CHRONOLOGY OF COURSES
Established in 1958 and enrolling its first students in 1959, NIDA has supplied the arts entertainment industry with over 1600 graduates who now work throughout Australia and abroad.
At the time of the School's inauguration in 1959, NIDA had an enrolment of 23 students, two full-time staff and a budget of £10,800 pounds per annum. NIDA was opened for the first day of term on 16 February 1959. A course in Acting was offered.
In 1961, a Production Course was added. Both the Acting and Production Courses were of two years duration. In 1972 both courses were extended to three years of training.
In 1972, a three-year course in Design and a one-year, graduate course in Directing were added.
In 1990, NIDA introduced a two-year Associate Diploma Course in Theatre Crafts. Students specialised in either scenery, properties or costume.
In 1991, NIDA introduced three new courses of one year's duration: a Graduate Diploma in Voice Studies, a Graduate Diploma in Movement Studies and a Graduate Diploma in Production Management.
In 1994, the Bachelor of Dramatic Art replaced the Diploma of Dramatic Art for students of Acting, Technical Production and Design.
In 2001 the Bachelor of Dramatic Art in Production Crafts replaced the Associate Diploma in Theatre Crafts. An Advanced Diploma of Dramatic Art in Scenery Construction was introduced for the first time.
In 2004, a one Year Master of Dramatic Art in three streams, Voice Studies, Movement Studies and Directing was accredited, with a Playwriting Stream accredited in 2006. The first Masters students were enrolled in 2005.
In 2005, the Bachelor of Dramatic Art (Production) replaced the Bachelor of Dramatic Art (Technical Production).
In 2009, the Bachelor of Dramatic Art (Costume) and the Bachelor of Dramatic Art ( Properties) replaced the Bachelor of Dramatic Art (Production Crafts).
CHRONOLOGY OF NIDA ACTIVITIES
Old Tote Theatre
In 1963, NIDA established the Old Tote Theatre Company. In 1969, the Old Tote became an independent organisation based at the Parade Theatre at the University of New South Wales. From 1973 to 1978, the Old Tote was the resident theatre company at the Sydney Opera House and at the Parade Theatre.
Jane Street Theatre
In 1966, NIDA established the Jane Street Season of Australian and classical plays in association with the NIDA Advanced Course, which also began in 1966. The final season took place in 1980, although two Jane Street productions were staged in the Parade Theatre in 1982.
The NIDA Actors Company
Arising from the NIDA Advanced Course, the NIDA Company was established in 1979 with the object of providing professional initiative and commitment to research and development through the provision of artistic opportunities for actors, playwrights, directors, composers and designers who are already working in the industry.
The Open Program
The Open Program began with a successful Summer School in 1990. It was formally established in 1992 to provide community access to NIDA expertise through short courses and workshops in performing arts. It grew to include the National Touring Program, Education Program, Youth Program as well as Corporate Performance, providing training for the business sector. In 2003 Corporate Performance became a separate unit.
The Corporate Performance Program
This program provides executives with access to some of the best voice and movement teachers in Australia in order to give their public presentations a competitive edge. Actor training techniques are used to enhance the performance of business people. Companies may request courses to be specially designed to improve communication between staff and clients
From 1959 to 1969, NIDA was financed by the Commonwealth Government through the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust with the addition of student fees. The University of New South Wales provided financial assistance as well as rent-free buildings and facilities, and the ABC provided training in radio. From 1970 to 1978, the Australia Council provided Commonwealth funds for NIDA. Between 1979 and 1981, NIDA was funded directly by the Commonwealth Department of Education and, in 1982 NIDA's funding was transferred to the then Department of the Arts, Sport, the Environment and Territories. NIDA is now funded through the Office for the Arts, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
DIRECTOR OF NIDA
Ms Lynne Williams was appointed Director and Chief Executive Officer of NIDA in May 2008. In a career spanning nearly 40 years, Ms Williams developed a significant breadth of experience working in government, private and not-for-profit sectors as a cultural entrepreneur and CEO/Artistic Director. Prior to her appointment to NIDA, she managed Culture, Ceremonies and Education with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games. Before this Ms Williams was Chief Executive for Cardiff 2008. She also worked for six years as Artistic Director/Chief Executive of the Eastern Touring Agency, managing arts touring productions across 40 theatres in the East of England. Ms Williams early working experience began in Australia where she was instrumental in setting up a new Music Theatre Company for the Conservatorium of Music in Wollongong and a new Creative Arts faculty for the University of Wollongong where she lectured in performing arts.
PREVIOUS DIRECTORS OF NIDA
1959-1962 Robert Quentin
1963-1968 Tom Brown
1969-2004 John Clark AM
2005-2007 Aubrey Mellor OAM