Theatre workshops: musical theatre, drama and singing at Helderberg Academy of Theatre (HAT), Playhouse Theatre in Somerset West, South April 2021

What: Musical theatre, drama and singing workshops, presented by Helderberg Academy of Theatre (HAT) Where: Playhouse Theatre in Somerset West When: April 2021, South African government school holidays- April 28 and 29 Ages: Grade 3 and up Price of workshops: R150-R350 – see posters Info: Bryoni Currin at or WhatsApp 0735510698 Other info: HAT runs classes throughout the year, on Mondays  

The 75 year old Playhouse Theatre in Somerset West has re-opened with shows back-on-stage. The community theatre is also the home of Helderberg Academy of Theatre (HAT). The academy has announced an exciting programme of workshops, to take place during the government school holidays: Wednesday April 28 – Musical Theatre Skills using Frozen (Grade R – 3); The Lion King (grade 4 – 7) and Cats (Grade 8 +). There is also a Musical Theatre Dance option focusing on Chicago. Thursday April 29 – Vocal Singing Skills, Acting Techniques and Musical Theatre Dance (repeat of Chicago).

HAT was initiated by Playhouse chair and director Darryl Spijkers and musical director and performer Jon-Paul Ruschenbaum. Throughout the year, there are ongoing classes at The Playhouse on Mondays – drama, singing and musical theatre. Classes are for suited for all ages – young children, teens and adults. Almost 70 students attend the weekly classes. The HAT holiday workshops are reasonably priced- R150 to R350 – a lot less than is being charged by some other academies.  Students learn valuable drama and musical skills. They get insight into auditioning and developing other areas of their practice. The two directors have over four decades of experience and go out of their way to assist students who are interested in a career in theatre and going forward in these uncertain times, with the tools to pivot from on-stage to the digital stage.  In 2020, Darryl Spijkers presented The Playhouse High School Drama Festival as an online festival. For the 2021 festival, he has created a hybrid model – combining on-stage with online as a backup. The show must and is going on, during Rona, with these two veteran theatre makers who are dedicated to community theatre. During Rona, community theatre is a vital incubator for upskilling. The workshops offer the opportunity to learn on the boards – from renowned Broadway/West End musicals. It is probably going to take some time, before we see big musicals back-on-stage in Cape Town and the HAT workshops provide access to these musicals for students. “The great thing about having an academy in Somerset West where children from age six can start learning about the theatre, is that they do not need to travel all the way to Cape Town. Talented individuals who do audition for the prestigious theatre schools will only be stronger and better developed once they have attended HAT,” explains vocal coach Jon-Paul Ruschenbaum.

Helderberg Academy of Theatre (HAT)  

Facebook: Playhouse Theatre in Somerset West website: Info: Bryoni Currin at or WhatsApp 0735510698  

Joseph: the 2019 production at the Playhouse.

*Sponsored content. Featured image on this post: Paul Ruschenbaum and the cast of Joseph in the 2019 production at the Playhouse.