Love meets war this June at NIDA
From the sand dunes of war in Afghanistan to love-set-match on a Shakespearean tennis court, the National Institute of Dramatic Art’s June season of student work makes for exciting theatre.
NIDA’s season includes the world premiere of a new Australian play Kandahar Gate by NIDA Head of Writing for Performance and acclaimed playwright, Stephen Sewell.
NIDA Head of Acting and director of Kandahar Gate, Jeff Janisheski describes it as a feverish ‘dream play’ inspired by Akira Kurosawa’s iconic film Rashomon but transplanting the action to the death of a soldier in Afghanistan.
“It is a powerful and deeply political piece of theatre from one of Australia’s great playwrights. The twisting account of the death at the centre of the story ultimately leads you to question what is true and what is real,” says Jeff.
“It’s also one of the few plays being produced that looks at Australia’s involvement in Afghanistan. At the dark heart of the play is an exploration of how the truth gets buried – by governments, the military and one’s own memory.
“Stephen Sewell is Australia’s conscience as a playwright. He takes his job as a writer – to be a barometer for society at a particular moment in time – very seriously. Kandahar Gate is no exception, it’s a tough play and it shows Stephen at the top of his game as a writer.”
The season also features some of Australia’s leading directors whose creative expertise has helped create memorable productions featuring the next generation of Australia’s actors and creative professionals.
David Berthold, Artistic Director of Brisbane Festival returns to NIDA to direct Much Ado About Nothing in a bright and lively re-telling of Shakespeare’s popular comedy where the age-old battle of the sexes takes place in the cut‑throat world of international tennis.
Artistic Director of Barking Gecko, John Sheedy takes on the chilling and murderous The Greeks, adapted by John Barton and Kenneth Cavander. This trilogy brings together the classic Greek tragedies Hecuba, Agamemnon and Electra – three tales of a society recovering from the ravages of a decade-long war.
NIDA graduate Dominic Mercer takes the reins of In The Blood, Suzan-Lori Parks’ daring adaptation of the literary classic The Scarlet Letter. This powerful exploration of femininity, motherhood, poverty and sexuality catapults the Puritan drama into a modern world pitching a young unmarried mother against a judgmental society.
Martin Crimp’s incisive and witty translation of Marivaux’s The False Servant is brought to life in an opulent production by NIDA graduate Mackenzie Steele. This is a world full of disguises, double-crossing and deceit where Mackenzie deliberately highlights the theatrical world of the play, breaking the ‘fourth wall’ and bringing the audience into the manipulative action of the characters.
This is an incredible and brave season of works that should not be missed.