Australian heroes and nightmares on stage at NIDA

11 December 2018

Photograph of Darcy Green's Delta Sierra Juliet; set and costume design by Olivia Rowlands

The next generation of storytellers brings Australian heroes and nightmares onto the stage for NIDA’s Directors’ and Designers’ Graduating Productions, opening Thursday 12 December.

These productions are the culminating work of the Masters of Fine Arts (Directing) and Bachelor of Fine Arts (Design) courses, with the resources and talent of NIDA’s other departments (props, costume, acting, staging and production) collaborating on the works as well.

Samuel Lucas Allen’s stage adaptation of Wake in Fright is an impressionist, alcoholic, red desert nightmare, on which he was mentored by Sydney Theatre Company Artistic Director Kip Williams.

“I’ve always been interested in stories about our own monstrosity… We have all these emblems of intense masculinity. We have characters who’ve been molded or destroyed by the landscape and by what they’ve had to do to survive in the landscape… The idea of adapting something that is so important in our cultural canon, [the film Wake in Fright ], into a stageplay really spoke to me.”

– Samuel Lucas Allen (Wake in Fright)

Photograph of Riley Spadaro's We Are Gods; set and costume design by Grace Deacon

The monster of Australian toxic masculinity is also a theme in Riley Spadaro’s We Are Gods, an immersive experience inside a gay conversion facility.

More positive myths are spotlighted in Big Blue Sky, an adaptation of Peter Garrett’s autobiography, approved by Peter Garrett himself. Christopher Thomson captures the Australian icon’s lust for life in a live rock concert-meets-stageplay, with the music of Midnight Oil and numerous different actors playing Peter Garrett.

“In adapting his autobiography for the stage, beyond any other trivia about Peter Garrett’s life, what I really wanted to capture was his lust for life and passion. I find it really inspiring and it gives me a lot of hope… It’s a concert mashed with a play.” – Christopher Thomson, Big Blue Sky

Photograph of Tait de Lorenzo's DIANA; set and costume design by Camille Ostrowsky

Australia’s fervour for the Royal family is represented with DIANA, Tait de Lorenzo’s live cinematic production of the iconic Panorama TV interview with Princess Diana – ‘there are three people in this marriage’, and Darcy Green’s Delta Sierra Juliet is based on one of the infamous Bass Strait mysteries, the disappearance of pilot Frederick Valentich en route to Tasmania in 1978.

“The show is quite intimate… We are not retelling her life story. We are interested in the woman she was, rather than the princess presented to the media.”– Tait de Lorenzo, DIANA

Full season and performance blurbs here

Directors’ and Designers’ Graduating Productions

When: Wednesday 12–Saturday 15 December, 2018

Where: National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), 215 Anzac Pde, Kensington NSW 2033

How much: Single show tickets $15/$12 +BF; three show package $32/$28 +BF

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