NIDA's triple threat steps out in 2018

22 February 2018

NIDA’s Vocational Diploma of Musical Theatre is an intensive one year of study that develops students to become a ‘triple threat’– singer, dancer and actor.

Photo: Musical Theatre Showcase. (Photo: Patrick Boland)

Leading Australian theatre, opera and television director Mark Gaal heads up a team of Australia’s finest musical theatre artists to run the course.

‘The intensive nature of the full-time training over one year at NIDA makes our program unique. Our students are singing, dancing and acting every day of the week that they come here,' said Mark. 'We make sure the course looks comprehensively at all these skills, and our students benefit from a strong injection of through-line professionals who are active within the music theatre industry. They're working with award-winning singer and actor Philip Quast, international choreographer and dance performer Natasha Crane, and musical director Luke Byrne.'

Photo: Mark Gaal and Luke Byrne rehearsing at NIDA studios.

Photo: Luke Byrne in the orchestra pit at Muriel's Wedding (Photo: David Bergman)

Luke Byrne has worked on NIDA’s Vocational Diploma of Musical Theatre for two years and produces the annual Showcase, attended by musical theatre practitioners, producers and agents. He’s an active musical director, conductor, pianist, composer and arranger, recently part of the award-winning musical team on Muriel’s Wedding: The Musical for Sydney Theatre Company.

‘The students here are so keen and ready to absorb everything they can in a relatively short timeframe,’ said Luke. ‘When we challenge them, they have always not only risen to that challenge, but exceeded our expectations.

‘This course has access to all the facilities and talent in this premiere institution for performing arts and acting. The annual Cabaret for example combines the talents of the Diploma of Musical Theatre students with the Masters of Fine Art Directing students,’ said Luke.

Photo: Musical Theatre Showcase. (Photo: Patrick Boland)

Musical theatre in Australia attracts an audience of 3.3 million patrons generating $347.7 million in ticket sale revenue (Live Performance Australia 2016). It’s also a sector dominated by imported shows, talent and creatives from the UK and the USA.

‘The West End in London and Broadway in New York are certainly the international homes of musical theatre and of course our students want to work there,’ said Mark. ‘But we’re also thrilled that the Australian-grown music theatre sector is growing with popular shows like Ladies in Black, Muriel’s Wedding and Priscilla of course.

'We are also thrilled that our students are finding fantastic opportunities in related areas. For example, we have graduates from this course singing and performing on cruise ships and places like Universal Studios Japan. So as well as going into shows, there are other avenues that are incredibly rewarding and challenging related to the musical theatre genre itself.’

Photo: Musical Theatre Showcase. (Photo: Patrick Boland)

To register interest in applying for the 2019 intake for Diploma of Musical Theatre, please complete an expression of interest form.