Acting Up – A Guide To Melbourne’s Best Drama Classes For Kids

By: Claire Halliday, ellaslist

Having the confidence to perform and pretend in front of others is an amazing skill for any child to have and if yours spend their time rifling through the dress-up tub and keeping you entertained with shows they create, you might just have an actor-in-the-making on your hands.
So, what to do? Sending them off to drama classes is a great idea. Even if they end up as a rocket scientist, or a sales person, the skills they learn in acting classes will set them up to be someone who can think on the spot and can handle public speaking – and they’ll have heaps of fun at the same time.
No matter where you live, there are lots of classes that help kids draw out their inner creativity and give them opportunities to perform. Here are some of the best kids’ drama classes in Melbourne.

1. Victorian Youth Theatre (VYT)

The age group aimed at here is 8-18 years old and the program is a mix of weekly tuition and twice-yearly performance seasons. Entry level students kick off their acting lessons with one class that runs between 90-120 minutes but as they progress – or if they show incredible talent – they are moved through different levels and can attend two back-to-back classes each week (with the second class also running between 90-120 minutes).
As part of Stage School Australia, VYT sticks to the straight acting offering, with Young Australian Broadway Chorus (YABC) open to kids who love singing and dancing too. New Beginners On Stage classes that cater for 4-5 year olds are now also on the timetable in some venues.
The students who attend are a mix of serious wanna-be actors to kids who just want to try treading the boards for some fun. Because the school is linked with a talent agency, it has some good opportunities for kids to chase their performing dreams and have a shot at auditioning for TV, film or theatre roles.
It’s worth reading all those emails you get sent once you join the mailing list. There is regular news about auditions for special musical theatre productions and with some hard work and confidence, your kids might discover a life-long passion for performing.

What You Need To Know

Phone: 8199 8344
Address: Venues across the inner and outer suburbs, put VYT training in the hands of young people across Melbourne. Details of all the locations and what classes are available there are listed on the website.
More information: visit the website

2. Youth Drama Program – National Theatre Drama School

There are multiple classes available here. You might prefer Saturday or after school to suit your child’s schedule best and during school holidays there are always intensive programs to try out too.
Some children have their sights on stage performance. Others dream about the big screen. This program has classes that cater for both acting streams, as well as musical theatre classes, too.

What You Need To Know

Post-high school and for mature age students, the National Theatre operates a full-time and part-time drama school, too.
Phone: 20 Carlisle Street, St Kilda
Address: 9534 0223
The Reel Thing – Acting for Camera (aged 9-11) 1.5-hour weekly class $260 per term
The Reel Thing – Acting for Camera (aged 12-14 and 14-17) 2-hour weekly class $330 per term
Various Theatre Craft –focused classes operate with similar pricing (details on the website)
More information: visit the website

3. St Martins Youth Arts Centre

This place has a fine artistic tradition of breeding some very talented performers. Noah Taylor and Nicole Kidman are just a couple of the well-known actors who did some training here.
Acting classes are delivered in three age groups – 5-8 year olds, 9-12 and 13-17.
For the younger crowd, the workshops aim to harness imagination into creative play. And older children? They have a more serious focus to work on ensemble development, including body, voice and text, to produce a showcase of devised work to perform for an audience of friends and family.
During the school holidays, there are always intensive workshops on offer too – but get in fast because it’s a popular school with a solid reputation that’s been built over decades.

What You Need To Know

Workshop classes – both after-school and on Saturdays – are offered at the South Yarra venue, as well as at the Northcote Town Hall.
Phone: 9867 2477
Address: (Head office) 28 St Martins Lane, South Yarra
More information: visit the website


It’s one of the most prestigious acting schools in Australia and for several years now, NIDA has extended beyond its full-time Sydney acting course for adults to offer a range of ongoing part-time workshops and classes for children, as well as regular school holiday programs.
Your child can choose from a range of classes, including acting for screen and acting for the stage, as well as various acting-related writing and production-focused classes.
Some of the workshops are audition-based, while others are open to anyone keen to explore drama as a way to unleash their own creativity. There are different age-based options that start from kindergarten age, right through to adults.

What You Need To Know

Phone: 1300 450 417
Email: [email protected]
More information: visit the website

5. Young Bard Studio

Love Shakespeare? Want to know more about one of the world’s finest playwrights?
The Young Bards program of acting workshops helps children unleash their inner actor by delving into the wonderful world of Shakespeare.
The Young Bard Studio has after-school classes, artist in residence workshops, camps and regular intensive school holiday workshops, where kids learn the basics of stagecraft, improvisation and scripted performance. Classes are delivered in 10-week sessions and the experience ends with the chance to perform in front of parents.

What You Need To Know

Email: [email protected]
More information: visit the website





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