The curtains open on the state-of-the-art performing arts school

Collarts (Australian College of the Arts) officially opened its School of Performing Arts in Melbourne this week. The launch is part of higher education institutions’ multimillion-dollar investment in rebounding Australia’s creative industries, following a period of instability for the arts.

To provide a unique hands-on experience for students, Collarts has partnered with Theater Works, one of Australia’s oldest independent theatres.

Award-winning actor, writer, director and accomplished scholar – Dr Jane Montgomery Griffiths has been appointed to head the School:

Griffiths was Professor of Theater Practice and Director of the Center for Theater and Performance (CTP) at Monash University for nine years, and has taught at the universities of Cambridge, Leeds, Melbourne and La Trobe, bringing world-class experience. and industry relations. in Collarts. While at Monash, CTP became one of the nation’s most respected theater institutions.

Although government support for the creative industries has waned during COVID-19, Griffiths is confident in the future of Australian theatre, saying he “has done it all while others are stepping back”. I couldn’t have more faith in our industry, it’s such an exciting time for Australian theatre. We are wholeheartedly committed to supporting the industry and nurturing exceptional young talent into successful careers.

The School of Performing Arts becomes Collarts’ fourth school, joining Design, Entertainment and Communications. It is home to three new bachelor’s degrees – Acting, Writing and Directing, and Stage Management – ​​and a diploma program that is interwoven across all three specialties.

It also contains the Southern Hemisphere’s only honors degree in comedy, Collarts’ Bachelor of Performing Arts (Comedy) – the only one of its kind in Australia.

Griffiths:

We’ve built a truly amazing creative hub, with some of the most experienced and exciting teachers in the industry.

From next year, Collarts will partner with Theater Works, Melbourne’s leading independent theater producer and venue, offering students the opportunity to undertake work placements and performances in the theatre’s main and fringe seasons, and to participate in their development programs, such as the collective She Writes and Festival Première Histoires.

Dianne Toulson Executive Director of Theater Works:

We see this as a strategic investment in the future of the performing arts in this country at a time when they need it most.

Toulouse:

As a creative, career-focused education provider, Collarts is an organization that aligns strongly with our values. We share common ground in our independent status, which allows us to be flexible and responsive within our industry.

Griffiths:

For potential students who aren’t sure if a career in acting is right for them, encourage them to reach out and give it a try. We are a school that values ​​inclusivity, generosity and dedication and we welcome all students you don’t need experience, you don’t need to have studied acting, you just need commitment, openness and a willingness to learn and share your passion for theater – that’s what the industry craves.


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Kayleen C. Rice