The Court Theatre and Ara Institute of Canterbury Announce Partnership

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The Court Theatre and Ara Institute of Canterbury have partnered up in a mission to connect the worlds of education and theatre.

While The Court Theatre has been hiring and providing internships for Ara's National Academy of Performing Arts (NASDA) students and graduates for a number of years, this partnership extends the connection between the two institutions.

Ara interns are now being hosted in departments of the theatre such as marketing and finance; Court staff will be able to access Ara's resources, such as carpentry equipment for set-building; events will be held in each other's spaces; and collaborative education opportunities will be encouraged, such as guest lectures.

"We have so many Ara graduates working with us already, including our current Assistant Production Manager, Education Co-ordinator and myself!" says Artistic Director Dan Pengelly. "Both The Court Theatre and Ara value creativity, storytelling and human growth."

One of the key aspects of the partnership is The Court Theatre hosting NASDA's yearly graduation production, including this year's New Zealand premiere of charming musical Holiday Inn.

For Andrew Snell, NASDA's Manager of Performing Arts, it's these collaborations that offer unbeatable benefits for Ara's students.

"For our students to engage with a full-time Working Theatre company through such a comprehensive partnership is an opportunity that we believe sets NASDA apart from any other performing arts programme in Aotearoa. The partnership also engages all NASDA students more with the artistic team at The Court, through workshops, internships and masterclasses, including an opportunity for students to be considered for roles in Court productions as part of their studies."

"Both Ara and The Court are integral to the Canterbury community and there are exponential benefits for us all if we work together. The relationship is 'practically perfect in every way' to quote Mary Poppins!" says Court Theatre Chief Executive Barbara George.

"Students at NASDA already receive good exposure with the facilities that Ara has, but the opportunity we're always looking for is to share resources in a co-location, which allows us to really elevate the student's experience," says Ara Chief Executive Tony Gray.


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