• Acting
  • Acting
  • Acting

Acting

The three-year full-time Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting) is designed to provide students with skills and knowledge to work across theatre, film and television.

In addition to learning voice, movement and music skills, students are introduced to a variety of acting methods and encouraged to develop their own individual approach.

Following in the footsteps of alumni Cate Blanchett, Sam Worthington, Hugo Weaving, Shari Sebbens and Ryan Corr, students showcase their learning in productions and performances throughout the duration of the course.

In the second and third years, students undertake study in one of three Studio Electives: Music Theatre, Applied Theatre, or Physical Theatre.

NIDA lecturers are leaders in the arts and entertainment industries, both nationally and internationally. Students have the opportunity to interact with the profession and develop important contacts in their field.

Want to know more about this course? Jeff Janisheski, Head of Acting and Di Drew, Head of Screen explains. 

     


APPLY ONLINE

CONTACT NIDA


Course structure

Course dates and times 

2015 Course dates

SEMESTER 1

Term 1: 27 January – 3 April
Mid Semester Break: 4 April – 19 April
Term 2: 20 April – 26 June
Mid Year Break: 27 June – 12 July

SEMESTER 2

Term 3: 13 July – 23 August
Mid Semester Break: 24 August – 30 August  
Term 4: 31 August – 30 October
The semester continues until early December for those involved in the Directors’ productions. 

Course contact hours

Students are at NIDA from 9am to 6pm from Monday to Friday. During production terms students may also be required for rehearsals after hours and on weekends.

Additional time also needs to be allocated to library work, research, preparation for classes and private study. For this reason it is difficult for NIDA students to maintain regular part-time jobs. Studying at NIDA is a big commitment so students need to manage their time and resources carefully. 

Subjects

First year

Acting Studio

SEMESTER ONE 

ACT7101A ACTING STUDIO (30 credit points) 

This subject introduces students to the theoretical, technical and practical foundations of acting, voice, movement and music for the professional actor. It aims to cultivate the uniqueness of self to reveal and release habitual physical patterns that impede effective communication. Technical cognizance coupled with knowledge and critical awareness of self will aid the actor in making imaginative connections to body, sound, words, emotion, and the creative world of stage and screen. The subject begins the process of cultivating the technical craft required of the individual actor, releasing imagination and creativity within a developing ensemble. Self-discipline and awareness are developed through practical experiential exercise with classes examining particular theatrical and screen forms, individual and group research, vocal, physical and music training. 

SEMESTER TWO

ACT7101B ACTING STUDIO (30 credit points)

This subject further engages with the theoretical, technical and practical fundamentals (acting, voice, movement and music) for effective communication for the professional actor. It aims to continue the process of unlocking habitual physical patterns that impede self-expression, individualism and creativity, and, through the exploration of the principles of voice, body and music, release and reveal textual and physical constructs (i.e. ownership of language, form and structure of verse, rhythm, length of words and imagery). The embodiment of technical facility and flexibility, coupled with knowledge and critical awareness of self, will aid the actor in making imaginative connections to words, emotion, and the creative world of stage and screen. The subject solidifies the personal technical craft of the individual actor, releasing the individuals’ imaginative response within an ensemble. Classes examine particular theatrical and screen forms, individual and group research, vocal, physical and music training.

Acting Interdisciplinary Collaboration

SEMESTER ONE 

ACT7102A ACTING INTERDISCIPLINARY COLLABORATION (15 credit points)

This subject offers students with the opportunity to engage with theories and techniques that encourage creative collaborative stagecraft and performance practice for the actor. The subject aims to support and transfer technical proficiency discovered in the Acting Studio subject enabling and revealing cognisance of self (self-awareness) within/through a text or non-text based collaborative performance context. Through the interface with collaborative theatre practice and the rehearsal process students acquire an appreciation of the roles and responsibilities that inform theatrical production and actively contribute and participate in the forming of a creative ensemble. Classes examine particular theatrical constructs, as well as individual and group research for collaborative in-house performance outcomes.

SEMESTER TWO

ACT7102B ACTING INTERDISCIPLINARY COLLABORATION (15 credit points)

This subject requires the transference of theoretical, technical and practical skills acquired to collaborative performance practice for the screen actor. The subject enables students to further acquire an informed cognisance of self towards self-actualisation within/through text and/or non-text based cooperative production contexts. The subject places an emphasis on the individual actor’s aptitude for self-expression within collaborative rehearsal and production processes in theatre and screen. Students will acquire a detailed and practical understanding of the roles and responsibilities that inform stage and screen production, and actively participate and engage creatively and imaginatively within an ensemble for stage and/or screen production. Classes and rehearsals examine particular theatrical and screen forms, as well as individual and group research.

Performance and Ideas

SEMESTER ONE

COM7101A PERFORMANCE AND IDEAS (10 credit points)

This subject investigates six different play texts to create a trans-historical understanding of the tragic form and the ideas that have influenced tragedy across the centuries.

Students interrogate three main questions:

  • What is tragedy?
  • In what way has innovation in the tragic forms sprung out of a tradition of practices?
  • In what way does this tradition influence our meaning making and practice today?

