What goes into training an actor at NIDA?

The acting training at NIDA is like a crucible. Through the intensive pressure of the curriculum and the heat of the creative process, people transform from being students to being professional artists after three years here. Our Bachelor of Dramatic Art (Acting) provides students with the skills and knowledge to work across theatre, film and television. They learn to be a malleable instrument who can adapt and transform from moment to moment, medium to medium, project to project. From day one, students are challenged to jump.

How do aspiring actors get a taste of what life is like at NIDA?

There are lots of opportunities for anyone thinking of studying at NIDA to experience what it’s like to train here. On May 17, we are throwing our doors open for one day for anyone and everyone to find out more about everything we have to offer. NIDA is the goal for many aspiring actors, and our Open Day is a great opportunity for them to talk with the teaching staff and learn more about how they can be part of our community.

NIDA’s training expertise and environment are available to the public through the NIDA Open short courses and the Studio program, which provide flexible learning options for intensive study in acting for stage and screen.

NIDA graduates have certainly achieved plenty over the years – who’s making their mark at the moment?

Sarah Snook has just been cast in the title role of the US ABC pilot Clementine and featured in Not Suitable For Children and Sleeping Beauty; Remy Hii has just been recognised with the Graham Kennedy Award for Outstanding New Talent and has been cast in the new Netflix drama Marco Polo; and Rob Collins was cast as Mufasa in The Lion King before he even graduated last year.

Your June productions are set to showcase students’ work. Can you tell us more about that?

Our June student productions are an entertaining showcase of the talent to be found right across NIDA. They include an exciting lineup of guest directors and will feature the world premiere of an original work by our Head of Writing for Performance and acclaimed Australian playwright, Stephen Sewell, called Kandahar Gate.

Is the acting profession in Australia in a healthy place at the moment?

Australia has an intensely vibrant theatre scene. I worked professionally in New York City for nine years, and I find the level of theatre here to be on par with the best of New York – it’s just on a smaller scale. Sydney has a wonderfully diverse theatre scene, with Griffin, Sydney Theatre Company, Belvoir, Bell Shakespeare and Carriageworks. These are fantastic companies and venues that showcase some of the best of Australian talent.

NIDA Open Day is on Saturday May 17 at the NIDA campus in Kensington.

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