18 Jun 2010

National drama school turns 40

7:59 pm on 18 June 2010

Two generations of New Zealand's top actors have trained at Toi Whakaari, the New Zealand Drama School, which celebrates its 40th anniversary on Friday night.

From humble beginnings, with nine students in a small studio in Wellington, the school now has 700 graduates and a budget of $1.5 million.

In 1970, it was known as the New Theatre Arts Council Interim Training School.

Graduates include Darien Takle, Rawiri Paratene, Robyn Malcolm, David Geary, Cliff Curtis, Michael Galvin and Kerry Fox.

Director Annie Ruth says a post-graduate teaching qualification could be introduced as early as 2012.

A book commemorating Toi Whakaari's first four decades will be published in October.