Students investigate these questions within the broader context of the ‘world views’ through which we can examine tragedy critically, the responses that these ‘world views’ have provoked to tragedy, the way we have responded to them artistically, and what tragedy can teach us about ourselves and about society.

SEMESTER TWO

COM7101B PERFORMANCE AND IDEAS (10 credit points)

This subject’s focus is on comic forms and intercultural analysis. It investigates five different play texts to create a framework of understanding of the comic form and the ideas that have influenced comedy across the centuries, in particular interculturalism.

Students consider three main questions:

  • What is comedy?
  • In what way has innovation in the comic forms sprung out of a tradition of practices?
  • In what way does this tradition influence our meaning making and our practice today?
The subject sets these questions within a broad sociological and historical context and provokes students to reflect on the impact of comedy in the theatre and in wider society

Introduction to Collaboration

SEMESTER ONE

COM7102A INTRODUCTION TO COLLABORATION (5 credit points)

The focus of Introduction to Collaboration is the theory and practice of collaboration.

This subject introduces students to the principles of collaboration, which includes defining collaboration and creativity and examining how ethics, values and behaviours of collaboration are generated. Students investigate notions of ownership, agreement, creative conflict and how to generate ideas and create innovative practice.

This subject provides a theoretical, conceptual and practical scaffold for other BFA subjects including Student-led Projects and Interdisciplinary Collaboration.

SEMESTER TWO

COM7102B INTRODUCTION TO COLLABORATION (5 credit points)

This subject builds upon the principles of collaboration, skills and conceptual tasks featured in the previous semester. The concepts previously explored are now realised through practice in a group collaborative project. These small cross cohort collaborations are supervised and mentored. They have strategies and articulated milestones for the collaboration built into the conceptual plan so that students remain accountable to the learning outcomes of the subject.

Second year

Acting Studio

SEMESTER ONE

ACT7201A ACTING STUDIO (30 credit points)

In this subject, particular emphasis is placed on the interaction between the imaginative, theoretical, technical and practical skills of acting, voice, movement and music for the actor. It has a particular focus on the application and integration of technical facility and creative expression to reveal character. It is linked specifically to the exploration of complex text and language (classical dramatic, heightened verse and prose), physicality, voice and speech (such as accents and dialects) as well as the engagement with three Studio Electives - Music Theatre, Applied Theatre, and Physical Theatre. In the elected Studio Electives students investigate a distinctive creative modality in order to concentrate on and cultivate a broad range of skills as professional actors and/or artists

The subject aims to develop well researched, self-disciplined, determined and creative actors and/or artists that constantly challenge their understanding of the creative process by undertaking a series of projects that develop skills in cultural interfacing, observation, imagination and character development. Classes examine particular theatrical and screen forms, individual and group research, vocal, physical and music training.

SEMESTER TWO

ACT7201B ACTING STUDIO (30 credit points)

In this subject, students are encouraged to embody the theoretical, technical and practical applications of acting, voice, movement and music within theatrical and screen constructs for public performance. The subject places particular emphasis on the actualisation and transformation of character, through the exploration of highly complex text and language (dramatic, comedy, heightened verse and prose), voice, physicality and continued creative engagement with specialist Studio Electives (Music Theatre, Applied Theatre, and Physical Theatre).

The subject aims to develop technically creative and imaginative artists who are able to appreciate and express various styles and forms (American comedy and American theatre) inherent in theatre, screen and societal contexts for the actualisation and expression of text, character and meaning. Students explore performance styles and production contexts by undertaking a series of projects to develop skills in cultural interface, observation, imagination and actualisation of character.

Acting Interdisciplinary Collaboration

SEMESTER ONE

ACT7202A ACTING INTERDISCIPLINARY COLLABORATION (15 credit points)

This subject introduces students to interdisciplinary collaboration and performance for public production. It encourages actors to engage responsibly with other disciplines across NIDA and clearly define their role and responsibilities within a professional production. The subject is designed to interface with the Acting Studio subject, supporting and transferring technical proficiency to investigate character development within the collaborative rehearsal process for a public theatrical production. Students engage and participate in professional rehearsal room expectations, interfacing with stage managers, costume designers, prop makers, lighting designers, voice coaches, etc. and with resident and other professional directors. The rehearsal process aims to replicate as fully as possible current professional practice, the director and acting tutors placing emphasis on the actors’ craft with the focus on marrying technique and expression for interesting, imaginative and involved behaviour in creative collaborative situations.

SEMESTER TWO

ACT7202B ACTING INTERDISCIPLINARY COLLABORATION (15 credit points)

Students develop the ability to transfer skills developed in Acting Studio to realise character in and through interdisciplinary rehearsal and public performance. The subject demands that the actor engage with initiative in the creative process of theatre and screen making. Students use emerging leadership skills and technical proficiency discovered in Acting Studio to realise character through the collaborative rehearsal process, public production and practice from stage to screen. The rehearsal process aims to replicate as fully as possible current professional practice. The focus is on the seamless integration of acting technique and creative expression for interesting, imaginative and involved behaviour in production/public performance. Classes examine particular theatrical, and screen forms, and individual and group research within a collaborative context.

