What's in the Canvas Bag?

A viking helmet? A mermaid tail woven from fragments of storm cloud? Or a silver hammer that an elf once used to make a teeny tiny pair of shoes?

Children reach into their imaginations at Canvas Bag Drama School and are able to use what they find, to create, visit and experience vivid storytelling worlds of the past, present and future.

Our classes combine a structured fun-filled social environment with extensive use of improvisation and role-play to develop positive feelings of self worth and the ability to confidently express thoughts and feelings.

Our classes are intense, energetic and move at a fast pace. They are designed to generate enthusiasm and initiative through various games and skill based tasks.

We use costumes, props and musical instruments as tools; students love using all these resources to experiment and create their own stories.

All this leads to Canvas Bag Theatre, the annual public performance.

There’s always lots of laughter and lots of fun in a Canvas Bag drama class and for many students it is the highlight of the week!

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Where to find us

The main Merivale Campus operates in Merivale, Christchurch, New Zealand, on the grounds of Rangi Ruru School. We also have a campus in South Brighton and a campus in Halswell.

About us

Canvas Bag Drama (formerly Mozarts Drama School), began in 1995.

It was established by educator and writer Felicity Williams, to provide children and young people with a high quality after school activity that developed inquiry, creativity and imagination. And it also had to be fun!

In 2016 we renamed and rebranded to become Canvas Bag Drama. Our classes are held in The Theatre, on the grounds of Rangi Ruru High School, Merivale, Christchurch. In 2017 we opened a satellite campus in South Brighton and in 2018 we did the same in Halswell.

Over the last 20 years we have been privileged to see hundreds of children and teenagers benefit from our classes which embrace the full spectrum of performing arts.

Here’s a snapshot of what we cover:

Term 1 – voice and movement techniques, scene study and improvisation are a key focus.

Term 2 – concentrates on storytelling, characterisation and devising an original script for our public performances in September.

Term 3 – we offer Canvas Bag Theatre - rigorous rehearsal and performance curriculum.

Term 4 – we hone in on television and media as a way of further developing presentation and storytelling skills. We also focus on comedy and absurdist theatre.