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National Youth Drama School welcomes new Artistic Director

02 May 2023
NYDS is pleased to announce the appointment of Ben Fagan as its new Artistic Director.

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National Youth Drama School
May 2, 2023

Taiohi Whakaari ā-Motu: NYDS (National Youth Drama School) is pleased to announce the appointment of Ben Fagan as its new Artistic Director.

Ben Fagan is no stranger to NYDS, having been a former student before he became a tutor, assistant Artistic Director and Chairperson of the Board. He has established himself as a talented and accomplished poet, having worked extensively in performance poetry both nationally and internationally. 

He has worked with London Film and Comic Con, Apples and Snakes, NZ Fringe, NZ Poetry Slam, and is a part of the team behind Choirs Aotearoa NZ. Ben also co-founded Motif Poetry, a charitable trust dedicated to teaching and producing live poetry in Aotearoa, which now runs annual events in Dunedin, Wellington, Hawke’s Bay, and Tauranga.

"I am absolutely thrilled to be taking on the role of Artistic Director at NYDS. As a former student, I know firsthand the transformative power of NYDS in nurturing young talent and fostering a sense of belonging. I am excited to continue this legacy of inclusivity, and to work with the NYDS whānau to create unforgettable experiences for our rangatahi creatives,” Ben said.

The appointment of Ben Fagan comes as outgoing Artistic Director, Claire Keys, steps down after 14 years in the role. 

“The past 14 years have been marked by Claire’s hard work, thoughtful programming, and commitment to NYDS's core values, and we are immensely grateful for her contributions.

“On behalf of the NYDS Board and staff, we warmly welcome Ben Fagan and look forward to working with him to continue NYDS's legacy as we enter a new era,” NYDS chairperson, Faafouina Patisolo said.


For further information, please contact:

Rachael Blampied, media spokesperson & Board member
+64 21 729 789