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Studying at Hagley Theatre Company

The course that has evolved over the years is based on the tutors' practical experience in the business of performing. Whilst there is a large component of study to undertake, the majority of workshops will be of a practical nature and require the student to have self-drive and initiative. The skills developed in the practical class workshops will be put into practice through our extensive performance programme.

Unlike many training institutions all of our students are eligible for onstage roles through auditions that are held for all major seasons.

As a post-secondary, pre-tertiary course of study, all applicants must be ages 18+ with positions in our first year intake dependent on the number of students returning for a second year of study. Usually there are 18-22 positions available with applications normally opening August/September for the following academic year.

HTC Film student

Year One


Entry to Year One is by application, interview and audition.

Students who successfully complete all core subjects will be awarded a Certificate in Performing Arts (Hagley College). First Year students have six core subjects:

  • Acting

  • Physical Theatre

  • Dance

  • Script-writing

  • Film and Television

  • Voice


Course Fees:

$200 (under 19)

$1200 (19 +)

For international fees, please enquire


Enrollment fee:

MOE funded (under 19)

$220 (19 +)


Year Two

Entry to Year Two is by application and interview. Students who successfully complete all core subjects will be awarded a Certificate in Performing Arts (Hagley College). 

Course Fee: Maximum $1,400 for domestic students, depends on age. International fees apply for overseas students. College Enrollment Fee: max. $220. Fees include all tuition plus Hagley Theatre Company merchandise and makeup supplies. Additional costs apply for international students and those wishing to claim NZQA credits. Fees must be paid at the beginning of each academic year.

Second Year students have six core subjects:

  • Acting

  • Physical Theatre

  • Dance

  • Stage Direction

  • Film and Television

  • Voice

Additional modules are scheduled depending on tutor availability and schedule.

  • Make Up

  • Viewpoints

  • Classical Studies

  • Musical Theatre 

Classes and rehearsals are timetabled until 4:00pm, except for Monday and Wednesday when classes finish at 2:45pm. Rehearsals for our major seasons are held during the day though some weekend and holiday rehearsals may be scheduled. Our main performance seasons are 8 nights in length, including an evening dress rehearsal.

Performance Opportunities

All students are involved in our performance seasons which are cast through audition. Those who are unsuccessful in securing onstage roles are expected to assist with production tasks such as lighting and sound operation, sourcing and stage management. In addition to our major seasons there are a number of other live and filmed activities students will be able to participate in. Some options are our Scene + performances, theatre for children and dance seasons. We work closely with ARA and their film students and tutors - various opportunities exist to be involved with their projects. In 2021, one of our students featured in a music video that was shot by our Acting for Screen tutor, filmmaker Richard Bell for NZ band Gramsci.

HAGLEY DANCE PROJECT: Want to study dance part time? Check out the Hagley Dance Project!


Gareth Reeves.jpg

Hagley was such an incredible hands on experience. The opportunity to try my hand at so many aspects of performance art was invaluable to me finding my path forward and building my courage.

-Gareth Reeves

Actor, HTC alumni (1996)


Hagley Theatre Company is a self-contained, independent training and performance programme attached to Hagley College in Ōtautahi Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand. In 2023, the Company celebrated 35 years of providing expert, hands-on tuition and contemporary performance experiences to young people from all over the country.

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