Nickie Hughes

Theatre teaches multiple skills

by Mike Isle

A young UK-born actor is using her theatrical experience and skills to instil among Selwyn’s young people a sense of confidence and self-assurance.

Nickie Hughes started her drama teaching experience in the United Kingdom and since moving to New Zealand in 2016, has been producing drama workshops in Queenstown and Rolleston.

The workshops are for five to 15-year-olds and are aimed at increasing their self-esteem, confidence and teamwork. Other benefits include developing public-speaking and organisational skills.

Hughes said her company, Play! Drama Workshop focusses on the growth and personal development of children through play and fun.

“It allows them to create and inspire their own ideas in a drama workshop environment. That’s why my company is called Play! Drama workshops. It’s about how play and drama can result in much more than an extra grade or an exam,” she said.

“My mission is to allow children to have fun in a safe, supportive, creative environment, thus allowing them to develop their confidence and self-esteem through the medium of drama.”

Hughes recalls watching a regular participant in one of her workshops delivering her lines on stage with confidence and character, despite just two years earlier being so nervous because of her dyslexia she could neither learn nor remember her lines.

“Memories like that happen regularly in my work, where I am shown how the power of theatre and the dramatic arts can allow children to grow personally in confidence and self-esteem.”

There is a special one-day course, Make a Play in a Day, at the Rolleston Community Centre on Tuesday, April 23. Numbers are limited to 16. For details contact