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.

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Open Day offers a behind-the-scenes look at NIDA!

NIDA theatres, workshops, studios and creative spaces came alive on Saturday 18 June as over 1,500 visitors attended NIDA’s annual Open Day.Parade Theatre Open Day

Above: An Open Day course talk in NIDA's Parade Theatre

The event featured course talks, panel conversations with NIDA alumni, special showings of NIDA productions followed by cast and crew Q&As, interactive workshops, NIDA Open drop-in classes, campus tours, and a foyer full of staff, students and alumni sharing their knowledge, passion and industry expertise.

Costume Open Day

Above: Current costume students share course highlights

With applications now open for next year, Open Day gave prospective students, parents and members of the community a chance to find out more about life behind-the-scenes of Australia’s leading performing arts institute. The event shone a light on the spaces at NIDA where students learn and create, the success of alumni across stage, screen, future media and beyond, and the support and opportunities available to future students including scholarships and financial and cultural assistance.

 Open Day

Above: Wellbeing at NIDA with NIDA Counsellor Kareena Hodgson

Props Workshop Open Day

Above: Visitors explore the props workshop

Throughout the day, course leaders and current students provided an insight into course content and application requirements, while alumni from NIDA’s performing, making and technical courses spoke about their work and current projects, and the unique collaborative experience offered at NIDA.

Parade Theatre Open Day

Above: Open Day course talk in NIDA's Parade Theatre

BFA Acting alumni Ashan Kumar (Acting, 2021), Shakira Clanton (Acting, 2015), Ryan Panizza (Acting, 2020) and Toby Blome (Acting, 2017) joined us for the Performers panel, and discussed their work and creative practice involving acting, directing, writing and producing. Ashan will star in upcoming Disney+ series Nautillus, Shakira will appear in upcoming Netflix series Wellmania alongside Celeste Barber, Ryan is currently on Channel 7's Home and Away and Toby stars in new Foxtel series The Twelve.

NIDA alumna and designer Tobhiyah (Tobhi) Stone Feller (Design, 2005) hosted the Makers panel, and welcomed guests Mark Campbell (Design, 2003), Head of Design at HarperCollins Publishers ANZ and costumier Harriet Ayres (Costume, 2019).

Technical Alumni Open Day

Above: Technical Practitioners and Managers Alumni Panel with Graham Henstock, Course Leader, Technical Theatre and Stage Management

The Technical Practitioners panel included Olivia Benson (Production, 2012), Production and Technical Manager at Hayes Theatre Co., Minka Stevens (Technical Production, 2002), Head of Stage Management at Sydney Theatre Company, Lighting Designer, Set and Costume Designer Veronique Bennet (Technical Theatre and Stage Management, 2017; MFA Design for Performance, 2019), and artist and recent grad Sophia Wallace (Technical Theatre and Stage Management, 2021).

Highlights of the day also included NIDA Open drop-in classes in screen acting, improvisation, text analysis and television presenting, observe-a-class featuring NIDA students practising movement, voice, combat and singing, as well as demonstrations by NIDA’s make-up, live production, scenic construction and costume students.

Movement Class Open Day

Above: Students demonstrate a movement class

Rigging and Flying Open Day

Above: Scenic Construction students demonstrate rigging and flying for screen performance

Feeling inspired? Find out more and apply to study in 2023 at

In case you missed it, register for our upcoming virtual information sessions here.

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