in a showcase of what the students have been working on, performed on the Isaac Theatre Royal stage!

Students need to supply energy, a willingness to learn, and bundles of imagination!

Details of all workshops are on the Isaac Theatre Royal webpage approximately four weeks ahead of the workshop and online bookings can be made directly from the web page.


OWNER AND DIRECTOR Felicity Williams, BMus (Hons), LTCL, LRSM, Dip Tchg

Felicity believes that imaginative games are the catalyst for the intellectual and emotional growth of children and to this end, she develops and participates extensively in children’s play patterns while teaching drama classes at Canvas Bag Drama School. She considers her work with children to be a privileged joyful interplay, and loves to see children, through the dramatic play she provides, move effortlessly between a real world and an imagined one.

Felicity has an Honours Degree in Composition from the University of Canterbury.

Harry Lawrence, Assistant Director Canvas Bag Drama School, B.Sc. (Hons)

Harry is an actor/director/playwright who has been in performing arts circles by the time he could talk. Originally from Swansea (Wales), Harry has been involved in a wide variety on theatre disciplines including musical theatre, improvisation, physical theatre and puppetry and has toured with Creature Encounter, an internationally acclaimed street theatre puppetry group. Since moving to Christchurch Harry now runs the Hwyl Theatre Company with his partner Emma which provides original theatrical productions across the South Island.

Gina Fowler, Owner and Director of South Brighton Campus, ASB NZ Speech Board

Gina has been teaching speech, creative drama and singing for the past twenty years. She is presently completing her licentiate diploma in Speech and Drama with the New Zealand Speech Board and her associate and licentiate diplomas with St Cecilia’s School of Music in voice. Gina is a member of the institute of Registered Music Teachers and is able to incorporate the love of drama and music to bring plenty of creativity to the classroom. Gina is inspired by how drama encourages confidence, creativity and courage. She works with all ages, encouraging her students to be fully involved in all aspects of the drama experience.

Annabel Brodie, Dip Perf Arts

Annabel trained at Excel School of Performing Arts in Auckland in 2005 and then for the successive 2 years, at Hagley Theatre Company in Christchurch. Annabel brings energy and excitement to her drama workshops and loves bringing out imagination and creativity in children. She is currently completing her Batchelor’s degree in Education at Canterbury University.

Caitlyn O'Rouke

Caitlyn began her theatre training with Harlequin Players, and later joined Riccarton Players, appearing on stage in a variety of roles. She is an accomplished singer, and was part of the specialist music programme at Burnside where she sang in the Bel Canto choir. She has worked as a director at Canterbury University in Musoc and Dramasoc productions, and led improvisation workshops with SayWhat.

Caitlyn enjoys weaving technical knowledge of the voice and body with artistic endeavours. She believes that improvisation has played a key role in her development as not just a performer but a person, and is passionate about making this form of play available to anyone wanting to flourish.

Caitlyn is currently working towards a degree in psychology at the University of Canterbury. She is extremely passionate about making theatre accessible for all.

Josiah Morgan

Josiah believes that involvement with the arts is a journey of constant learning, central to his belief system as an artist is openness, honesty and punctuality. He is an author of poetry and prose; with his first book coming out in 2019 and his second scheduled for release in late 2020. Josiah’s practice has embraced amateur theatre, combined with the occasional professional or semi-professional role. Currently he is studying towards a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Anthropology – fuelled by a keen interest in people and what makes them tick.

Andrew Gilbert, B.Sc. Dip CHPsy

Andrew has a keen interest in improvisation, and encourages imagination and quick thinking within conventional storytelling structure, and improvisation itself. As a deep appreciator of storytelling, Andrew encourages his students to find the patterns within all stories, and to understand the rules of regular storytelling so that they may be broken in interesting ways!

Currently pursuing a Masters in Child and Family Psychology, Andrew's focus is on the students; their growth, learning and fun. But Andrew is no slouch in the performing arts; as a classically trained singer with many plays and musicals under his belt, he is ready to impart his knowledge effectively. His teaching is characterised by empathy and humour.