Esther van Zyl was born in a seaside town called Gordon's Bay, near Cape Town, South Africa. Her love for theater started when she was in first grade and enrolled in her first after-school drama class, where she felt she had an outlet to freely express her full self.
Hundreds of classes and performances later, she went on to get a BA in Drama and Theatre Studies with Psychology from Stellenbosch University, then moved to New York City to study at the NY Film Academy and pursue her dreams of becoming a professional actress on stage and in film.
A turn of fate planted her in Lyons, Colorado, where babysitting and hosting children’s birthday parties soon turned into creating plays with local kids, and the birth of DraMagic! Theater Group.
Esther is currently studying and practicing the work of Viola Spolin, "creator of theater games, a system of actor training that uses games she devised to organically teach the formal rules of the theater. Her groundbreaking book Improvisation for the Theater transformed American theater and revolutionized the way acting is taught." https://www.violaspolin.org/
Esther is also an ongoing student of Non-Violent Communication (https://www.cnvc.org/), a way of interacting that focuses on deep listening and understanding of ourselves and others, and how to honestly express ourselves and receive others with empathy. She weaves the practice of these skills into her work with children, as she believes developing self-attunement, awareness and the ability to express our feelings and needs is paramount to developing ourselves as actors/creative beings/fully-expressed humans.
DraMagic's motto is "Free Your Full Expression!". This is Esther's wish for anyone she works with, or indeed, connects with in any way - that we all learn to let go of what holds us in, and let our inner Light shine bright!