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WAAPA students shoot for the stars with the support of Minderoo

Monday, 07 March 2016

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The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts launches its epic 2016 performance program with one of The Bard’s greatest plays, Coriolanus, being directed by British Actor/Director, Michael Jenn. Meanwhile Chekhov’s classic The Three Sisters directed by Russian director Bagryana Popov, opens in the Enright Studio. The two director’s visit to Perth has been facilitated by the generous support of the Minderoo Foundation.

Renowned English Actor and Director, Michael Jenn, has returned to WAAPA to direct Shakespeare's last political tragedy, Coriolanus, which charts the rise and fall of legendary and heroic Roman general Caius Martius. Jenn is very enthusiastic in his praise for WAAPA. “I feel privileged to be working again at this very special place and to be collaborating on this brilliant and rarely performed play with such talented and industrious young actors, designers, stage managers and technicians. I thank everyone here at WAAPA and Minderoo for their unfailing support.”

Bagryana Popov is a theatre maker who works in an interdisciplinary way. She has collaborated with acclaimed professional artists and with communities. Her physical theatre work Progress and Melancholy, based on Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, won 3 Green Room Awards, including Best Direction. Much of her work investigates themes of displacement and identity. The 2nd Year Acting students are thoroughly enjoying working with Bagryana on her own adaptation of this Chekhov classic.

Senior Lecturer, Acting, Glenda Linscott, knows how important it is to expose students to industry professionals during their training. "Its tremendously exciting. With Minderoo’s support we are able to attract world-class master trainers in Voice, Movement, Theatre and Film and Television. We have such an exciting year ahead, starting with directors Michael Jenn (RSC, National Theatre) and Bagryana Popov, respected around the world for her work in Chekhov and Grotowski. We are in negotiations with Andy Paris from Tectonic Theatre in New York who will be here mid-year, and acclaimed international acting coach Leigh Kilton-Smith is heading over from LA. Leigh has worked with Sam Rockwell, Gerard Butler and Felicity Huffman amongst others”

The Minderoo Foundation was founded by Andrew and Nicola Forrest in 2001 and was originally known as the Australian Children’s Trust. The Foundation’s work was based on the mandate to give a hand up, not a hand out and that ethos remains today. Since establishment the Foundation has supported over 230 initiatives across Australia and internationally in pursuit of a range of causes including education, ending slavery, research, indigenous disadvantage, disaster response and the arts.

"We're delighted to continue our partnership with WAAPA in 2016 and excited by the possibilities this year will bring. Exposure to visiting artists of Michael and Bagryana's calibre is invaluable for students and the broader Australian arts scene. This partnership represents Minderoo's passion for nurturing new Australian talent and the importance of enriching our community through arts and culture." – Nicola Forrest.

For all venue and performance details, please visit the Coriolanus performance web page.

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