What do NIDA students get up to in the holidays?

Felix Hauge is starting her final year of the Bachelor of Arts (Technical Theatre and Stage Management) course at NIDA in 2018. As part of an internship program during the summer holidays with Sydney Festival, Felix worked with one of the Festival Production Coordinators on large theatre pieces, including The Wooster Group’s production of The Town Hall Affair at the Sydney Opera House, The National’s performance of The Barbershop Chronicles at the Seymour Centre and Queensland Theatre’s performance of The Wider Earth at the Sydney Opera House. She also worked on the State Theatre and the City Recital Hall programs and the large-scale Australia Day Ferrython event on Sydney Harbour.

‘This was an amazing learning opportunity as a student. I’ve always been interested in large-scale production management and I thought Sydney Festival was the best place to start my third year and really get a feel for this part of the industry. It’s exciting to be a part of an event that includes international acts that bring their own challenges to a production team,’ she said.

‘I came to Sydney Festival straight after the October Productions Season at NIDA. I went from being a second year student to an intern with responsibilities in the space of one week. This experience has really helped me to overcome any lack of confidence in my own abilities. I have really been able to put into action what I have learnt over the last two years at NIDA.

‘My main role in the shows has been to source set dressing elements, props, gels and assisting during bump in (setting up the venues). The great thing about this is that I am on the floor during the bump ins and technical set ups, meaning I get the opportunity to see, understand and ask questions about the process, design choice and why decisions were made. This is the kind of stuff you only really learn when on the job, and it’s been great to have been given the opportunity while I am still a student.

‘My Production Coordinator has been great in assisting this kind of learning, each day we spend time talking through what has been happening on the floor and in the office, we speak about how to deal and overcome things that have not  gone to plan and we talk about what I’ve learnt. #learningoutcomes

The main difference between studying and working at Sydney Festival on this internship is one word: pressure! I have been lucky enough to be given some great roles that have responsibility. This time the pressure wasn’t about getting a bad mark, it was about not completing a job that could affect the people who had spent much longer then me working on multiple shows for the Festival. You really don’t want to let them down because it’s for all of Sydney, and the world, to see!

I want to work in the festival, events, music and touring scenes of the industry in Stage, Production and Company Management. My dream is to be employed on shows that I love.’

Applications for studying at NIDA in 2019 open July–September, 2018. Interested? Register your interest to be the first to know about applications, Open Day, Student Productions and Exhibitions. Visit: https://www.nida.edu.au/courses