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Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts


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For over 30 years, the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts at Edith Cowan University has held a reputation as Australia’s premiere performing arts academy, producing stars such as Hugh Jackman and Tim Minchin. Each year students collaborate with staff and critically acclaimed guest artists to perform over 300 public performances in Perth and regional WA, interstate and overseas.

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A hub for performing arts, the Mount Lawley campus boasts a range of state-of-the-art performance spaces, including Geoff Gibbs Theatre, Roundhouse Theatre, Richard Gill Auditorium, Enright Studio, and the iconic Edith Spiegeltent – a rare tent-style theatre made of wood, mirrors, canvas and leaded glass.

Across these venues, and in city and regional spaces, the WAAPA calendar is rich with performances in dance, music and musical theatre, and contemporary arts. This cross-genre offering exposes students to a range of crafts and experiences, and is a delight to audiences.

With specialised training, WAAPA is known for the quality of its graduates who pursue successful careers in the performing arts and entertainment industries, including many well-known stars such as Frances O’Connor, Marcus Graham, William McInnes, Lisa McCune, Lucy Durack, Rachelle Durkin, Emma Matthews, Jamie Oehlers and Eddie Perfect.

As a graduate of Music Theatre, Lucy Durack went on to star in the Australian productions of Wicked and Legally Blonde: The Musical, as well as appearing on television in the series Doctor Doctor and Sisters. Another star graduate is the soprano Emma Matthews, now WAAPA’s Head of Classical Voice and Opera Studies, who tours the country regularly with a number of national and state music institutions such as Opera Australia and WA Opera.

In the spirit of past graduate success stories, WAAPA continues to provide its students with theatrical experience and practical knowledge, as well as academic excellence. Luckily for arts enthusiasts and lovers of performing arts, this fostered creativity is shared with the public throughout the academic year.

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Guides

Guides


Earth, Sea and Sky: Australian Guitar

Combining performances of new and recent Australian guitar works with readings of poems by acclaimed poet Glen Phillips

  • Dates:May 20
  • Time(s):7:30pm
  • Venue:Richard Gill Auditorium

Details

  • Hosted By:WAAPA
  • Ticket Price:$23-30
  • Type:Youth Art / Performance
  • Music:Classical
  • Produced By:WAAPA: WA Academy of Performing Arts
  • Event Venue:Richard Gill Auditorium

Description

The creative vision of new Australian music for the guitar is one that is expansive and poetic, adapting to the inspiring vistas of our picturesque landscapes and the oddities of our unique natural environment. This event combines performances of new and recent Australian guitar works with readings of poems by acclaimed poet Glen Phillips – a poet renowned for his expressive depictions of uniquely Western Australian settings. Works include guitar solos and chamber works performed by WAAPA students, staff and selected special guest artists. Music Director: Jonathan Paget Performed by: Guitar students and staff with Glen Philips and guest artists

American Beauty

A program of sensational string chamber music, directed by Paul Wright and headlined by Aaron Copland’s thrilling Clarinet Concerto performed by WAAPA’s Head of Woodwind, Philip Everall.

  • Dates:May 21
  • Time(s):7.30pm
  • Venue:Richard Gill Auditorium

Details

  • Ticket Price:$23-30
  • Produced By:WAAPA: WA Academy of Performing Arts
  • Event Venue:Richard Gill Auditorium
  • Hosted By:WAAPA
  • Type:Youth Art / Performance
  • Music:Classical,Jazz,Orchestral

Description

Composed for the renowned jazz clarinettist Benny Goodman, the work showcases Latin-American rhythms and a virtuosic cadenza. This modern American beauty complements Tchaikovsky’s romantic String Sextet ‘Souvenir de Florence’, written as a tribute to the composer’s favourite European city, plus other string chamber gems. Music Director: Paul Wright Performed by: String Camerata with Philip Everall

Brassed Off

Showcasing contemporary pop songs with a funky brass flavour that is guaranteed to get you moving

  • Dates:May 22
  • Time(s):7.30pm
  • Venue:The Edith Spiegeltent

Details

  • Ticket Price:$13-20
  • Produced By:WAAPA: WA Academy of Performing Arts
  • Event Venue:The Edith Spiegeltent
  • Hosted By:WAAPA
  • Music:Jazz

