NIDA students create parade for Sydney Mardi Gras

3 December 2018

Above from left: Student Camp Committee members Micaela Ellis, Grace Llanwarne, Morgan Saint Clair, Amanda Torrisi, Ruby Marchese and Phillip Patterson.

NIDA students have been successful in applying for a space in the iconic Sydney Mardi Gras Parade 2019. ‘We want to march up Oxford Street with pride and show that we are inclusive, that everyone is loved, and that there is a place in this school for everyone no matter what our differences are. This is not just about being LGBTQIA+, this is about showing that all diversities are needed at this school and also at the helm of our creative industry,’ the students said in their application to the Parade Committee.

‘We are the students of the National Institute of Dramatic Art and we have the passion and skill to pay justice to these stories. We are also incredibly supported by our beautiful teachers, lecturers and peers without any prejudice. We want everyone to know that absolutely everybody is welcome at our school no matter who you are, who you identify as, what your sexuality is or where you come from. To us every story and life is equally important.’

The project is led by the Student Camp Committee made up of Bachelor of Fine Arts students: Phillip Patterson (Properties and Objects) - President, production manager;  Amanda Torrisi (Properties and Objects) - Marketing, sponsorship, fundraising, recruitment; Ruby Marchese (Properties and Objects) - Marketing, sponsorship, fundraising, recruitment; Micaela Ellis (Acting) - Choreographer, documentary; Grace Llanwarne (Staging 3) - Construction manager; Morgan Saint Clair (Technical Theatre and Stage Management) - Lighting, Sound, Stage Manager.

‘I had just started my first year here in Bachelor of Fine Arts (Properties and Objects) and I was wondering why there wasn’t a float at the parade from NIDA students,’ said Phillip Patterson. ‘I did some research and was amazed that there had never been one, and so I thought let’s get something happening. I wanted to say we are proud of being queer and proud of being gay, we are not closed off. It’s about creating that voice and letting everyone know that we are here.’

‘Everything will be built here at NIDA in the Props and Costumes workshops. We’re reaching out to all students to come and help us out and to possible donors to help us buy the materials. We’ve got a lot to work to do,’ said Ruby Marchese.

‘The project will include all the students from all the departments here are NIDA,’ said Phillip. ‘We will create something that is not just about the actors here – we cover design, props, costuming and lighting, staging as well. It’s a cohesion of all of these disciplines together. There will be some big structures which will need to knowledge from set construction, there is some intense costuming, and lots of lighting, choreography, and even scripts printed on the costumes which represents the writing students.’

For more information and how to donate: https://www.nida.edu.au/productions/bring-nida-to-mardi-gras-2019