Performance and Ideas

SEMESTER ONE

COM7201A PERFORMANCE AND IDEAS (10 credit points)

This subject draws together some of the earlier learning about tragedy and comedy and brings into focus twelve

different play texts through which students form an understanding of the tragi-comedic form and the ideas that have influenced it across the centuries.

SEMESTER TWO

COM7201B PERFORMANCE AND IDEAS (10 credit points)

This subject builds upon the knowledge and analytical skills built in the earlier semesters of Performance and Ideas, and culminates in a study of nine different works to develop an understanding of non-Aristotelian experiments as they have impacted on the development of contemporary performance. The subject addresses the questions:

  • What can performance be?
  • What are the ethics of performance?

In what way has innovation in performance ruptured, adapted and affirmed a tradition of practice?

Student-led Projects

SEMESTER ONE

COM7201A STUDENT-LED PROJECTS (5 credit points)

Student-led Projects derive from the theoretical and methodological frameworks explored in introduction to Collaboration. Students self-select their collaborative teams with cross cohort representation. Together each team shapes an idea for presentation drawing on the individual knowledge and ability of each member to problem-solve in the development and realisation of the collaborative endeavour. Collaborative groups request input from staff or external mentors when it is required. In this subject, students apply their acquired knowledge of behaviours, innovation in practice, leadership, followership, emotional intelligence and negotiation skills to devise a collaborative performative work.

Each group draws on the collective knowledge of different performance forms and processes to decide on the particular shape of their work and has strategies and articulated stages for the collaboration built into a written conceptual plan. A peer-review framework for assessment makes each student individually and collectively behaviourally accountable to the vision of the work.

SEMESTER TWO

COM7201B STUDENT-LED PROJECTS (5 credit points)

In this subject students build on the collaborative practice project established in the preceding semester by bringing their project to realisation and, if they wish, presenting it in a public or semi-public setting.

Students complete their documentation of the whole project in this semester, refine and finalise their framework for peer review, and document the outcome of the peer review process after final presentations of the work.

Third year

Acting Studio

SEMESTER ONE

ACT7301A ACTING STUDIO (15 credit points)

This subject focuses on acquiring the professional competencies required of the ‘industry-ready’ artist. It is designed to provide students with a broad range of industry specific skills (such as voice-overs, ADR/looping recording, commercials etc.). It also continues a detailed rigorous engagement with the Studio Electives with a view to realising students’ potential as interesting, imaginative and engaged artists.

Classes are designed to accompany and complement productions in Acting Interdisciplinary Collaboration, as well as to examine particular theatrical, screen forms, individual and group research, vocal, physical and music training.

SEMESTER TWO

ACT7301B ACTING STUDIO (15 credit points)

With a continuing focus on the application of technical, imaginative and expressive skills, students take part in presentations that enable them to demonstrate skilled and industry- ready leadership and transformation of emotional, physical, and vocal range to creating a variety of roles. The subject aims to prepare students to be the creative and artistic leaders of the future, capable of contributing to the professional industry (both nationally and internationally) to a high standard. The subject is designed to establish the individual student actor in an industry context by consolidating three years of conservatoire education and training in an industry Showcase. Classes are designed to complement Showcase, Showreel and final productions, as well as to examine particular societal contexts, theatrical and screen forms, and individual and group research. 

Acting Interdisciplinary Collaboration

SEMESTER ONE

ACT7302A ACTING INTERDISCIPLINARY COLLABORATION (30 credit points)

This subject focuses on performance-orientated competencies for the professional actor through the collaborative process in a range of different cultural and personal territories for stage and/or screen and various media. The subject encourages actors to engage with the principles and practices of the professional actor in collaborative, devised and contemporary performance. The subject is designed to provide students with a broad range of industry specific skills supporting and transferring technical proficiency discovered in Acting Studio to develop and actualise character in the devising and rehearsal process, as well as in a public theatrical production with a focus on professional competency in the role. Classes examine particular theatrical constructs, and individual and group research within a collaborative context.

SEMESTER TWO

ACT7302B ACTING INTERDISCIPLINARY COLLABORATION (30 credit points)

The actors/artists demonstrate career-ready competency through the collaborative process in a range of different cultural and personal territories. The subject is designed to enable students by providing them with a broad range of industry specific opportunities and a final public performance/production. The productions are designed to support and showcase technical proficiency of the student actor to the contemporary professional industry. Students participate in professional rehearsal room expectations, interfacing with stage managers, costume designers, prop makers, lighting designers, as well as internal and professional external directors. The rehearsal process aims to replicate as fully as possible current professional practice. The focus is on the advanced application and amalgamation of technique and expression for interesting, imaginative and involved behaviour in production/public performance. 

