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Anna Richardson

As her educational philosophy and pedagogy develops, Anna has found a penchant for teaching, watching and directing work with strong political or social messages. 

During her first year of teaching, Anna applied for and was accepted into the very first Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand Teachers Go Global programme. She spent two weeks studying with the world’s leading practitioners in Shakespeare’s work at The Globe in London, rehearsing with the company and performing the role of Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing on the globe stage.

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Theatre allows students to develop empathy, compassion and perspective in a changing world. 
Anna Richardson

From 2006 – 2009, Anna completed her Bachelor of Arts and Post Graduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching at Otago University. She then returned to her hometown Rotorua to take up her first teaching role as Teacher in Charge of Drama at Rotorua Girls’ High School.

Anna joined Epsom Girls’ Grammar School in 2013, where she is the Arts and Cultural Coordinator, the Director of the EGGS/AGS Productions and a Drama teacher. Anna has directed Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, West Side Story and a range of plays such as Club Asylum by John Retallack, On The Upside Down of The World by Arthur Meek and Remain in Light by Stephen Sinclair in her growing repertoire.

In 2018, Anna directed Ragtime with both Epsom Girls’ Grammar School and Auckland Grammar School students, to a sellout season and rave reviews. She also helped to facilitate her Year 13 classes involvement in the workshopping process of a new show by Zanetti Productions called Yes Yes Yes, which is based around consent and healthy relationships. She also writes Education Packs for Auckland Live and is a resource contributor for Drama New Zealand.

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I love helping students come up with ideas and grow these into fully fledged performances. 
What inspired you to become a teacher?

I had really wonderful English, Drama and History teachers who inspired a love of learning. They recognised me as an individual and helped to foster my own sense of creativity. I saw the passion that my teachers instilled in students and how inspiring and fulfilling that could be as a career.

What does a typical day look like for you?

As well as checking in with my teaching content, I begin the day with Arts and Cultural administration and emails. I love getting to work early. I teach around two/three periods a day which are all practical based. You will often find me sitting on the floor or moving around the classroom with my students, co-creating work. My free periods are used for planning or Arts and Cultural administration purposes. After school hours, I often have rehearsals to check in on or run myself.

What do you love most about your job?

I love to help students come up with ideas and help them grow these into fully fledged performances, watching them shape their own opinions and become brave in sharing them. I also enjoy that I get to create work through directing. There is no bigger joy for me than watching something that is imagined in the dream space, be brought to life through our student and teacher talents.

What do you work toward in your free time?

I love going to live theatre and enjoy cultivating relationships with practitioners in the industry. I am a prolific reader and enjoy talking books with my friends. I like to keep fit and healthy by going to the gym and doing activities around Auckland. I am also learning photography in my spare time!

What advice would you give to your past self when you were a student?

To be kind and work to have empathy for those you don’t agree with. To listen more in Maths...I have a complete mental block now.

What advice do you have for current students?

Kindness is the key to success. Trying to see things from another’s point of view will allow you to foster compassion. Intelligence comes in many forms so don’t let anyone make you feel like you’re not worth it.

Describe EGGS in 5 words.

Enthusiasm. Creativity. Passion. Open. Beauty.