The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) at Edith Cowan University in Mount Lawley, WA, has established itself as one of the world’s leading Performing Arts training institutions, regularly listed in the top 25 institutions in the world in industry bibles Variety and the Hollywood Reporter.
Over its 37-year history WAAPA has produced some of the finest talent to emerge from this country; Hugh Jackman, Lisa McCune, Francis O’Connor, Ewen Leslie, Emma Matthews, Tim Minchin, MEG MAC, Kûcka, Pendulum/Knife Party, ShockOne, Sydney Carter, Suzie Mathers, Lisa Durack, Jai Courtney, Dacre Montgomery and many more.
But it’s not just about the performers on stage and screen, WAAPA also has graduates working at very high levels “behind-the-scenes” in the global entertainment and arts industries. Arts Management students formulating arts/culture policy at local, state and federal level. You’ll find them working as casting agents, arts administrators, general managers, producer and marketing people at prestigious, internationally renowned companies and venues such as Sydney Opera House, the Tate, Dubai Opera, Bangara Dance Theatre, Sydney Theatre Company, Bell Shakespeare, Melbourne Theatre Company, Brisbane Powerhouse, Black Swan, WA Ballet, WA Opera, Sydney Dance Company... The list is endless. “WAAPA’s Arts Management course provides a comprehensive curriculum involving both theoretical and practical aspects of arts management.
“From subjects in arts law, front of house management, art history, finance, production and others, one can expect to be exposed to a wider spectrum of how the arts function. I was seconded to the ArtScience Museum in Singapore during my final semester and am now the Education & Outreach Executive at Singapore Dance Theatre,” Amanda Lim, 2015 WAAPA Arts Management graduate says. WAAPA’s incredible Production and Design graduates are in-demand as lighting, sound, set and costume designers working across a range of theatrical and live events as well as for all their major performing arts companies and production companies including Opera Australia, Disney, Really Useful, MTC, STC and Cirque du Soleil. WAAPA's stage management alumni are busy making sure the “show goes on” at large scale events such as the Sydney and Beijing Olympics, Commonwealth Games, Grand Prix as well as touring the world with every major musical and music festival.
"The Sound course at WAAPA gave me more than the facility to learn, network and create; it allowed me to partake in professional working environments, meet industry experts and opened doors to work both locally in Perth, across Australia and overseas,” Christian Peterson, Freelance Producer and Engineer and 2016 WAAPA graduate says. “Through my studies I was given the opportunity to work in the U.S.A. on 'Waitress', a new musical that debuted on Broadway in 2016 with one of the world's leading Sound Designers, Jonathon Deans. These opportunities and those of my peers, would not have been possible without WAAPA and the fantastic support from it's staff and school.”
Regardless of what you study at WAAPA, because of the hands-on training all students receive in an industry simulated environment with professional theatres, workshops and facilities, industry professionals, guest lecturers and WAAPA’s highly trained and experienced staff, WAAPA graduates are work ready when they graduate. They've been 'doing it' for 3-4 years so employers know they are ready to work from day one. Also due to the high amount of alumni running companies and organisations around the world, it means there are plenty of secondment and work placement opportunities.