NIDA launches EXPONIDA and October Season of Student Productions
In a glittering, star-studded evening, NIDA, Australia’s pre-eminent dramatic arts school launched its 60th Anniversary October Season of Student Productions and the annual EXPONIDA Exhibition.
Photo: (From left) NIDA CEO Jennifer Bott AO, NIDA Chairman Noel Staunton, The Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts. (Photo: Maja Baska)
In a glittering, star-studded evening, NIDA, Australia’s pre-eminent dramatic arts school launched its 60th Anniversary October Season of Student Productions and the annual EXPONIDA Exhibition. The evening saw the premiere of one Australian play and a new Australian musical as part of a program of five fully-staged productions led by award-winning directors.
The Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts officially opened the season of student productions and EXPONIDA. The student productions feature the next generation of Australian actors, performing in collaboration with their peers in design, production and technical disciplines. The exhibition showcases the next generation of Australian designers, stage managers, theatre technicians, costumiers, props-makers and scenery-makers and is open until 14 December.
Photo: The NIDA Nancy Fairfax Foyer on the opening night. (Photo: Maja Baska)
Following the opening formalities, the Minister attended one of the productions, God of Carnage, which was directed by NIDA graduate and Academy Award–nominated actor/director, Judy Davis. The Minister said: ‘The capacity of this institution, the reputation and the quality has been so critical to the ambition and the achievement of our drama and film and television sectors and industries. As a nation we have so much to be proud of in our creative industries and the role that NIDA has played over 60 years in fuelling the talent that is crucial to the success of those industries domestically and globally has been critical.’ NIDA is one of eight elite arts training organisations funded by the Australian Government.
The productions also feature director Kim Hardwick directing a stage adaptation of the beloved Australian ‘80s classic film, Starstruck; multi-award-winning writer/director Michael Gow, premiering Goldilocks; Helpmann Award–winning screenwriter/director Jim Sharman with Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night; and NIDA’s Director Centre for Acting John Bashford and Head of Movement Gavin Robins directing Marat/Sade.
Welcoming everyone to the Kensington campus, NIDA Chairman Noel Staunton said ‘This season of fully-staged productions and the works exhibited around you are the results of multidisciplinary collaboration among all our student cohorts; it’s this collaborative work that defines NIDA as one of the world’s leading educational organisations in the dramatic arts. We are so proud of all our students and their incredible achievements showcased here tonight.’
NIDA CEO Jennifer Bott AO added that: ‘We relish this opportunity for our emerging young artists to work with leading professionals, to develop and examine new work that speaks to the students of their generation. We’re excited to work with all our artists, including RGM Productions and the development of the next Australian stage musical, Starstruck.
‘Partnerships are at the heart of NIDA and we continue to seek out opportunities to partner with industry and suppliers to maintain the highest standard of productions and teaching. We couldn’t present any of these high-calibre productions without support from the Australian Government, our major partners Technical Direction Company and Canon Australia, our property services partner ARA, beverage supporters Tempus Two and Young Henrys, legal services supporter Kay and Hughes, and the generous individuals who make up our donors and supporters.’
Speaking after the event, NIDA Director Centre for Design Practices Dr Julie Lynch said that the EXPONIDA exhibition was a showcase of all the students who will shape the next 60 years of NIDA. She explained the concept of the exhibition, saying ‘This year we asked third-year Design for Performance students to create an exhibition that recycled and reinvented design elements and materials. The exhibition is layered with two experiences, where the viewer can look back at the confidence of our past 60 years, while at the same time experiencing the talent and optimism of our graduating students’ work and their futures.’ Dr Lynch thanked all the staff and students who embraced the idea ‘so enthusiastically and expertly’ to mount the exhibition.
EXPONIDA is free to the public and open until 14 December at NIDA, 215 Anzac Parade, Kensington.
Photo: Dr Julie Lynch (centre) Director, Centre for Design Practices with third-year Bachelor of Fine Arts (Design for Performance) students. (Photo: Maja Baska)
God of Carnage. (Photo: Lisa Tomasetti)
Written by Yasmina Reza, directed by Judy Davis
Set, props and costume design by Grace Deacon
Goldilocks – Australian premiere. (Photo: Lisa Tomasetti)
Written and directed by Michael Gow
Set, props and costume design by Camille Ostrowsky
Twelfth Night. (Photo: Lisa Tomasetti)
By William Shakespeare, directed by Jim Sharman
Set and props design by Luke D’Alessandro
Costume design by Aislinn King
Marat/Sade – Peter Weiss’ The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton under the Direction of the Marquis De Sade. (Photo: Patrick Boland)
Directed by NIDA Director Centre for Acting John Bashford and Head of Movement Gavin Robins
Set, props and costume design Olivia Rowlands
Starstruck The Stage Musical – Australian premiere. (Photo: Patrick Boland)
Produced with Garry McQuinn
In association with Palm Beach Pictures
Book by Mitchell Butel and Hilary Bell based on the screenplay by Stephen Maclean
Directed by Kim Hardwick, Musical direction by Luke Byrne.
Set and props design by Jake Pitcher
Costume design by Kate Beere.