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.


Shadowplay Presented by Matchbox Pictures and Universal Studios Group

In partnership with Matchbox Pictures.

NIDA’s October 2023 Student Productions season will feature four theatre productions and a newly created performative installation that will light up the NIDA foyer throughout the season.

Through the generous support of Matchbox Pictures and Universal Studios Group (Australia) NIDA students were given the opportunity to explore the world of virtual production and create a brand-new experience for NIDA audiences.

The NIDA foyer will be transformed into a virtual theatre space with Shadowplay, a project made with Unreal Engine and the tools of virtual production. Students from Design, Acting and Technical Theatre and Stage Management have learnt and collaborated with NIDA staff and industry leaders MOD (a real-time and virtual production studio for film, TV, games and XR) to create this unique work.

MOD was founded in 2010 by Michela Ledwidge and Mish Sparks and is an official Unreal Engine Approved Service Partner. ‘It’s been great to collaborate with NIDA on introducing virtual production methods and tools such as Unreal Engine, focusing first on Motion, and now on Production Design. I can’t wait to see how the cohorts apply their new skills.’ Said Michela Ledwidge, Co-founder, Mod.


Shadowplay unfolds across and between four large glass walls overlooking the NIDA foyer. These are the walls of four rooms. Metahuman Avatars, based on Shakespearean characters in iconic moments from Shakespeare’s stories, are lost. They move through the solid walls that divide the rooms, trying to find connection with each other. They meet up in different configurations and create new angles on old narratives.

The partnership with Matchbox and Universal Studios Group (Australia) enables a very effective way to generate ongoing institutional learning in the future technology space for NIDA staff and students. This project will provide a blueprint for the ongoing integration of virtual production skills across NIDA.