Nurturing creative excellence at NIDA Studios

Applications are now open for a range of courses across the creative fields through the NIDA Studios program in Sydney.
Nurturing creative excellence at NIDA Studios

NIDA Open Senior Course Manager, Jenevieve Chang. Photograph by Marnya Rothe, courtesy of NIDA.

For National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) Open program Senior Course Manager Jenevieve Chang, excellence combined with an authentic experience is at the core of the extensive range of practical and flexible part-time Studio programs on offer in Sydney.

‘It’s a very enriching experience - very often we have people telling us that these courses have changed their lives,’ she said.


‘I think that people who are attracted to the arts are motivated by curiosity and a willingness to explore themselves, and that’s what we provide.’

Applications are currently open for mid-year intake to a number of leading NIDA Studio courses across key disciplines in the dramatic arts – from directing, acting and writing, to filmmaking and design.  

Taught by industry experts, these intensive Studio courses are tailored to both adults and young people (under 18 years of age), and held on weekends at NIDA’s Parade Theatres in Sydney.

A highlight of the courses is the Actors Studio, a four-term adult training program commencing 19 July and modeled on traditional NIDA performance training techniques.

‘We’re looking at realism, we’re inspired by Stanislavsky, but we do look at deconstructing vocal, movement and improvisation elements that make up the breadth of what it means to be working as an actor with a full tool-kit.’

Chang said students would have the opportunity to apply the tools into scene work taken from the “classic canon”, including Shakespeare, and Greek Theatre, as well as more contemporary work.

‘All of those skills are then applied to a performance project. The students work with an industry director through the whole rehearsal process – connecting with a play, being cast into a part, and going through a full narrative arc.

‘At the end of the program, students focus on developing screen acting skills through practical exercises, including simulated screen tests.'

The next round of auditions for NIDA Studio programs will be held on the weekend of 28 June, and Chang recommends that anyone considering a NIDA Studio course should review the different application and audition requirements for each course online.

‘Anyone thinking of applying can visit our website at or give us a call to answer any questions you might have.’

Chang said that after completing the programs, students are well placed to enter the industry professionally or undertake further study.

‘Creative learning offers really strong life skills - building confidence, looking at lateral ways to approach their own work (whether that be at school or in jobs), or even in creating their own projects,’ she said.

A performing artist herself, Chang said that her role in designing NIDA Studio courses offers a unique learning experience in itself. ‘I have to oversee not only a wide range of age groups and audience types, but also a range of disciplines as well.

‘My job demands me to be not only highly proficient at looking at the demands of training an actor, but also training designers, writers, directors and filmmakers,’ she said.

‘In terms of the creative talent that is involved, it’s very stimulating. Because we have such a range of brilliant practitioners who are with us to teach, I’m constantly learning from them as well.

Chang said that any student undertaking a NIDA Studio could expect their creative impulses to be challenged and extended and to leave wanting more. ‘Creative education is an ongoing experience - there’s no start and finish.

‘What we offer is an intensive experience that we hope will instill in them a hunger for more, because it’s about continually growing as an artist, which is lifetime endeavour.’

Enrolments are now open for a number of mid-year NIDA Studio short courses across the creative disciplines. Intakes for the 2015 NIDA Studio courses will open later this year.

Visit the NIDA Studio website for more information including course details and application deadlines. 

Troy Nankervis

Thursday 5 June, 2014

About the author

Troy Nankervis is an ArtsHub journalist from Melbourne. Follow him on twitter @troynankervis