Acting Professional Practice

SEMESTER ONE

ACT7303A ACTING PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE (15 credit points)

This is a cross-disciplinary subject designed to prepare the actors/artists for professional industry practice by providing opportunity to create a professional portfolio, as well as demonstrating a responsible and consistent attitude towards the self-management required of an independent career in the performing arts. The subject formalises the transition from personal development to a career-orientated model and aims to foster an in-depth understanding and knowledge of industry and industrial relationships, such as presenting a Showcase, agents’ visits, developing auditioning skills, maintaining employment contracts, clarifying the role of casting agents, casting directors, and becoming knowledgeable about policy-making and funding bodies. Students perform unplugged (i.e. without theatrical conventions) for agents and industry professionals from across Australia.

SEMESTER TWO

ACT7303B ACTING PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE (30 credit points)

This subject aims to be the stepping-stone into the professional industry and assists in building business skills (websites, self-testing, and marketing) and industry relationships with directors, agents and casting directors. Students develop and present a fully supported Showcase and Showreel for the industry, completing their professional portfolio.

Fees

Domestic and international students are required to pay tuition fees by the due date each semester.

Domestic students are Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents and New Zealand citizens.

Australian citizens and holders of permanent humanitarian visas are eligible for an Australian Government FEE-HELP loan for all or part of their tuition fees. For more information about FEE-HELP please read the information below and visit Study Assist.

Tuition fees for 2014 for domestic undergraduate students 

Fees for 2014: $8,240.00 per annum

International Students 

See International Students.

Further financial information

FEE-HELP

WHAT IS FEE-HELP?

FEE-HELP is the Australian Government loan scheme that assists eligible students to pay their tuition fees, so that students do not have to pay tuition fees up-front. FEE-HELP can cover all or part of a student's tuition fees, up to a lifetime limit of $96,000. From 1 January 2016 there will no longer be a FEE-HELP limit.

A loan fee of 25% applies to FEE-HELP loans for undergraduate courses of study. The FEE-HELP limit does not include the loan fee. The Australian Government announced on 13 May 2014 that the FEE-HELP loan fee will be removed with effect from 1 January 2016.

The Government pays the amount of the loan directly to NIDA. Students repay their loan through the tax system once their income rises above the minimum threshold for compulsory repayment.

See study assist for further information on the Australian Government’s higher education loan programs.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR FEE-HELP?

You are eligible for a FEE-HELP loan if you are either:

  • an Australian Citizen; or
  • hold a permanent humanitarian visa.

The following students are NOT eligible for FEE-HELP:

  • New Zealand citizens
  • Australian permanent residents
  • Overseas students.

CENSUS DATES FOR 2014

The census date is the last day domestic students are able to withdraw without incurring a fee liability for the course. If a domestic student has paid their fees upfront, and withdraws before the census date, they are entitled to a full refund of the tuition fees paid. Please note this is not applicable to international students, please refer to NIDA's Refund Policy for International Students

The census date for undergraduate courses in 2014 is 3 April 2014. 

WITHDRAWAL AND RE-CREDIT OF FEE-HELP

In exceptional circumstances, a student may apply after the census date to have their FEE-HELP balance re-credited. For further details refer to NIDA's Policy for Withdrawal and Re-credit of FEE-HELP. See NIDA student policies.

Financial assistance

Eligible students, who are Australian residents, can apply to Centrelink for financial assistance through Youth Allowance, Austudy or ABSTUDY. Visit Centerlink or call 132 490 for more information. 

While at NIDA, students can also apply for consideration for a NIDA student bursary.

Statement of Tuition Assurance Exemption

Under the Higher Education Support Act 2003, (the HESA) and the Higher Education Provider Guidelines, approved Higher Education Providers must have arrangements in place to protect students if the Provider is unable to continue to offer a course for any reason, unless the Provider has been exempted from this requirement.

As required under 2.5.1.5 of the Higher Education Provider Guidelines of 23 November 2006, NIDA advises that, under section 16-30 (2) of the HESA, NIDA has been granted an exemption from the tuition assurance requirements of HESA. The reason for the exemption is that NIDA is in receipt of funding from the Australian Government. As NIDA is principally funded by the Australian Government, appropriate transition arrangements would be put in place should it be decided to discontinue a course.

Careers

Graduates of the Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting) will have the performance skills and theoretical knowledge to be employed in a range of industries, including television, film, theatre and radio.

Students will graduate having studied one of three Studio Majors: Music Theatre, Applied Theatre, or Physical Theatre. Graduating students will also have a professional portfolio through which to showcase their talent and have ample opportunities to connect with industry professionals including agents and casting directors.

Potential careers

  • Stage actor 
  • Film actor 
  • Television actor 
  • Radio actor 
  • Voiceover artist 

Auditions and how to apply

How to apply

Application process

Applications for the Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting) 2015 are still open for some cities. See 'Key Dates' below for details.

APPLY ONLINE 

  • The first step to applying is to fill in the online application form.
  • All eligible applicants who submit their applications by the deadline will be invited to audition.
  • Applications close on 30 September 2014 but late applications will be accepted as long as there are audition spaces available.
  • After we have received your application and you have paid the application fee, you will be sent your audition date and venue details.
  • You must attend your audition in person – auditioning via video or other electronic means is not permitted.
  • Auditions in 2014 will take place in Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Hobart, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.
  • Audition dates for each city are available in key dates below. Please note any dates you are not able to attend on your application form and we will do our best to accommodate your date preferences.
  • Prepare for your audition by reading the information below.

