Film & TV

Sep 21, 2012

NIDA dramatics ignore play on arts education

The war of words over the National Institute of Dramatic Arts distracts from the real debate about arts education. Why is the institute so gold-plated in the first place?

Ben Eltham — <em>Crikey</em> arts commentator

Ben Eltham

Crikey arts commentator

This week, theatre types were treated to one of the industry’s favourite spectacles, as a power-play inside the National Institute of Dramatic Art’s board room went public.

The trigger was a long essay by former NIDA board member Chris Puplick, to be published in Currency House next month, which dumps all over NIDA’s current board and management, and alleges serious declines in educational standards at the national drama school.

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3 comments

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3 thoughts on “NIDA dramatics ignore play on arts education

  1. Evan

    The gossip I here is that WAPAA has replaced NIDA as the place to go.

    The high number of applications is probably due to so few places being available. If you get to select the best applicants from such a large pool it is not surprising if your graduates do well. It may have nothing to do with the school – it may just mean that people were good and were selected because they were good (this applies other places than at NIDA).

    It sounds like there are some pretty personal issues in play.

    It would be fun to know the personal background and stories. Unfortunately I don’t.

  2. Karen Vickery

    Seems patently contradictory to talk about the highly funded NIDA as a ‘waste of taxpayers’ money’, then to claim that as it is ‘gold-plated’ it’s not worthy of discussion.

  3. Kevin Jackson

    Please note the Auqa review was done with the “old NIDA” staff. It is accredited on the plan of the staff that is no longer there. The course is at present under radical change, that has , probably, not had the same scrutiny as it had in 2010-2011. A certain percentage is able to be adapted per year, on application, I think. How different it is now is something that Auqa may need to ascertain. NIDA may be able to inform you.
    This old Auqa submission ,then, is before what you call the “run -off-the -rails”, began. Although even then it was looming.
    I am an old member of that staff that laboured to the Auqa strictures.
    I am not privy to the number of applications for last year but the Acting Course only took in 20 places for 2012. 14 for Acting. 6 for Music Theatre. This is a decrease from the usual 24 – the first time ever! A fairly elitist number considering the applications. I understand that two of the first year Acting Course students have left -of their own volition. The first time ever! Now there are 18 students in the Acting Course. (One of the students that left was an Indigenous student.)
    You claim you have not being able to find people to talk to. Maybe you have not really searched hard enough. Past staff and students may, at last, have some air to do so if asked. (Please understand that it is the Acting Course that has been under great duress. Other courses have benefited from the changes.)
    I certainly have not been contacted. Ask the questions and I will try to reply.
    What do you want to know?

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