Successful NIDA graduate Morgan Moroney shows how skilled back stage crew are just as valued as the performers on stage.
29 September 2021

Morgan is already in demand as a lighting and video designer for theatre, opera, circus and dance productions, since graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) last year in Technical Theatre and Stage Management.

What did you love most about your time at NIDA?

Over the course of the NIDA training, so many amazing creative people enter your professional sphere. It's a place where connections flourish and these people have been the springboard into establishing my career this year.

I loved the opportunity to work in a design capacity with creative teams across a number of forms, explore technology as a storytelling tool and be at the managerial helm of a work through stage and production management roles.

What impact has COVID-19 had on you as an emerging freelancer?

Running into lockdown in my first year out of NIDA was daunting. It was challenging to abandon projects and collaborators in the thick of the creative process.

Some projects veered onto Zoom, while others began their process digitally and were later postponed or cancelled all together. I've been very fortunate over this lockdown to start some work on shows tentatively scheduled for when we can safely return to theatres or in 2022. I've also spent some time completing professional development and applying for grants for future projects.

Which NIDA student production was a standout for you and why?

The student production of Ghosts in my final year was a culmination of all my training and experience. Ghosts was a tight collaboration between myself, the set designer and the production manager to practically realise an enormous suspended ceiling above the set. It served as a surface for real water in a beautiful rain effect.

We began the design conversations in January of 2020 with a Latvian director, however COVID-19 put a stop to their involvement. All was not lost though, as the reschedule brought the opportunity to continue the project with the wonderful Priscilla Jackman as director. I was very proud of the outcome, particularly after the year of uncertainty we'd had.

NIDA is one of the 7 National Performing Arts Training Organisations supported by the Australian Government. Together with the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS) this group forms the ARTS8.

Applications for NIDA's Bachelor of Fine Arts (Technical Theatre and Stage Management) are open until 30 October 2021.

Image of Morgan Moroney courtesy of NIDA.