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National Institute of Dramatic Art


National Institute of Dramatic Art

National Institute of
Dramatic Art
Established 1958
Location Kensington, New South Wales, Australia
Campus Urban

The National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) is an Australian national education and training institute for students in the performing arts. Since 1958, NIDA has educated students in performance and production for theatre, film, and television, and today offers programs ranging from degrees to public short courses, including holiday programs and corporate training.

In 2013, NIDA was ranked as the 8th best drama school in the world by The Hollywood Reporter.[1]

NIDA's main campus is based in the Sydney suburb of Kensington, located adjacent to the University of New South Wales, and is made up of a range of rehearsal and performance venues.

NIDA receives funding from the Australian Government through the Minister for the Arts (Australia), Attorney-General's Department and is a member of the "Australian Roundtable for Arts Training Excellence (Arts8):"[2] an initiative between the national performing arts training organisations and the Australian Government committed to providing unique and high-level training for emerging artists.


  • History 1
  • Admission 2
  • Campus 3
    • Theatres 3.1
    • Library 3.2
    • Other facilities 3.3
  • Alumni 4
    • Acting 4.1
    • Design 4.2
    • Directing 4.3
    • Production 4.4
    • Writing 4.5
  • References 5
  • External links 6


The National Institute of Dramatic Art complex
National Institute of Dramatic Art theatre
The National Institute of Dramatic Art complex with interior neon lights

Founded in 1958, NIDA commenced acting classes in 1959. More than 50 years later, NIDA has grown to approximately 232 full-time students annually, approximately 70 full-time staff members.


Entry to NIDA’s higher education courses is highly competitive, with nearly 1,900 applicants from around the country competing for an annual offering of approximately 75 places across undergraduate and graduate disciplines. The student body for these courses totalled 199 in 2014.


NIDA is located on Anzac Parade in the Sydney suburb of Kensington, across the road from the University of New South Wales. The campus was first opened in 1987, followed by additional buildings opened in 2001, which were awarded the 2002 Sir John Sulman Medal for public architecture.


NIDA has five theatres.[3] The largest of these is the Parade Theatre offering seating for audiences of up to 707 people in its three-tiered, horseshoe-shaped auditorium. The Playhouse, Studio Theatre, the Space and the Atrium offer a variety of flexible performance spaces.


The Rodney Seaborn Library is a specialist library for NIDA students, graduates and staff and is also open to the general public by appointment. Created in 1980.

The NIDA Archives collects, organises and preserves archival records created by or relating to NIDA.

Other facilities

The NIDA campus includes rehearsal rooms, multi-media and computer-aided design (CAD) studios, a sound stage, a lighting studio, production workshops, audio-visual facilities, and the Reg Grundy Studio film and television training and production facility.


Graduates from the National Institute of Dramatic Art include:





  • Gary McQuinn
  • Jim Sharman, Director of The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • Moffat Oxenbould, ex Artistic Director, Opera Australia
  • Sandra Willis, Producer, Opera Australia
  • Mik Auckland, Director of Operations, London Olympics Ceremonies
  • Trudy Dalgleish, Lighting Designer
  • Georgia Gilbert, Head of Stage Management, Sydney Theatre Company
  • Gabrielle Pinkstone, Production Manager, Cirque du Soleil, Montreal
  • Bill Harris, Producer, King Long
  • Janet Eades, Production Manager, NYE, City of Sydney
  • Alex Souvlis, Company Manager, Bell Shakespeare
  • Damien Cooper, Lighting Designer
  • Moira Hay, Producer, SHFA
  • Trevlyn Gilmour, Cultural Programs Manager at Dept of State (USA), Canberra
  • Ed Wilinson, Adviser, South East Asia and the Pacific at Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • Gavan Swift, Lighting Designer
  • Martin Kinnane, Production Manager and Lighting Designer
  • Malcolm White, Freelance Technical Director
  • Adam Lowe, Producer, Production Manager


  • Jane Bodie
  • Phillip Kavanagh
  • Kate McDowell
  • Patrick Nolan
  • Chris Summers


  1. ^
  2. ^ Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (2008-09-15). "Arts training bodies". Retrieved 2008-10-03. 
  3. ^

External links

  • NIDA
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