Key dates

Late applications will still be accepted as long as there are audition places available. 

 

Audition dates

Adelaide - limited places available 

Thursday 20 – Friday 21 November
Saturday 22 November (Recall)  

Brisbane - limited places available 

Monday 24 – Saturday 29 November
Monday 1 Dec (Recall)
Tuesday 2 Dec (Recall)  

Cairns - open

Friday 21 November Recalls in Brisbane  

Darwin - open

Monday 10 November  

Hobart - open 

Wednesday 3 Dec
Thursday 4 Dec (Recall)  

Melbourne - limited places available 

Tuesday 11 – Saturday 15 November
Monday 17 – Wednesday 19 November
Thursday 20 November (Recall)
Friday 21 November (Recall)  

Parramatta - open

Wednesday 12 – Friday 14 November
Recalls in Sydney at NIDA  

Perth - open

Wednesday 12 – Saturday 15 November
Monday 17 November (Recall)
Tuesday 18 November (Recall)  

Sydney - open

Monday 10 – Friday 14 November
Monday 17 – Friday 21 November
Monday 24 – Wednesday 26 November
Thursday 27 November (Recall)
Friday 28 November (Recall)
Monday 1 December (Recall)
Tuesday 2 – Friday 5 December  
Monday 8 Dec (Recall)
Tuesday 9 Dec (Recall)

Audition

Audition process

On the day

At the initial audition you will perform two of your prepared pieces to the panel and a group of around 20 other auditionees. You may be asked to try new ways of approaching part of one, or more, of your monologues. After the morning session and a short break you may be invited to stay on and present your third piece and/or rework an earlier piece.

At the end of this afternoon session the panel may ask you to attend a second audition – a recall. This will occur on another day and may require additional preparation

Recall auditions

Recall auditions may involve:

  • redirection of scenes
  • improvisation
  • discussion on interpretation
  • musical and rhythmic tests
  • sight reading
  • Singing (if you intend to sing at your recall audition, you must choose a song from the list that will be available on the website from 1 July)

You may be asked:

  • to relate dramatic roles to your personal experience
  • about your knowledge of and experience in the theatre and related media
  • to talk about your ideas and aspirations

Outcome of your audition

The audition process is informal and open. Should you have any queries about the audition process or about what is said to you during the audition, please speak to a member of the audition panel before you leave.

Selections are made around the second week of December each year. If you are successful you will be advised initially by telephone and then in writing that you have been accepted for the course.

Please note that if you have not been invited to present your third piece at your initial audition or have not been invited to a recall audition, or have not been asked to stay for the duration of the recall audition, then your application has not been successful and you will not receive any further communication regarding your application.

Audition requirements

All applicants must prepare and memorise three short monologues according to the requirements below.

One piece by William Shakespeare

Select one short monologue from a play by William Shakespeare.

  • Choose a piece that is in verse.
  • Do not choose a sonnet or a poem.
One contemporary or modern piece
  • You can choose an Australian or an international play.
  • Modern pieces could be by playwrights such as Anton Chekhov, Johan Strindberg, Henrik Ibsen, Eugene O’Neill, Tennessee Williams or Arthur Miller.
  • Contemporary plays are deemed to be those produced from the 1970s onwards.
One piece of your own choosing
 

Select one monologue of your own choosing from any period.

Please note:
  • Your chosen monologues should be no longer than two minutes. The panel will not time your performance but please keep to the time limit as much as possible.
  • Your monologues should be committed to memory.
  • You should bring two copies of each monologue to the audition – one for yourself and one for the audition panel.

Singing

If you want to demonstrate your singing ability, you will have the opportunity to do so, if you are invited to attend a recall audition. You should choose a song from the list below. A piano accompanist will be provided.

  • Gravity Sara Bareilles
  • Ordinary People John Legend
  • I Remember (from Evening Primrose) Stephen Sondheim
  • Not A Day Goes By (from Merrily We Roll Along) Stephen Sondheim
  • I’m Alive (from Next To Normal) Tom Kitt/Brian Yorkey
  • Superboy And The Invisible Girl (from Next To Normal) Tom Kitt/Brian Yorkey
  • Someone To Watch Over Me George & Ira Gershwin
  • They Can’t Take That Away From Me George & Ira Gershwin
  • King Of The World (from Songs For A New World) Jason Robert Brown
  • Stars And The Moon (from Songs For A New World) Jason Robert Brown
All music is available for purchase on www.musicnotes.com

Preparing for your audition

The following dos and don’ts are intended to help you with your audition and the selection of your monologues, so please take the time to read them carefully.

