NIDA welcomes HSC students for OnSTAGE Week

8 February 2018

Photo: St Clare's High School Taree visits NIDA.

Drama students from several regional NSW high schools visited the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) this week as part of the OnSTAGE showcase of the best of NSW HSC performances.

Students from Albury High School, Scots College Albury, Moree Secondary College and St Clare’s High School Taree were among several regional NSW schools to attend NIDA Open Schools program workshops. The workshops explored different approaches to devising the students' HSC group performance project this year.

‘You can see that the students are working with professional actors, they are connecting the dots – they can try different things and experiment with the things they have learnt in the workshop and ultimately transfer that to their performances,’ said Gretchen Habermann, drama teacher from Albury High School.

‘A trip like this really boosts everyone’s sense of development, as well as my own,’ said Liz Heitmeyer, drama teacher at Scots College Albury. ‘I’ve been taking notes the whole time as well!’

‘There are not many opportunities to access theatre in Albury – though we do have our local Hothouse Theatre and the Fruit Fly Circus,’ she said.  ‘This experience is wonderful immersion into the possibilities of professional theatre.’

Photo: Scotch College took part in workshops at NIDA in 2017.

‘This is a great opportunity for the students to meet artists who have studied and who perform regularly as well. It has really added a whole new layer to their work,’ said Stevie Jean, drama teacher from Moree Secondary College.

‘We did a group performance workshop this morning which was a great way to get them ready for their ensemble work.  Then we are off to see a matinee and evening performance of OnSTAGE. That will probably be enough for them!’

‘There is a lot of experiential learning going on and there are some amazing skills that the students can take away and utilize.’

Moree student Isabella said that she has always been into performing since she was about three years old and was a little intimated by how big NIDA is. ‘NIDA is not what we’re used to,’ she laughed. Fellow student Holly said she really liked the movement in the class and the way that the tutor involved everyone. ’I think I will take away the ‘no holding back’ message from this experience. It’s about “who cares what anyone thinks. Just go for it”.’

OnSTAGE is a presentation and exhibition of group and individual performances and projects by HSC Drama students. The OnSTAGE season at the Seymour Centre is presented by the NSW Education Standards Authority and the NSW Department of Education. For more details, please visit https://www.seymourcentre.com/events/event/onstage-2018/

For information about NIDA’s schools program, please visit https://www.nida.edu.au/schools-and-teachers