Princess Di, Wake in Fright and Midnight Oil feature in Directors' & Designers' Graduating Productions
This December, on the eve of its 60th anniversary, the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) opens its doors to the public for the Directors’ and Designers’ Graduating Productions.
This season features original works inspired by Princess Diana’s iconic Panorama TV interview, Australian cult classic Wake in Fright, Peter Garrett’s autobiography set to Midnight Oil, notorious Australian ‘UFO abductions’, gay conversion facilities, scandalous sex playwright Frank Wedekind, ‘degenerate lunatic’ Hedda Gabler, and one classic French farce.
The Directors have chosen toxic masculinity, in a specifically Australian context, and iconic female figures, reexamined, as their common threads.
In these highly contemporary devised pieces, some audiences will find themselves sitting inside a gay conversion clinic, with a set built right to the theatre door, while in another work, the audience will be immersed in a live cinematic production.
Dr Benjamin Schostakowski, NIDA's Lecturer and Course Leader of Directing, says, "The Directors’ and Designers’ graduation productions offer a thrilling glimpse into the future of our next generation of theatre artists.
"The season includes radical retelling of classic texts, a premiere rock musical set to the music of Midnight Oil, new devised work tackling pressing societal issues and technologically adventurous live-cinema.”
Dr Julie Lynch, NIDA's Director of the Centre for Design Practices, adds, “Staged in three theatres, each space is transformed by eight unique designs, from a Riveria street scene to the Australian Outback.”
This is the culminating work of NIDA’s graduating Directors, from the Masters of Fine Arts (Directing) course, and NIDA’s graduating Designers, from the Bachelor of Fine Arts (Design for Performance).
NIDA’s highly select cohort of Directors– Samuel Lucas Allen, Darcy Green, Tait de Lorenzo, Claudia Osborne, Riley Spadaro, Christopher Thomson, Mikala Westall, Ellen Wiltshire –came to the MFA as early career arts practitioners from a wide range of fields, including advertising, performance art, commercial television, musical theatre and writing.
Each director received one-on-one mentorship in the development of their works, with this season’s mentors being Kip Williams (Artistic Director, Sydney Theatre Company) on Wake in Fright, Eamon Flack (Artistic Director, Belvoir St Theatre), Adena Jacobs (Artistic Director, Fraught Outfit), Imara Savage (Resident Director, Sydney Theatre Company), Sam Strong (Artistic Director, Queensland Theatre Company), and award-winning director Priscilla Jackman.
Directors' and Designers' Graduating Productions are on at NIDA 12–15 Dec 2018.