NIDA acknowledges the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the lands on which we learn and tell stories, the Bidjigal, Gadigal, Dharawal and Dharug peoples, and we pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past and present.

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2023 Festival of Emerging Artists

This season is supported by The Nick Enright AM Estate


In their training, Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Directing students work closely with student artists across all disciplines in the school. Many of their practice-led learning experiences also connect with external colleagues and industry partners such as the Actors Centre Australia, NAISDA dance college,  and ABC's triple j unearthed, and rage programs. Through multiple live performances and multimedia projects, the directors spend the 15-month-long course honing their craft, creativity, and collaboration skills. This festival stands as the culmination of the practical component of training for the directors, a place to connect with contemporary audiences and express their unique directorial potential as they transition into the industry. The festival houses 7 short productions to be experienced across three different venues (The Reg Grundy Studio, The Studio and The Space).

The Space opens with SEEN, a new Australian play written by Xavier Hazard (MFA Writing for Performance ). The production brings live form to the complexities of young people’s relationships as they exist on the internet. A fresh and sharp reflection on intimacy and friendship.  Rosa Campagnaro directs The Attempted Rape of Susanna adapted in collaboration with ARIA-award-winning composer Sally Whitwell. Inspired by Mozart and De Ponte’s The Marriage of Figaro, this joyous yet provocative version of the tale lays bare the problematic scenario for contemporary times. Enchanting music, voice and cutting satire. The closing production in this venue is Abigail Williams, written and directed by Rebecca McNamee. In this compelling one-woman production, the so-called ‘villain’ of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible finally has a voice. This is a prequel to one of the world’s most powerful plays on intolerance, justice, and hysteria.

In The Studio, Mehhma Malhi directs Ephemera written by prolific Thai-Australian playwright and screenwriter Anchuli Felicia King. This production was first penned as a response to Caryl Churchill’s Love and Information as part of the Royal Court Theatres Living Archive productions. Here, conversations between three pairs of human beings in different times and places unfold side by side with fascinating connections to the ephemeral - here one minute, gone the next. Kurtis Laing then directs a rapid-fire mini musical by the world's most lauded contemporary musical theatre artist, Lin Manuel-Miranda of Hamilton fame. 21 Chump Street was originally a commission by the Brooklyn Academic of Music, where Miranda found riveting subject material in an This America Life podcast episode of the same name. Themes of the Amercian justice system and it's ethics are tangled with young love in this wonderful morsel of musical theatre.

The Reg Grundy Studio is home to Amadeus written and directed by Temuulen Jargalsaikhan, inspired by Alexander Pushkin’s Mozart and Salieri. Mozart is perused relentlessly by the various versions of jealousy that reside in Salieri . An expressionist contemporary music and theatre performance set in an electronic nightclub of the future. And to round out the festival we have The Great Theatre of the World by Pedro Calderón de la Barca, adapted and directed by  Fernando de Miguel Fuertes. A 17th Century Spanish morality play gets a spectacular facelift in this unforgettable multidisciplinary theatrical event.

These productions stand as a testament to the ambitious creative artists moving into a radically evolving Arts climate. We’re thrilled to welcome you to the festival and thank you for playing the most crucial role, our audience.

Dr Benjamin Schostakowski
Head of Directing, Course Leader

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Past Productions