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$5m WAAPA facility open for business

Thursday, 01 September 2011

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Advanced Diploma students at the WA Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) recently spent a morning showing Minister for Training and Workplace Development, Peter Collier, around their new $5 million facility.

The Scenery and Props Construction Workshop is a purpose built space for students to build sets, make props and paint backdrops and scenery for all of WAAPA’s production. These include plays, musicals, opera, dance productions and films.

ECU Vice-Chancellor Professor Kerry Cox said there was strong demand for creative industry graduates both in Australia and overseas.

“This space provides students with industry-standard facilities and equipment. Students who are successful in constructing scenery and making props for WAAPA’s award-winning productions here can succeed in the theatre industry anywhere in the world,” Professor Cox said.

Mr Collier said he had spent 23 years teaching in the classroom and it was very positive to see performing arts become an accepted career option for many students.

“We now have a dedicated Department of Training and Workforce Development, which is a very unambiguous message to the community, to students in our schools, that a career pathway through training is a treasured possession,” Mr Collier said.

Advanced Diploma of Live Production, Theatre and Events (Technical Production) student Thea Harper, who is in her third and final year of study, moved from Canberra to study props and scenery at WAAPA.

“It’s full on. You meet a lot of new people and you do things that you never thought you could do. I had no skills before I came here but now I know how to use drills, handle different tools and construct scenery,” Thea said.

All students complete an industry secondment at the end of their studies. Thea said it is a chance to hit the ground running.

“The idea of the secondment is to work outside of the university and to get your knowledge up. Although I have to say, with the skills we learn here, we get into the workplace and we just use them. We’re ready to go.”

Find out more about the Advanced Diploma of Live Production, Theatre and Events (Technical Production)

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