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NIDA celebrates June production season with Director/CEO Kate Cherry directing

The National Institute of Dramatic Art held its annual June Season of Student Productions, with Director/CEO Kate Cherry becoming the first head of NIDA in recent years to be among a list of accomplished guest directors leading the productions.

NIDA launches June production season with Director/CEO Kate Cherry directing

Visit the gallery for photo highlights of the June Student Production Season.

The National Institute of Dramatic Art held its annual June Season of Student Productions, with Director/CEO Kate Cherry becoming the first head of NIDA in recent years to be among a list of accomplished guest directors leading the productions.

The season included a scintillating array of works – two US plays, a science fiction screenplay adapted for the stage, an iconic Australian work and one of the most famous plays of the 20th century – featuring an all-student cast and crew and led by recognised guest directors.

International director and puppeteer Finn Caldwell directed the stage adaptation of Alex Garland’s 2014 multi-award-winning science fiction thriller film Ex Machina. The play fuses cutting-edge technology with techniques adapted from traditional Japanese Bunraku puppet theatre, and explores science fiction’s place within contemporary theatre.

‘At a time when the event of genuine Artificial Intelligence is becoming increasingly likely, Ex Machina provokes ethical and moral questions about our relationship with this next evolutionary step,’ commented Finn.

NIDA Director/CEO Kate Cherry drew on her extensive directing experience for Venus in Fur, becoming the first head of NIDA in recent years to direct a student production. Set in modern New York City, US playwright David Ives’ adaptation of the 1870s novella Venus in Furs by Austrian author Leopold von Sacher-Masoch follows the enigmatic and seductive relationship between a theatre director and a street-smart actress.

‘NIDA has a tradition and rich history of celebrating its students’ talents and furthering their abilities with incredibly entertaining student seasons,’ said Cherry. ‘It was only natural for me as a director to want to impart as much of my experience as possible by directing one of these performances.’

Venus in Fur shows that society is susceptible to being fooled into believing stereotypes and gendered roles. This play flips that on its head and there’s heightened relevance to today given surge in female empowerment in the acting industry. I’m hoping to entertain, empower and enliven audiences and performers alike.’

The 20th century masterpiece Waiting for Godot, directed by prolific Australian theatre director Susanna Dowling, looked at the human condition and reflects on the theatrical means used to do so. Featuring Beckett’s unique creations Didi, Gogo, Pozzo and Lucky – the existential clowns – everything in Waiting for Godot is a game: a game in order to survive, a game of life and death.

Darkly funny and teeming with violence, The Removalists, set in 1971 – a raucous period in Australia’s social history – follows a young policeman on his first day on the job as he encounters a case of domestic violence. Directed by theatre and opera director Elsie Edgerton-Till,the play holds a mirror to Australian society of the 1970s and asks the question: have the actual values of mainstream Australia culture really changed?

Accomplished theatre director Anthea WilliamsThe Colby Sisters of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania rounded off the season. Set in New York, this play is about the lives of five sisters from a privileged background with a troubled family history. Audiences can prepare for humour, pain, history and a wonderful tennis match.

Also in June, NIDA students of Master of Fine Arts (Directing), Diploma of Musical Theatre, Diploma of Live Production and technical Services and Diploma of Screen and Media (Specialist Make-Up Services) produced Weimer Kabarett, music and songs inspired by German Kabarett. The production was a collaboration over three weeks, and produced a stunning performance.

Applications are now open to apply to study at NIDA in 2019 for Master of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts or Vocational Diploma courses. Apply now.

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