Do:

  • select monologues from plays, not TV programs or films
  • read the whole of each play that your monologues come from – research is important
  • choose characters close to your current age range – while you don’t need to stick to your exact age try to avoid the extremes, such as Shakespeare’s King Lear or Willy Loman from Death of a Salesman
  • choose characters who are in circumstances you can identify with and that you will enjoy exploring
  • select pieces that are new to you and that you have not presented before
  • pick monologues that will showcase you and your acting choices
  • feel free to use contrasting material when selecting your monologues; for example, serious and comic or internal versus and external
  • think about who you are talking to and what you want from them – know what you mean and what you say
  • make all of your monologues active, use an invisible partner – for example, your audience – as a friend, conspirator, confidant or whatever is needed for the scene
  • relax and enjoy yourself – we find that most applicants manage to relax and enjoy the experience and we hope that you will too!
  •  

Don’t:

  • prepare monologues from self-devised work
  • use a book of monologues, except as a reference – if you find a piece in an audition book that you like, you must still read the whole play
  • select material for shock value, as this often backfires – while there are no real rules around this we suggest that you avoid material with strong sexual references or excessive use of expletives
  • present monologues you have prepared and presented at previous NIDA auditions
  • present any monologue other educational institutions have on their audition monologue sheets – we understand that this may result in extra work if you are auditioning for other institutions, but we are interested in your curiosity, hunger and level of preparation

Tips for the day

Remember:

  • that this is your audition – while it is useful to test out your monologue on a friend, do not worry about acting coaches and don't let anybody tell you how to act it
  • to wear suitable clothing – any casual clothing that does not limit your movement is acceptable
  • that you will be asked to work in bare feet, so do not wear closed-toe tights
  • to wear little or no make-up.
Selection of students

Selection of students

We select students who:

  • demonstrate commitment, motivation and passion in relation to the arts, entertainment and related industries, to their chosen discipline, and to the course of study
  • provide evidence of their capacity to work creatively and imaginatively
  • demonstrate an aptitude to collaborate with peers as part of a creative process 
  • demonstrate a range of knowledge, skills, technical abilities and/or problem-solving techniques relevant to their discipline
  • demonstrate cultural and contextual awareness
  • articulate and communicate ideas clearly

NIDA encourages applications from students from diverse backgrounds, with different levels of experience in theatre, film, television or other areas.

Due to the volume of auditions carried out, we are unable to provide you with individual feedback. The decision of the audition panel is final.

It is not possible to defer an offer of a place at NIDA.

International students

We require all international applicants to:

  • attend an audition in Australia
  • be aware of the visa conditions and financial obligations you are required to meet as an overseas student
  • accept full responsibility for all arrangements concerning entry into, and residence in, Australia (including visas and health insurance).
  • have an English language proficiency equivalent to an overall band score of 8.0 IELTS. Information on IELTS and testing centres in your country is available at www.ielts.org

For more information on applying as an international student, see international students.

Age and education requirements

  • All applicants applying for any undergraduate course at NIDA must have completed their Higher School Certificate or equivalent qualification at the end of high school.
  • Applicants must also be 18 years of age by 31 March in their first year of enrolment. Only in exceptional circumstances can this condition be waived.
  • Students must be proficient in written and spoken English, with international applicants required to have an English language proficiency equivalent to an overall band score of IELTS 7.0. Information on IELTS and testing centres in your country is available at www.ielts.org.

Contact

If you have any further questions about the application process, please contact:

Email: applications@nida.edu.au

Phone: +61 (02) 9697 7614

Mail:

Applications
NIDA
215 Anzac Parade
Kensington NSW 2033

 

FAQs

Entry requirements FAQs

What ATAR score do I need to get into NIDA?

Entry into NIDA courses is by audition or interview only. We do not ask for exam scores or ATAR rankings. However, all applicants applying for any higher education course at NIDA must have completed their Higher School Certificate or equivalent qualification at the end of high school.

What subjects should I study at school?

NIDA does not require students to have studied any particular subjects at school. However, it is beneficial during their period of study at NIDA for students to have a high level of literacy and to have read widely. A strong working knowledge of subjects such as English and History is helpful to provide an understanding of historical context and literary references in theatre and literature. It is helpful to have an understanding of drama and, if possible, to have attended a range of theatre and films. Applicants for some courses often study Design and Technology, Textiles and Design, or similar subjects such as Art. Knowledge of a language other than English and understanding of other cultures is also beneficial. 

For courses such as Properties and Objects, Staging, Design for Performance, and Technical Theatre and Stage Management there is a need to have some numeracy and basic computing skills. For the Staging and Properties and Objects courses there is a need to be comfortable with basic applied algebra, geometry and physical concepts but memorisation is not required and use of these concepts is very practically focused. 

Is there a minimum age restriction?

The minimum age for entry into NIDA’s full-time courses is 18 years. Students are expected to be at least 18 years of age at the commencement of their first year, or within a few months of commencement. In exceptional circumstances this condition may be waived. Applicants must be at least 17 years of age at the time of their audition or interview.

Applications from those 16 years and younger will not be accepted.

Is there a maximum age restriction?

There is no maximum age restriction. As a guide to the age distribution at NIDA, the ages of students in undergraduate courses at the start of 2014 ranged from 17 years to early 30s. The average age in the Master of Fine Arts courses is 25, with an age range from early 20s to mid-30s. 

