Artists in demand around the world will create new productions as part of NIDA’s 2023 season of student productions across June and October.
The eight productions are all led by top professional artists working with NIDA students. They tell stories that stretch from gender politics to geopolitics, caress to carnage, and to the nature of theatre itself.
They feature a world premiere, Australian premieres of bold new international writing, musical theatre, opera and work at the intersection of film and theatre. All showcase the outstanding training and learning at one of the world’s top-ranked drama schools.
“We are thrilled with the richness and diversity of the upcoming creative productions which are a key collaboration opportunity for students across all disciplines with both each other and industry leading creatives,” said NIDA CEO Liz Hughes.
“The productions showcase the creative courage, ingenuity and the storytelling superpowers of the students who are the imagineers of our screens, stages and the future of entertainment.”
The June season will open on Wednesday June 7 and features four productions. The blood thirsty musical thriller Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street from legendary American composer Stephen Sondheim is directed by Constantine Costi (Opera Australia’s La Traviata on Sydney Harbour) with musical direction by Andrew Worboys (Merrily We Roll Along) and choreography by Shannon Burns (La Traviata).
Kindness is a world premiere from Australian actor and writer Matthew Whittet (Girl Asleep and Heartbreak High) exploring a group of people in their 20s dealing with a complicated grief. This generous play is directed by Jessica Arthur, who has just completed a four-year term as Resident Director of Sydney Theatre Company.
Scenes with Girls by Miriam Battye (HBO’s Succession) is one of two Australian premieres of plays by internationally acclaimed UK writers. It takes a laser sharp look at millennial sexual politics and is directed by leading Australia theatre and opera director Imara Savage, who later this year will direct The Seagull for Sydney Theatre Company starring NIDA Board member Sigrid Thornton.
The Writer by Ella Hickson (Oil) is a ground-breaking play that takes aim at the patriarchal power that infects the business of making art. It’s directed by Zoë Hollyoak (Collapsible).
All four directors in the June season are NIDA alumni – Constantine Costi (Directing, 2013), Jessica Arthur (Directing, 2015), Imara Savage (Directing, 2008) and Zoë Hollyoak (Directing, 2020).
“There is no doubt that NIDA has produced some of the world’s great storytellers. We want to continue that critical contribution,” said NIDA Artistic Director in Residence David Berthold.
That’s why our production seasons are brought to life through deep collaboration with top professional artists who see the importance of working with students who will be the next generation of ground-breakers.
“These productions are created in a rigorous professional environment, ensuring that when students graduate from NIDA they are ready for a professional career. And it all makes for terrific audience experiences,” said Berthold.
In October, one of the world’s great directors, Singapore’s Ong Seng Ken, will be a guest NIDA Fellow and direct Sandaime Richard by acclaimed Japanese playwright Hideki Noda.
Ong Keng Sen will also headline this year’s Edinburgh International Festival – the world’s most prestigious international arts festival – with his production of The Trojan Women. Ong Keng Sen’s productions are seen in major theatres across Asia, Europe and North America and this will be the first time he has created work at NIDA. Sandaime Richard is an intercultural satire on power that puts Shakespeare on trial for defaming Richard III.
Nat Randall and Anna Breckon, who will direct Abi Morgan’s shattering Splendour for NIDA in October, will feature in this month’s London International Festival of Theatre at the Young Vic with their sensational work The Second Woman starring Golden Globe and Olivier Award winner Ruth Wilson. Abi Morgan (Iron Lady with Meryl Streep) examines what happens when four women wait in an opulent drawing room for the return of a dictator.
The October season will also feature A Very Expensive Poison by Lucy Prebble (I Hate Suzie with Billie Piper), an adaptation of Luke Harding’s extraordinary exposé telling the true story of the 2006 assassination of Alexander Litvinenko by the Russian secret service in London. It will be directed by Belvoir’s Resident Director Hannah Goodwin.
NIDA will also continue its operatic collaboration with Sydney Conservatorium of Music with the Australian premiere of Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin’s version of Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea. This brutal and erotic drama of Nero’s Rome will be conducted by Stephen Mould, directed by David Berthold, and will feature singers and orchestra from the Conservatorium and design and full production realisation by NIDA students.
For more information about NIDA’s production season, visit: www.nida.edu.au for details.
Image: 2023 Production Season – courtesy of NIDA