Performance Lab for Grades 7-10, Melbourne - Audition

NIDA is searching for 16 exceptional young performing artists in grades 7-10 to join the Performance Lab course in 2021. Performance Lab is a year-long program for young artists wishing to engage in a focused, practical performing arts training program. Collaborate with NIDA experts in a variety of disciplines and skills including movement, design and acting to create live performance. The 2021 course culminates in a presentation of an original work devised by the Performance Lab ensemble at the end of Semester 1, and a scripted work at the end of Semester 2.

All Performance Lab students engage in a personalised feedback process with their tutor at the end of every semester, providing them with the support they need to decide the next step in their creative education.

Course dates and times

Mondays, 5:30pm – 8:30pm

Semester 1, 2021: 1 February to 29 March and 26 April to 21 June
Semester 2, 2021: 26 July to 13 September and 18 October to 6 December


  • Sunday 17 January, 2020 10:00am – 1:00pm

Audition Preparation

Entry to the Performance Lab is by audition only. Audition information will be sent via a downloadable link upon enrolment.

Semester 1, 2021: Adaptation: Modern MidSummers

Believe it or not, Shakespeare’s universal themes are the foundation for many contemporary films and plays. 10 Things I Hate About You is a modern day adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew and She’s the Man is based on Twelfth Night. In collaboration with a NIDA director, you and your fellow artists will take on the mammoth task of analysing Elizabethan verse and bringing Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Nights Dream, into a contemporary setting.

Course components

  • Creative Voice: Assume a variety of roles in a creative process to generate new ideas for a live presentation.
  • Spontaneity: Use improvisation in live performance. Apply improvisation techniques to the development of a new rehearsed work.
  • Writing for Performance: Contribute to the written text of a new devised performance work through workshop activities.
  • Performance: Apply acting, voice and movement practice to a live presentation.
  • Evaluation: Learn and apply self-evaluation techniques. Develop supportive ways to provide feedback to others throughout the rehearsal process.

Semester 2, 2021: Scripts & Staging: First Positions

Extend your creative practice by walking in the shoes of a professional actor. Work with your NIDA Director across two terms to experience and embody the rehearsal process of a play from audition to first table read, scene work, character development, tech and dress rehearsal into your live performance. Draw on your vocal, physical and character building skills developed over the year to create fully realised characters and scene work.

Learn how to read, analyse and interpret scripts effectively, research and create characters, develop rehearsal rigour and performance dexterity.

Course components

  • Text Analysis: Interpret and bring to life a written text for live performance.
  • Stage Craft: Consider the elements that contribute to the physical realisation of a scripted, live performance.
  • Vocal Expression: Practise and apply vocal performance technique in a live presentation.
  • Rehearsal and Evaluation: Learn how to rehearse and gain feedback through a development and rehearsal process.
  • Performance Skill: Experiment with specific voice and movement choices to influence character and performance.


  • Entry to this course is by audition only.
  • This is a year-long 32 week course and you must be available to attend every session. Students can apply for attendance exemption in exceptional circumstances, applications must be made in advance to the supervising Course Manager. End of semester feedback and project participation is dependent on minimum attendance requirements. Students who are successful at the audition in January can opt for a 6 month only participation with the option to renew at the end of the first semester.

Important information

  • Please read our Cancellation and Transfer Policy.
  • Flights and Accommodation: From time to time we may need to cancel an advertised course. Before booking flights and accommodation for travel to attend a NIDA Open course, please contact the NIDA Open office to confirm if your course will proceed as planned. NIDA does not accept liability for any associated costs of attendance or cancellation.
  • Please wear comfortable clothing you can move in for all drama and performance related courses. Clothing that restricts movement is inappropriate.
  • Please wear closed-in shoes. Shoes may be removed in the rehearsal room on the direction of the class tutor.
  • Participants must provide their own lunch, including snacks and drinks.
  • Children attending primary school grade equivalent holiday courses must be signed in and out by a parent or guardian.
  • NIDA staff will supervise students in courses for Grades 3–6 and Grades 7–10 years in their breaks. These students will not be permitted to leave the advertised venue without parental permission.
  • If you are running late to collect your child, please call NIDA reception on 02 9697 7600. NIDA will only provide supervision during advertised course times.

This course has no current classes. Please join the waiting list

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