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Innovation shines in October Season, EXPONIDA Liveness and New Works from Writers

NIDA students presented their outstanding creativity to the public during October and November in the October Student Productions Season, EXPONIDA 2020: Liveness exhibition and New Works from NIDA Writers.

The October Student Production Season (digital program links listed below) presented a total of five fully-staged productions to live and streamed audiences over 10 days. Next to Normal, Orlando, Ghosts, The Government Inspector and When the Rain Stops Falling attracted 2,500 audience members in limited seating capacity theatres. At the same time, two workshop productions of The Winter’s Tale and The Master and Margarita were performed to students and tutors by second-year Acting students.

The productions included stories about how we cope with crisis and change and come out the other side, that swept through centuries, uncovering truths about family, love, gender, greed and authority.

The productions provided a unique opportunity for students to collaborate with award-winning Australian and European directors. They include theatre director Darren Yap, opera and theatre director Mark Gaal, comedy specialist Darren Gilshenan, director and lecturer Priscilla Jackman, opera and theatre director Kate Gaul, European film and theatre teacher and actor Clara Voda and NIDA Director Centre for Acting John Bashford.

Next to Normal. Book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey, music by Tom Kitt, directed by Darren Yap, choreography by Kelley Abbey, musical director Andrew Ross. Set, video and co-costume design by Nick Fry, co-costume design by Charlotte Mungomery.

When the Rain Stops Falling.

Orlando from the novel by Virginia Woolf, Adapted by Sarah Ruhl, Directed by Kate Gaul, Costume Designer Monique Langford, Set and Props Designer Olivia Rowland.

The Government Inspector, by Nikolai Gogol, translated and adapted by Roger Pulvers, Directed by Darren Gilshenan, Set Design Adrienne Andrews, Costume Design Claudia Kryszkiewicz.

The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare, Directed by John Bashford.

The Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgarkov, adapted by Edward Kemp, Directed by Clara Voda.

At the same time, EXPONIDA 2020: Liveness presented a stunning showcase of NIDA's graduating students of the Master and Bachelor of Fine Arts students in Costume, Design for Performance, Directing, Properties and Objects, Technical Theatre and Stage Management, Voice and Writing for Performance.

'We are so proud to present this testament to how our students have grown through the inter-disciplinary and collaborative learning environment in the NIDA conservatoire, where the rigorous, everyday practice of performance-making creates the artists of tomorrow,’ said NIDA CEO Liz Hughes.

‘NIDA students have been given every opportunity to experience their chosen industry first-hand through award-winning staff, mentors and internships with leading Australian and international artists, performing arts, screen, events and entertainment companies.

‘I would like to take this opportunity to wholeheartedly thank all our sponsors and donors for their generosity in supporting NIDA and this exhibition, as well as the Australian Government through the Office for the Arts, Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.’

NIDA's Director, Centre for Design Practices, Dr Julie Lynch, added: 'This year’s exhibition not only celebrates the outstanding work of graduating students, but it also celebrates our collective tenacity and resilience in pulling through the Sydney lockdown period in a time of significant health, financial and artistic crisis.

‘Even though we were not able to be physically together, we are possibly more united in our values and commitment to working together and supporting one another. Covid19 has made us take time, take stock, and take care of each other in the most profound ways.

‘EXPONIDA 2020 was conceived and designed by the Bachelor of Fine Art (Design) third year students during lockdown and completed over NIDA’s Zoom teaching program. Each student worked tirelessly to constantly revise designs as Covid19 rules changed from month to month. The students have been incredibly agile in their thinking and open to change. They have also been ably supported by many staff and Scenic Construction and Technology students.’

Julie Lynch thanked all the staff who led the student work technically and helped to project manage the events.

New Works from NIDA Writers presented 11 live and streamed rehearsed readings. The  40-minute excerpts of the full-length works developed by the MFA (Writing for Performance) students took the form of stage plays, screenplays, television scripts and audio plays in a wide variety of genres, from horror to drama to comedy. The works touched on many of the themes of contemporary life, from global warming to sexual anxiety, with all this reflecting the passions and concerns of the individual writers.

Digital programs
The Master and Margarita. Full program
The Winter's Tale. Full program
The Government Inspector. Full program
Next to Normal. Full program
OrlandoFull program
When the Rain Stops FallingFull program
Ghosts. Full program

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