NIDA acknowledges the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the lands on which we learn and tell stories, the Bidjigal, Gadigal, Dharawal and Dharug peoples, and we pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past and present.


NIDA launches June Student Production Season

‘We educate and train the best of the best’ says NIDA CEO Jenny Bott AO at the launch of June Student Production Season

Photo: Roberto Zucco in the Parade Theatre, directed by Professor Robert Schuster (Photo: Patrick Boland)

NIDA CEO Jenny Bott AO opened the June Student Productions Season 2019 on Thursday 13 June saying that ‘For 60 years, NIDA has been at the forefront of building Australia’s capacity to tell our own stories and in the process to build our true identity. We educate and train the best of the best. We are the hothouse for the future Australian classics- the iconic films, plays and television series, the visionary writers and directors, the intrepid producers, the future stars of stage and screen, the future cultural warriors. This evening is no exception. I know you will all enjoy this incredible season of productions.

Our three annual student production seasons, of which this is the first, are at the very heart of everything we do here at NIDA. They inform our vision, focus our energy and inspiration, and drive our program of education anchored in the very practice of the artform we all love. These productions are at the heart of our conservatoire, practice based educational model, they set us apart nationally and internationally, and ensure we remain one of the world’s top ten drama schools.

The shows you are about see involve students from across all of our disciplines at both Bachelor and Masters levels – from design, costume, properties and objects, scenic construction, technical theatre and stage management, and of course, our final year Acting students. This intense collaboration is unique to NIDA and ensures every graduating student is fully equipped to work in any performing arts ensemble and company anywhere the world.

This June season sees a deep integration of screen-based technology within the design concepts and performances. Get ready to see state of the art visualisation of live video feeds, projection and LED screen technology. For this we give a special thanks to TDC, the Technical Direction Company – our major partner assisting us with technology equipment and expertise. Without this generous level of support our students wouldn’t be at the cutting edge of the industry.

The five works selected for this season are all contemporary, and have been written in the last 50 years, with one world premiere in a new work by NIDA MFA Writing for Performance alumni Lewis Treston with Meat Eaters.

Photo: Meat Eaters directed byKate Champion (Photo: Lisa Tomasetti)

We welcome our international guest director from Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Art in Berlin, Professor Robert Schuster who has directed the students in the chilling Roberto Zucco in the Parade Theatre. Our international guest directors, teachers and specialist staff are here at NIDA thanks to the support of donors like Frederick J Gibson who saw by giving a bequest to NIDA that many generations of artists would be inspired by the world’s best.

Our students have had the benefit of working with Australian Director Kate Champion – who has been collaborating with students on Meat Eaters – and Susanna Dowling – who brings Patricia Cornelius’s Australian drama Love to the Space Theatre.

Our resident staff directors are industry professionals and NIDA Alumni. They are a crucial part of this season, and we are all highly anticipating the results of NIDA’s Executive Director for Pathways & Partnerships, Mark Gaal’s audience immersion experience with Closer by Patrick Marber in the Reg Grundy Studio, and NIDA’s Head of Directing Ben Schostakowski with British playwright Mark Ravenhill’s pool (no water) in the Playhouse.

Photo: Closer, directed by Mark Gaal (Photo: Patrick Boland)

NIDA’s unique connection to the entertainment industry opens the door for all our students nationally and internationally placing them ahead of others in skills and experiences through in-house and secondment industry networks before they have even graduated.

NIDA is extremely grateful to the Federal Government for its funding but it may surprise you that that only makes up 34% of our budget. In order to grow and maintain the high level of arts education that we offer, NIDA as a not for profit institution is seeking like-minded organisations and individuals to work alongside us to invest in innovation, creativity and technology experiences for students in the dramatic arts.

For the next 60 years we want to broaden our support for students to build upon the momentum of success. We are now looking for donors to invest in a Student Fund to support tuition, relocation, financial aid, travel and accommodation for experiences and new technology in our theatres and film studios.

We want remove the barriers to ensure students from all backgrounds and all parts of Australia have access to NIDA. We want our graduates to reflect the great and diverse culture that we have and the world in which we live.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank and acknowledge the crucial contribution of NIDA’s current supporters, without whom we could not present this outstanding season.

Thank you to our Major Partners, Technical Direction Company, Canon Australia; and NIDA Supporters Tempus Two and Kay & Hughes Art and Entertainment Lawyers. We are grateful to our Production Fund Supporters who you will find listed in your program. It is the support of these people and organisations that make these productions possible.

Finally, I’d like to acknowledge the dedicated teaching and technical staff of the NIDA Conservatoire, who have collaborated with the students and directors, supporting them to realise this exciting season.’

Register your interest to study at NIDA in 2020 here.