NIDA’s June Season of Student Productions presented four, fully-staged live plays that surprised and shook audiences. The season included live cinema, an urban mystery, an urgent demolition, and a flagship partnership. The four plays were Metamorphosis, Perfect Stranger, Eat Me, and REVOLT. SHE SAID. REVOLT AGAIN.
Opening the season, NIDA CEO Liz Hughes said, ‘This season gives all our students the opportunity to push boundaries and engage with industry representatives, agents, theatre and event companies, film and television producers. The state-of-the-art performance spaces they work in, as well as the experts they have access to at every step of the creative process, are what makes NIDA one of the world’s top-performing arts educators.’
Metamorphosis, a live cinema interpretation of Franz Kafka’s fable directed by NIDA’s Head of Directing, Course Leader Dr. Benjamin Schostakowski, included projections in live time alongside the live theatre performance.
‘We arrived at the idea of working in the form of live-cinema to provide a multifaceted theatrical experience for audiences to fall deep into the dream, or nightmare,’ said Ben. ‘This process of creation has been principally experimental and thrilling to witness. It’s an exciting glimmer into the creative potential of our next generation of professional artists.’
Above: Metamorphosis, June Student Production Season, 2021. Full program available here.
NIDA welcomed leading stage director and artist Kate Champion back to NIDA, directing Hilary Bell’s kaleidoscopic Perfect Stranger. The audience was placed in revolving seating as the performing action encircled them. Hilary Bell said she drew inspiration from ‘castaways and sleepers, Robinson Crusoe, Rip Van Winkle, legends, and myths. It’s a play about the fleetingness of the here-and-now.’
Director Kate Champion said that the play, ‘looks at what signifies our sense of belonging and evokes our often fragile grasp on reality. The challenge was to stage this play with 35 characters and 34 locations as a live theatrical experience. The opportunity to present it at NIDA provided us with a solution.’
Above: Perfect Stranger, June Student Production Season, 2021. Full program available here.
Award-winning Heather Fairbairn directed Alice Birch’s timely exposure of patriarchy in REVOLT. SHE SAID. REVOLT AGAIN. ‘We live in a time in which those who hold power are beginning to be brought to account,’ said Heather. ‘Alice Birch’s play disrupts accepted modes of storytelling by deconstructing language, character, and form. We applied the concept of disruption to all the production elements, much credit to all the students for rising to this challenge. Although written in 2014, the play is definitely a play for our times.’
Above: REVOLT. SHE SAID. REVOLT AGAIN. June Student Production Season, 2021. Full program available here.
In a first for NIDA, the season included a ground-breaking collaboration with Australia’s largest theatre company, Sydney Theatre Company. Eat Me is comprised of four connected short plays set 50 years apart written by the four members of Sydney Theatre Company’s 2021 Emerging Writers Group, James Elazzi, Jordyn Fulcher, Enoch Mailangi, and Wendy Mocke. The Group aims to encourage the next generation of Australian playwrights, helping them discover and hone their own distinctive voices.
The plays were directed by the four members of the Contemporary Asian Australian Performance Directors Initiative at STC, Courtney Stewart, Kenneth Moraleda, Tasnim Hossain and Jennifer Rani. You can read more here.
Above: EAT ME. June Student Production Season, 2021. Full program available here.
NIDA couldn’t present any of these high-calibre productions without support from the Australian Government, our Principal Partner for property services ARA, our Major Partners Technical Direction Company and Canon Australia, our Corporate Partner YouTube, our Supporters Tempus Two, Young Henrys, Media Super, and Screen Australia, our Legal Services Supporter Kay & Hughes, and our Event supporter Fourth Wall and the trusts and foundations and the generous individuals who make up our donors and supporters.
Feeling inspired? Applications are now open to study at NIDA in 2022. It’s free to apply to any of NIDA’s 13 full-time courses this year. For all information and how to apply visit apply.nida.edu.au.