• Whitehouse
  • Old Tote Theatre 1968
  • NIDA entrance 1988

History

Founded in 1958, NIDA commenced acting classes in 1959. 

More than 50 years later, NIDA has grown to 170 full-time students annually, approximately 70 full-time staff members and added courses in acting, directing, writing for performance, design for performance, technical theatre and stage management, costume, properties and objects, cultural leadership, voice and staging.

NIDA's history

NIDA's beginning

The beginning

1959

  • In February, Robert Quentin, the founding director of NIDA, holds the first acting class; he hopes to break away from the ‘shadow to English understatement’ and develop a distinctly Australian style of acting
  • NIDA’s first play is Thornton Wilder’s Our Town
  • The first NIDA productions are staged in the Physics Lecture Theatre and Science Theatre of the University of New South Wales (UNSW)
1962 
  • NIDA moves to its new home, The White House and old Totalisator building at UNSW, and stays there until December 1987
Old Tote Theatre

1963 

1966

  • NIDA establishes the Jane Street Season of Australian and classical plays in association with the NIDA Advanced Course

1969 

  • The Old Tote Theatre Company separates from NIDA to become in independent company

1978 

  • UNSW’s  ‘Old Tin Shed’ was renamed as the NIDA Theatre
Buildings

1987 

  • NIDA moves to its new building with construction generously supported by the Commonwealth Government, located adjacent to the Parade Theatre on Anzac Parade

1999 

  • NIDA applies to the Centenary of Federation Fund and there is promise of a new theatre

2001 

  • The new NIDA building is officially opened by The Honourable John Howard MP, Prime Minister of Australia

2002 

  • The renovated building wins the Sulman Award for public architecture
NIDA Open Program

1990 

  • NIDA Open Program is established
Parade Theatres

1999 

  • Final performance in the old Parade Theatre on 24 October – the play is Stephan Jeffrey’s The Libertine

2002 

  • New Parade Theatre is officially opened by Mel Gibson, who contributed generously to the building fund
  • First Parade Theatre production is the Australian premiere of Nick Enright’s Country Music
And the rest...

2000 

  • During the Sydney Olympic Games, NIDA contributes the only original production to the Sydney 2000 Olympic Arts Festival with There’s No Need to Wake Up



Courses

1959 

  • NIDA opens with a two-year course in Acting

1961 

  • A two-year Production course is added

1972 

  • Both the Acting and Production courses become three-year courses
  • A three-year Design course and a one-year graduate course in Directing are introduced

1990 

  • A two-year Associate Diploma Course in Theatre Crafts (specialising in either scenery, properties and costume) is introduced

1991 

  • Three one-year graduate diploma courses in Voice Studies, Movement Studies and Production Management are introduced

1994 

  • Bachelor of Dramatic Art is replaced the Diploma of Dramatic Art for students of Acting, Technical Production and Design

2001

  • Bachelor of Dramatic Art in Production Crafts replaces the Associate Diploma in Theatre Crafts
  • Advanced Diploma of Dramatic Art in Scenery Construction is introduced

2004 

  • Accreditation of a one-year Master of Dramatic Art in three streams: Voice Studies, Movement Studies and Directing (a Playwriting stream was accredited in 2006)

2005 

2009 

2013

Awards and acknowledgements

StageStruck
  • Milia d’Or Award for Best Educational Title (2000) 
  • Australian Interactive Multimedia Industry Association (AIMIA) Award for Best Arts and Cultural Title or Website (1999) 
  • Winner of the New York Festivals International Interactive Multimedia Competition’s Gold Medal for Education (1999) 
  • British Film Academy of Film and Televisions Arts (BAFTA) award for Interactive Treatment (1998) 
  • The International EMMA award for Best Educational Product (1998) 
  • The International Emma Gold Award for Best Overall Product (1998) 
1999
  • The Australian Senate congratulates NIDA on its great contribution to enriching Australia’s culture over the past 40 years.

History of the Theatres

NIDA Parade Theatres includes NIDA's five theatre spaces: Parade Theatre, Parade Playhouse, Parade Studio, Parade Space and the NIDA Atrium.


History of the NIDA Theatres

1969

  • The old Parade Theatre is converted from a lecture hall into a theatre space for the Old Tote Theatre Company.

1988 

  • The Parade Theatre becomes NIDA’s main theatre.

1989 

  • NIDA moves to its new building adjacent to the Parade Theatre on Anzac Parade.

1999 

  • NIDA applies to the Centenary of Federation Fund to build a new theatre.
  • Final performance in the old Parade Theatre on 24 October – the play is Stephan Jeffrey’s The Libertine.

2001

  • The Commonwealth Government’s historic building is replaced by the new NIDA Building funded from the Centenary of Federation Fund.
  • The new NIDA building is officially opened by Prime Minister John Howard on 26 October.

2002

  • The renovated building wins the Sulman Award for Public Architecture.
  • The new Parade Theatre is officially opened by Mel Gibson, who contributed generously to the building fund.
  • The first production in the Parade Theatre production is the Australian premiere of Nick Enright’s Country Music, opening on 17 July.
  • The second Parade Theatre production is the Australian premiere of John Clark’s Jarrabin, adapted from Dorothy Hewitt’s The Jarrabin Trilogy.

2012

  • NIDA undertakes a series of projects to expand and update the building, including:
    • four new tutorial rooms
    • an additional room accommodating 100 people
    • the conversion of the NIDA Atrium into a fully-equipped, weather-proof outdoor theatre.
  • NIDA expands its digital capability with: online learning management system and high definition video conferencing facilities.

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