Description

Brassed Off returns for 2021 with an exciting foray into New Orleans funk. This concert showcases contemporary pop songs with a funky brass flavour that is guaranteed to get you moving. Featuring the full gamut of brass instruments, from sousaphone to pocket trumpet, this will be an epic adventure – don’t miss out! Music Director: Jeremy Greig Performed by: Jazz Brass students, staff and community

Leunig's Prayer Book

Inspired by poet Michael Leunig's four prayers, take a musical meditation through the seasons with the Symphonic Wind Ensemble

  • Dates:May 27
  • Time(s):7.30pm
  • Venue:Richard Gill Auditorium

Details

  • Ticket Price:$23-30
  • Produced By:WAAPA: WA Academy of Performing Arts
  • Event Venue:Richard Gill Auditorium
  • Hosted By:WAAPA
  • Music:Classical,Orchestral

Description

Take a musical meditation through the seasons with the Symphonic Wind Ensemble as they perform Symphony No. 1, Leunig’s Prayer Book by Australian composer Jodie Blackshaw, inspired by poet Michael Leunig's four prayers. The concert also features Scenes from the Louvre by award-winning composer Norman Dello Joio, a five-movement suite for band that traces the 7.30pm history of the world's most famous museum through Renaissance-era inspired music. Music Director: Philip Everall Performed by: Symphonic Wind Ensemble

New Voices

Under the dramaturgical and mentoring guidance of Emele Ugavule and Chris Isaacs, this unique season presents brand new original short works by graduating 3rd year students from WAAPA’s acting program

  • Dates:May 27 - 29
  • Time(s):7:30pm
  • Venue:His Majesty's Theatre Downstairs

Details

  • Hosted By:WAAPA
  • Ticket Price:$20 - Full, $15 - Concession, $15 - Friends
  • Type:Youth Art / Performance
  • Performing Arts:Theatre
  • Produced By:WAAPA: WA Academy of Performing Arts
  • Event Venue:His Majesty's Theatre

Description

New writing, ranging in content from intimate storytelling, to dynamic physical theatre, this program draws on all elements of their training at one of Australia's most acclaimed performing arts training conservatoires. Expect short, sharp, contemporary reflections of who we are right now and who we could be years from now.

Sounds of Brazil

Popularized by the 1960s film "Black Orpheus", celebrate the incredible array of rhythms, songs and sounds from Brazil

  • Dates:May 27
  • Time(s):7.30pm
  • Venue:The Edith Spiegeltent

Details

  • Ticket Price:$13-20
  • Produced By:WAAPA: WA Academy of Performing Arts
  • Event Venue:The Edith Spiegeltent
  • Hosted By:WAAPA
  • Type:Youth Art / Performance
  • Music:Jazz,World

Description

Brazilian music first entered popular culture with Antonio Carlos Jobim and Luis Bonfa’s songs in the 1960’s film Black Orpheus. Suddenly, bossa nova was the new groove and Brazilian music soon blended with jazz and popular styles to take on a life of its own. Modern composers such as Djavan, Milton Nascimento, Egberto Gismonte, Se´rgio Mendes and Ivan Lins became stars in Brazil but largely remained unknown to the rest of the world. This concert is a celebration of these musicians and the incredible array of rhythms, songs and sounds from this part of the world. Music Director: Chris Tarr Performed by: Brazilian Ensemble

Piano Postcards

Be taken on an adventure of evocative musical scenes and exotic sounds through the vast repertoire of the modern piano.

  • Dates:May 28
  • Time(s):7.30pm
  • Venue:Richard Gill Auditorium

Details

  • Ticket Price:$23-30
  • Produced By:WAAPA: WA Academy of Performing Arts
  • Event Venue:Richard Gill Auditorium
  • Hosted By:WAAPA
  • Music:Classical

Description

Still miss travelling? Come join us for the best alternative – beautiful piano music! Be taken on an adventure of evocative musical scenes and exotic sounds through the vast repertoire of the modern piano. Led by Anna Sleptsova, the talented students and staff of WAAPA's piano department will present 'postcards' from a fascinating musical journey. Music Director: Anna Sleptsova Performed by: Classical Piano students and staff

In The Flesh

You, me, us, together... Human connectivity, dramatically reshaped by the challenges of 2020, lies at the core of LINK Dance Company’s imaginative, dynamic and entertaining season, In The Flesh

