NIDA staff, students and alumni come together in The Shifting Heart

7 March 2018

Photo: Rehearsals for The Shifting Heart (photo: Danielle Lyonne)

The Shifting Heart at Sydney’s Seymour Centre brings together several National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) staff, students and alumni in acting and stage production roles.

The award winning and moving Australian classic about Italian immigration, The Shifting Heart was written by Richard Beynon in 1960 and is set during Christmas in 1950s Melbourne. The story follows Italian immigrants, the Bianchis, as they attempt to create a new life in Australia and explores friendship, honesty and family while offering an insight to the psychology of racism and its victims.

NIDA graduate and NIDA Corporate Course Manager, Diane Smith (Acting, 1978), is playing the character of Leila, an Australian woman living next door. The play is directed by Kim Hardwick, a tutor in NIDA’s Bachelor of Fine Art (Acting) course.

‘Kim has assembled a wonderful cast and has modernised some of the text to include more Italian language,’ said Diane.

The production includes NIDA students and alumni, Tony Poli (Acting, 1985), Laurence Coy (Directing, 1993), Ariadne Sgouros (Acting), Lucas Linehan (Acting), Isabel Hudson (Design, 2016), Julian Starr (Technical Theatre and Stage Management).

‘What I love about working with younger NIDA actors is that they know what they are doing, we are all professionals, ready to work and they will get the job done,’ said Diane.

NIDA supports many of its staff members to take leave and continue their practice.  ‘When my acting practice is fresh in my mind it helps me to put the courses together. Just about everyone in NIDA Corporate has professional acting and performance experience.’

‘Many of the academic staff take leave for their practice as well. It reenergises you and keeps you in touch with the industry.’

‘NIDA Corporate uses the skills of the actor to enable business people to perform better in their workplace. I couldn’t do my job here at NIDA if I didn’t keep up my own creative practice,’ said Diane.

Event details and tickets here.