Audition and interview FAQs

What do I need to prepare for my audition/interview?

All the details for audition and interview requirements can be found on the individual course pages under the ‘How to Apply’ tab. The production projects and monologue lists will be available from 1 July 2014.

Does NIDA give audition/interview feedback?

Due to the large number of people being auditioned or interviewed, it is not possible for NIDA to provide individual feedback, either orally or in writing. However, the auditions and interviews are learning experiences, particularly through the opportunity in the auditions to observe the presentation of audition pieces by other applicants and any redirection suggestions provided to you or other applicants by members of the audition panel. 

What are my chances of getting into NIDA’s Acting course straight from high school?

There are around 1700 applicants for the 24 places in the Acting course. Most school leavers who apply for the Acting course are not accepted the first time they apply. There are advantages to having some life experience and maturity to be able to cope with a very rigorous course. However, the audition process is a valuable one and provides useful experience for future applications. There were two school-leavers among the 24 applicants selected for entry in 2014.

Studying at NIDA FAQs

What are the contact hours for BFA courses?

Students are at NIDA from 9am to 6pm from Monday to Friday. During production terms students may also be required for rehearsals after hours and on weekends.

Additional time also needs to be allocated to library work, research, preparation for classes and private study. For this reason it is difficult for NIDA students to maintain regular part-time jobs. Studying at NIDA is a big commitment so students need to manage their time and resources carefully.

Does NIDA offer accommodation for students?

NIDA does not have on-campus accommodation for students. NIDA has a close relationship with the University of New South Wales (UNSW) which is located opposite NIDA. UNSW offers a range of housing options which NIDA students can access. For more details see UNSW Residential Communities

New and returning students can also access the NIDA student noticeboards and webpages to advertise or seek accommodation and many liaise via email and Facebook to arrange housing together.

Students are responsible for arranging their own accommodation.

How are NIDA’s full-time courses structured?

NIDA offers a conservatoire based method of education and training based around intensive practice-based learning.

There is formal class work, practical instruction, lectures and, for some courses, periods of placements in the arts industry. Each course has dedicated time to discipline-specific immersion, as well as common subjects undertaken by students of all disciplines.

NIDA Play Productions and screen work provides practical learning experiences, giving students the opportunity to apply learnt technical skills. Play productions are an important part of NIDA’s higher education courses with usually five productions being produced each semester.

More detailed information about course structure can be found on the individual course pages. 

What facilities does NIDA offer?

NIDA’s award winning campus includes a range of facilities available to students:

  • the Parade Theatre, seating over 700 people, is equipped with advanced technology in sound, lighting and scenery
  • performance spaces of varying sizes. The Parade Studio, Parade Playhouse, Parade Space and Atrium are also utilised for productions
  • the state-of-the-art Reg Grundy Studio is used for film and television recording
  • the Rodney Seaborn Library, specialising in the performing arts
  • computer-aided design (CAD) and multimedia studios
  • rehearsal rooms, teaching spaces and music practice rooms
  • and workshops for the manufacture of scenery, properties and costumes.

What student services does NIDA offer?

Because of NIDA’s close relationship with UNSW, in addition to the NIDA library, NIDA students have access to the UNSW Library, The Learning Centre, health services and the UNSW Fitness and Aquatic Centre, all located close to NIDA.

NIDA students have access to student counselling services provided through UNSW.

Indigenous students can also use the services of the Nura Gili Indigenous Programs Centre at UNSW.

Does NIDA offer credit transfer for study undertaken elsewhere?

Yes, NIDA grants credit for formal study undertaken in recognised higher institutions in Australia, including universities, colleges, TAFE and other post-secondary education institutions and for study at recognised overseas institutions, where the applicant has met the learning outcomes, attained the knowledge and/or developed the skills relevant to a specific subject. An application for credit must be submitted and approved prior to commencement of the course. For further information see NIDA’s credit transfer policy.

NIDA Student policies FAQs

Can I defer my studies at NIDA?

Due to the highly competitive nature of NIDA’s admissions process, you must enrol for the year for which you have been offered a place. You cannot defer acceptance of a place. If you want to enrol in a subsequent year, you will need to apply again the following year and go through the audition/interview process again. There is no guarantee that you will be offered a place next time.

A first year student who discontinues a course of study during the year and wishes to return the following year, must re-apply for admission to NIDA in the normal manner. There is no guarantee of re-admission.

Application for leave of absence by continuing students must be made in writing with reasons to the Head of Course for consideration and recommendation to the Director. Approval for leave of absence can only be granted by the Director/CEO. It should be noted that approval for leave of absence will only be granted under exceptional circumstances.

Can students be suspended from NIDA?

In addition to cancellation of enrolment for non-payment of tuition fees, a student’s enrolment at NIDA can be suspended or cancelled on the grounds of misconduct. Refer to the Student Misconduct Procedures below.

Where can I find more information about NIDA Student Policies?

See NIDA Student Policies for more information. 

Fees FAQs

What are the tuition fees for full-time courses?

Full information about tuition fees and FEE-HELP for NIDA’s full-time courses in 2015 will be available towards the end of 2014. 