  • Dates:Jun 4, 5, 7
  • Time(s):7.30pm; Jun 5 2.00pm
  • Venue:Geoff Gibbs Theatre

Details

  • Ticket Price:$23-30
  • Performing Arts:Dance
  • Produced By:WAAPA: WA Academy of Performing Arts
  • Event Venue:Geoff Gibbs Theatre

Description

James Berlyn, Artistic Director of WA Youth Theatre Company, devises a new work that celebrates the human capacity for adaptive resilience, set to original music by composer and WAAPA graduate Tristen Parr. Dancer/choreographer and LINK graduate Bernadette Lewis comes full circle to create a new work that explores dance as ecology, as community, as culture. This stunning double bill of contemporary dance showcases WAAPA’s graduate dance company at their very best. Choreography by: James Berlyn and Bernadette Lewis Performed by: LINK Dance Company

Gloria

A whip-smart satirical comedy exploring questions of ambition, career, and who gets the right to shape the narrative

  • Dates:Jun 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16
  • Time(s):7.30pm; Jun 12 2.00pm
  • Venue:Roundhouse Theatre

Details

  • Ticket Price:$30-37
  • Produced By:WAAPA: WA Academy of Performing Arts
  • Event Venue:Roundhouse Theatre
  • Performing Arts:Theatre

Description

A whip-smart satirical comedy from hot young American playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. All that matters to a group of ambitious editorial assistants at a Manhattan magazine is how fast they can climb the journalistic ladder of success. But when an ordinary humdrum workday becomes anything but, the stakes for who gets the story become higher than ever. Finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Gloria explores questions of ambition, career, and who gets the right to shape the narrative. *Content warning: contains violence, coarse language, adult themes. Written by: Branden Jacobs-Jenkins Directed by: Kylie Bracknell Performed by: 3rd Year Acting students

Crazy For You

This Tony Award-winning musical theatre classic features catchy Gershwin tunes, high-energy dance routines and a timeless Broadway tale!

  • Dates:Jun 11-17
  • Time(s):Open 2pm (matinee) or 7:30pm
  • Venue:His Majesty's Theatre

Details

  • Hosted By:WAAPA
  • Ticket Price:$69-76
  • Type:Youth Art / Performance
  • Performing Arts:Musicals
  • Produced By:WAAPA: WA Academy of Performing Arts
  • Event Venue:His Majesty's Theatre

Description

Crazy for You is a riotously entertaining comedy packed with some of the greatest songs to ever light up a stage: They Can’t Take That Away from Me, Nice Work if You Can Get It, Embraceable You, But Not for Me, Someone to Watch Over Me and the showstopping I Got Rhythm. A timeless Broadway tale: city boy meets country girl, they fall in love, boy messes it up and spends the rest of the show trying to win the girl back. Performed at the iconic Maj in the heart of the city, you’d be crazy to miss it! “Crazy For You” is presented by permission of ORiGiNTM Theatrical on behalf of Tams-Witmark LLC

Music and Lyrics by: George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin
Book by: Ken Ludwig
Co-Conception by: Ken Ludwig and Mike Ockrent
Inspired by material by: Guy Bolton and John McGowan
Originally produced on Broadway by: Roger Horchow and Elizabeth Williams
Original Broadway Choreography by: Susan Stroman
Director: Crispin Taylor
Music Director: Craig Dalton
Choreographer: Jayne Smeulders
Performed by: Music Theatre and Music students

Rise

A perfect program of classical and contemporary dance! Les Sylphides, a 'romantic reverie' set to Frede´ric Chopin's exquisite music.

  • Dates:Jun 14-17
  • Time(s):2pm (matinee) and 7:30pm
  • Venue:Geoff Gibbs Theatre

Details

  • Hosted By:WAAPA
  • Ticket Price:$23-$30
  • Type:Youth Art / Performance
  • Performing Arts:Ballet,Dance
  • Produced By:WAAPA: WA Academy of Performing Arts
  • Event Venue:Geoff Gibbs Theatre

