Suzy Sampson is a Youth Theatre tutor at Tim Bray Theatre Company in Takapuna. We asked her about her background and what she loves about tutoring at Tim Bray Theatre Company.
Channel Magazine: Tell us a little about yourself and your background in theatre.
Suzy Sampson: I got my theatre training in London, (RADA and LAPA) and the Stella Adler Academy in New York, and shortly after graduating moved to Sydney where I established my production company and drama workshops for children. I was there two years and then moved with my family to Hong Kong for nine years. I was very involved in acting and directing in Hong Kong before returning home to New Zealand where I produced and directed Western Bay of Plenty’s first open air Shakespeare production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and ‘As You Like It’ followed by an outdoor production of Oscar Wilde’s ‘Importance of Being Earnest’ in Tauranga. Last year I directed Ben Elton’s play ‘Popcorn’ at The Rose Centre in Belmont which received the ACTT Outstanding Production award.
CM: How long have you been a tutor for Tim Bray Theatre Company?
SS: I started tutoring the youth theatre workshops at St Georges after Easter 2019
CM: What is unique about Tim Bray Youth Theatre?
SS: The students at Tim Bray Youth Theatre get to see first-hand how a professional theatre production is staged and have the opportunity to be a part of the show that is presented at The PumpHouse Theatre in each school holidays. Their tutors are professional working actors and we encourage self-confidence and focus. It is an enjoyable way for members to explore their imaginations and to harness and express their creativity.
CM: Do the students put on a show?
SS: The students create a theatre piece (with the help of their tutors) in the third term and this is presented to family and friends on the stage at The PumpHouse or TAPAC.
CM: You have just moved to Takapuna ... What do you like about your new community?
SS: The beaches are amazing and I love being a part of the Harcourts Beach Series at Takapuna Beach on a Tuesday night where I race my paddle board. There are also running and swimming races and sometimes there are up to 600 competitors aged from five years old up to 70 years old – it’s an amazing atmosphere.
CM: Do you have a favourite theatre game you like to play?
SS: Cat and Mouse (also called Streets and Alleys) is a chasing game that needs a lot of players and is really exciting. For smaller groups Grandma’s Keys is good fun and requires stealth and quiet movement.
CM: What do you like most about working for Tim Bray Theatre Company?
SS: It’s a very supportive team that takes very good care of its tutors. It’s open to new ideas and suggestions –the fact that some of my students have been coming to Tim Bray Youth Theatre for seven years is an indication of how valued the company is by parents and students. I am truly grateful to be a part of such a great happy organisation.
Tim Bray Theatre Company
Youth Theatre programmes run all year during term time and school holidays – see www.timbray.org.nz