Are there any other costs to study at NIDA apart from tuition fees?

There is an optional annual fee of $40 to join the Student Council of NIDA (SCON).While students are provided with the script of any plays they are involved in as part of the NIDA Production Program, students are encouraged to purchase other scripts and textbooks for subjects such as Performance and Ideas. 

Acting students must wear “blacks” to class everyday i.e. leotards, jogging pants, sweat pants, simple black tops or T-shirts, so students need to make sure they have at least a couple of sets of blacks to get themselves through the week. Acting students must also supply their own make-up and soft black shoes. 

Staging, Design for Performance, Costume, Properties and Objects, Technical Theatre and Stage Management students are required to purchase specific tools and equipment, which should be considered as lifelong investments. Students using workshop spaces are also required to have closed-toe protective footwear. Technical Theatre and Stage Management students should also have a few sets of “blacks” for working on productions. 

Design for Performance students are also expected to purchase their own art equipment, drawing paper, cardboard and other material for models and should allow around $1000 for this each year.

While students have access to IT facilities at NIDA, the number of computers is limited and students, especially Technical Theatre and Stage Management and Design for Performance students, will find it helpful to have a laptop computer. The recommended equipment to access the NIDA wireless network is a laptop (Windows XP SP3 and later), Macbook (OSX 10.5 Leopard or later) or Tablets, that are less than three years old with Wireless facility that complies with 802.11a/b/g/n WPA2 Enterprise security. 

For file transfers and data backup, a 500GB hard drive or higher and a 8GB USB stick are also recommended, as is a DVD burner znc, optional 1GB dedicated Graphics card, except for Design for Performance students for whom a 1GB Graphics card is required.

Financial assistance FAQs

Are there scholarships available for studying at NIDA?

NIDA does not offer scholarships that cover the cost of tuition fees. NIDA students, who are Australian citizens, are able to access FEE-HELP loans for assistance with their tuition fees. For more information on FEE-HELP loans see www.studyassist.gov.au.

NIDA offers students the opportunity to apply for financial assistance (bursaries) at the beginning of each year to assist with living costs. The bursaries are made available through the generosity of donors to NIDA and from bequests. Bursaries are paid on a fortnightly basis during the NIDA year, with the value of individual bursaries in 2014 ranging from $1500 annually to $4000 annually, depending on need and the year and course of study. These funds are allocated to students on the basis of financial need, course of study and year of study. Bursaries are only available to students currently enrolled at NIDA.

What other financial assistance is available to undergraduate students?

Eligible students enrolled in NIDA’s undergraduate courses can apply to Centrelink for Austudy, Youth Allowance and ABSTUDY. Visit Centrelink or call 132 490 for more information. 

Is financial assistance available for students in the Master of Fine Arts?

The Master of Fine Arts courses are not approved courses for students to receive Austudy, Youth Allowance (student) and Pensioner Education Supplement through Centrelink. Master of Fine Arts students are eligible to apply for a NIDA bursary

NZ and international students FAQs

Is there a limit on the number of international students accepted each year?

NIDA’s welcomes applications from international students. While there is no quota for international students, as there are limited numbers of students in each course of study, there are usually only a few international students at NIDA at any one time.

In 2014 there are four international students studying at NIDA, excluding Study Abroad students.

What are the English language requirements for international students?

Students must be proficient in written and spoken English, with international applicants required to have an English language proficiency equivalent to an overall band score of IELTS 8.0 for Acting, Directing and Writing for Performance, or IELTS 7.0 for other higher education courses. Information on IELTS and testing centres in your country is available at www.ielts.org.

International applicants who are short-listed for the Acting course after the recall audition must provide evidence of their English language capability by the end of the first week in December in order to be considered in the final selection process. International applications for other courses should bring evidence of their English language capability to their interview.

Where can I find more information about international students at NIDA?

More information about studying as an international student at NIDA can be found at International students

Head of Acting


Jeff Janisheski

Jeff Janisheski joined NIDA as Head of Acting in January 2012 with a formidable list of accomplishments in the field of theatre, education and training. He has a performance background as an actor, choreographer, director and producer and a long history of collaboration with luminaries such as Anne Bogart and the SITI Company.

Prior to joining NIDA, Jeff held the position of Artistic Director for the National Theatre Institute at the famed Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Connecticut, America’s preeminent organisation dedicated to the development of new plays and music theatre across a range of genres (including Broadway productions Avenue Q and The House of Blue Leaves). Here he spearheaded the redevelopment of the National Theatre Institute’s curriculum into a progressive, highly rigorous conservatoire-based training program with global connections, launching a guest artists’ residency program, devising a new playwriting program and introducing a music theatre syllabus to the O'Neill Theater Center’s existing offerings.

Before his appointment at The Eugene O’Neill, Jeff was Associate Artistic Director at New York’s Classic Stage Company.

Jeff holds a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Directing gained from Columbia University, New York, and has been a member of the adjunct faculty of Fordham University at Lincoln Center, New York. He is a recipient of the Theater Communications Group (TCG) New Generations/Future Leaders fellowship.

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