Description

Restaged by ex-Australian Ballet principal Leanne Stojmenov and WAAPA Classical Dance lecturer Kim McCarthy. Award-winning Perth independent dancer and choreographer Laura Boynes – whose past works include compelling sound and video collaborations, a group work performed in a sea of rice, and a magical solo that traversed the auditorium and stage of the Heath Ledger Theatre – shows why is she renowned for her creative, multi-disciplinary approach to dance. Choreographed by: Les Sylphides restaged by Leanne Stojmenov and Kim McCarthy from original choreography by Michel Fokine; Laura Boynes Performed by: 2nd Year Dance students

Choreographed by: Les Sylphides restaged by Leanne Stojmenov and Kim McCarthy from original choreography by Michel Fokine; Laura Boynes
Performed by: 2nd Year Dance students

Starstruck

Starstruck 2021 showcases WAAPA's fabulously creative Music Artists performing in the beautiful The Edith Spiegeltent.

  • Dates:Jun 15-16
  • Time(s):7.30pm
  • Venue:The Edith Spiegeltent

Details

  • Ticket Price:$13-20
  • Produced By:WAAPA: WA Academy of Performing Arts
  • Hosted By:WAAPA
  • Music:Indie & Alternative,Pop
  • Event Venue:The Edith Spiegeltent

Description

Starstruck 2021 showcases WAAPA's fabulously creative Music Artists performing great original songs, classic rearrangements and a combo of acoustic and band driven entertainment. Be prepared for a night of delight in our beautiful The Edith Spiegeltent as our Diploma and Advanced Diploma students present unique performances which highlight the Music Artist journey. Music Director: Vinnie Crea Performed by: Music Artist students

Celebrate! WAAPA Salutes ECU's 30th Anniversary

WAAPA proudly celebrates the 30th anniversary of Edith Cowan University with a showcase of the incredible talents and creativity of WAAPA's students, staff and alumni

  • Dates:Jul 30
  • Time(s):7.30pm
  • Venue:Perth Concert Hall

Details

  • Ticket Price:$43-50
  • Music:Other Music
  • Produced By:WAAPA: WA Academy of Performing Arts
  • Hosted By:WAAPA
  • Performing Arts:Dance,Theatre
  • Event Venue:Perth Concert Hall

Description

WAAPA proudly celebrates the 30th anniversary of Edith Cowan University in a spectacular gala concert at the Perth Concert Hall. Showcasing the incredible talents and creativity of WAAPA’s students, staff and alumni, this performance extravaganza takes audiences on a rich and diverse journey through music, theatre and dance – with some very special guests and a few extra surprises along the way! Join us for an amazing party, as WAAPA celebrates 30 wonderful years at ECU and we look towards an exciting and inspiring future. Don’t miss this incredibly special event! Performed by: WAAPA students, staff, alumni and special guests

Italian Baroque

The new music of 17th century Italy – opera, sonatas, cantatas and oratorios – called upon singers and players to move the emotions of the audience.

  • Dates:Aug 12
  • Time(s):7:30pm
  • Venue:Richard Gill Auditorium

Details

  • Hosted By:WAAPA
  • Ticket Price:$23 - 30
  • Type:Youth Art / Performance
  • Music:Classical,Opera
  • Produced By:WAAPA: WA Academy of Performing Arts
  • Event Venue:Richard Gill Auditorium

Description

With fire, virtuosity and passion, we present a glimpse of some of the finest music of that age. Excerpts from Monteverdi’s l’Orfeo and Carissimi’s oratorio Jepthe will be heard alongside instrumental music by Corelli and Uccellini. Music Director: Stewart Smith Performed by: Classical Music students and staff

Miraculous Mozart

Join us for an exhilarating exercise in musical time travel.

  • Dates:Aug 15
  • Time(s):3.00pm
  • Venue:Richard Gill Auditorium

Details

  • Ticket Price:$25-32
  • Produced By:WAAPA: WA Academy of Performing Arts
  • Hosted By:WAAPA
  • Music:Classical
  • Event Venue:Richard Gill Auditorium

Description

Enjoy Mozart at his finest as Geoffrey Lancaster on fortepiano and Oscar’s Wild Quokkas – Helen Kruger (violin), Paul Wright (viola) and Noeleen Wright (cello) – present the Fortepiano Sonata in C major KV 330, the Piano Quartet No. 2 in E-flat major KV 493, and the premiere performance in Perth of Mozart’s Piano Quartet No. 3 in E-flat major KV 452. Performed by: Geoffrey Lancaster with Oscar's Wild Quokkas