NIDA’s Lliane Clarke dropped into the June student production rehearsal of Roberto Zucco, directed by Professor Robert Schuster from the Ernst Busch Academy in Berlin, to see how it was going. She went on to interview Professor Schuster about Roberto Zucco and his time at NIDA.

LC : :Why did you choose Roberto Zucco to direct at NIDA?

RS :Directing this play by French playwright Bernard-Marie Koltès has been a long-held desire for me for a long time. I am very excited to do it here for the first time!

The play also has a strong connection to the modern times that we live in. It explores excess, social violence and alienation. We live under too many rules and laws. And while that is meant to give us clarity, in the end we don’t have any more security.

When I proposed it to Egil Kipste, Director of NIDA Centre for Creative Practices, we both thought it would be a great play for young actors. It is a big task and is really challenging for them, because their characters have to deal with abstract and existential problems within the play.                          

LC  :What are the differences you can see between NIDA and the Ernst Busch Academy in Berlin?

RS  :I haven’t been here for very long, but I think the major difference between our schools is that between Australia and Germany, in that we come from a different theatrical tradition and exist in a different theatre system. Germany has a massive theatre industry which means that at the Ernst Busch Academy in Berlin we have a 95% success rate for our actors gaining work straight out of school.

Stanislavski is still the basis of our theatre, but we have a big influence from Brecht and post dramatic theatre. In Germany there is a large variety of theatre – we can explore all types of forms artistically, as there is deep and strong government support for theatre practice that allows creative breadth.

At the same time, I am extremely impressed with NIDA and the expertise here at this school. What really strikes me is the way students from different cohorts collaborate together. That is really unique – we don’t have that in Berlin. To have the design and costume and props and technical departments within the school meet regularly and discuss the issues involved in the production is unusual and creates a strong sense of ensemble in the room.

LC:  What will you take back from your experience at NIDA?

RS:  What will I take in my heavy backpack! We can learn a lot from NIDA even though we are different in our form and approach. The high level of collaboration here that is open to everyone is something I will take back with me to Berlin – there is a professionalism where everyone is on the same page, There is an open platform here.

The students here are very goal oriented and focused on the industry they are about to begin working in. They are clear about their direction in the industry.

The NIDA season of plays includes NIDA Open Day on Saturday 15 June, when all productions will be performed in one day. This is one NIDA production season you do not want to miss! To purchase tickets, please visit nida/

Featured image – Professor Robert Schuster at rehearsals.

Sydney Arts Guide has one in season double pass to give away to give away to see  Roberto Zucco. Roberto Zucco is playing between the 13th and 19th June, 2019. Email with Roberto Zucco promotion in the subject heading. The winner will be advised by email.