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Platform Papers 33: Changing Times at NIDA

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After 50 years of growth the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) has come to be recognised as the pre-eminent theatre training school in Australia and one of the finest theatre schools in the world. Its graduates have been the mainstay of our stage, film and TV industries, and in many ways constitute Australia’s most visible export. But in 2007 a new force with a different mission took command, determined to address perceived new challenges for the new century. Emotion has been high as petitions have been ignored and mentors marched away ‘in an overt policy of removing all former practices and corporate memory from the building’. What new opportunities have been embraced? What is being achieved and what lost? Former Board member Chris Puplick has written an intensively researched case for urgent action to be taken to reverse NIDA’s decline. The current Board and management, he believes, have demolished the ‘old NIDA’ and now preside over a new crisis of management, pedagogy, governance and confidence.

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