NIDA’s Festival of Emerging Artists 2022

Exploring the creative crafts of direction and design, NIDA’s Festival of Emerging Artists will present a broad range of exciting theatrical and interdisciplinary performances that explore themes of the human condition, love and nostalgia and the relationship between art and nature.

This year, the Festival of Emerging Artists features seven short productions experienced across three different venues from Wednesday December 7 until Saturday December 10.

Established in 2019, the annual Festival brings together the many talents nurtured at NIDA across all disciplines, with a particular focus on the next generation of Australia’s leading directors and designers. In the tradition of NIDA alumni immediately finding employment in the entertainment industry, these are the new creative artists to watch in 2023 and beyond.

This year also marks the 50th anniversary of NIDA’s Directing course, which has cultivated successful alumni directors such as film/TV director Shannon Murphy (Babyteeth, Killing Eve), the youngest-ever appointed Artistic Director of Sydney Theatre Company Kip Williams (The Picture of Dorian Gray, Julius Caesar), Spectre Studios co-founder Mark Grentell (Backyard Ashes, The Merger) and stage director/choreographer Liam McIlwain (Les Misérables, Come From Away).

NIDA CEO Liz Hughes said: “NIDA prides itself on being a training ground for many of the most successful arts practitioners working in Australia and internationally and this Festival introduces the new generation of Australia’s leading directors and designers to watch out for. For each production, a director and the designers work in collaboration with creative leaders from every discipline at NIDA and through our extensive industry networks, to bring the wonder and awe of these productions to life.”

Dr Benjamin Schostakowski, Head of Directing, Course Leader at NIDA said: “Through multiple live performances and multimedia projects, the directors spend the 15-month-long course honing their craft, creativity, and collaboration skills. This festival stands as the culmination of the practical component of training for the directors. With most of these productions being new works and several telling rich South Asian stories, stretching across multi-sensory experiences, plays and adaptations, which connects with contemporary audiences and expresses their unique directorial potential as they transition into the industry.”

Bob Cousins, Course Leader, Design for Performance, said: “Each of these Festival productions is made with the hope and expectation that a connection will be made between artist and you, their audience, and that some necessary story or knowledge is shared. In the best theatre this sharing is mutual, and the makers and performers stand to learn as much from this shared experience as the audience.”


Written by Sudip Sauden and Grace Malouf
Directed by Sudip Sauden
Dramaturg by Jiva Lamsal (guest artist)
Set and costume design by Lochie Odgers
This darkly funny Australian-Nepalese work revolves around Laxmi, an elderly Nepalese woman, and her son, Arjun, as they struggle with the most consequential decision of their lives, a decision with tragic consequences.

How to win a Plebiscite (and Tennis)
Written by Lachlan Parry
Directed by Ryan Whitworth
Set and costume design by Hailley Hunt
How to Win a Plebiscite (and Tennis) is a queer comedy that wrestles with the question – can a long-term relationship withstand the scrutiny and trauma experienced when a country is asked to vote on the validity of their love? This is a story of community, hope and love set during the 2017 Australian Equal Marriage Plebiscite.

Directed by Emma Whitehead
Dramaturg Simon Thomson (guest artist)
Set and costume design by Benedict Janeczko-Taylor
SOL. is a devised and interdisciplinary performance piece that includes the audience as participants. Taking inspiration from ongoing space exploration juxtaposed with decline on Earth, the show takes the audience on a guided journey, exploring the cyclical human condition of creation and destruction through ritual, soundscape, and live scenography.

Prem Patr
Directed by Chinmaya Madan
Assistant Director Dakotah Love
Set and costume design by Kathleen Kershaw
Prem Patr (‘love letter’) is a devised multi-sensory experience – a collection of four short stories that revolve around the theme of love and nostalgia for our current world.

Seven Days of Silence
Directed by Nicholas Bradshaw
Written by Angus Cerini
Set and costume design by Ruby Jenkins
Seven Days of Silence is an absurd black comedy about seven mysterious meetings between two men over seven days. The days quickly escalate into a struggle for power, with ominous subtext.

The Decay of Lying
Written by Oscar Wilde and Adapted by Jess Ramsey
Musical Director Andy Freeborn (guest artist)
Set and Costume Designer Meg Anderson
The Decay of Lying explores the relationship between Art, Life, and Nature, and the philosophies of Fact, Fiction, and Reality. A conceptual ‘gesamtkunstwerk’ (total work of art) – this adaptation depicts the fantasy we cannot have, and how we fabricate and sculpt the person and life we desire.

Written and directed by Pratha Nagpal
Set and costume design by Jade McElroy
In her blue skin, Kali Maa carries the weight and darkness of her rage but also her boundless existential freedom to be – without seeking permission. Kali is a contemporary cultural dance work that tells the story of BIPOC anger. In a world where male violence is inflicted on BIPOC women, how does Community come together to heal?

Comments are closed.

© 2020,, all rights resrved. About Us | Terms & conditions