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New WAAPA scenery and prop facility a ticket to see the world

Wednesday, 31 August 2011


Elaborate headdresses, horror masks and life-size scenery backdrops are just some of the items that students from the WA Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) are producing in their new $5 million Scenery and Props Construction Workshop on the Mount Lawley Campus.

The facility was officially opened today by Minister for Training and Workforce Development, Peter Collier.

The Workshop is a spacious, well-lit environment 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.

WAAPA theatre production graduates have already found employment with the Wicked production here in Peth, as well as productions around the world including Cirque de Soleil in Macau and plays in the West End in London, UK.

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 Perth 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.”

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

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