Academy for passionate performers

Elizabeth Avery Scott

I WONDER how many “CityNews” readers know that in Narrabundah there’s a fully fledged drama school, the Canberra Academy of Dramatic Art, or that the school has its own little performing group, CADA Studio Productions, whose work we’ll be seeing in the next couple of weeks.

The Canberra Academy of Dramatic Art’s founding director, Elizabeth Avery Scott, has observed  our vibrant amateur musical theatre scene, but she suspects that few of the passionate theatre lovers in town imagine they can turn their hobby into a day job and go professional.

As she says, in this town “there are many passionate amateur performers who spend all their spare time moving from one show to the next, so that every ounce of their leisure time is taken up with rehearsal and performance”. Scott says she and her teachers can show people how to turn that passion into a career.

The Diploma of Musical Theatre is the third in CADA’s suite of three qualifications, including the Certificate III in Performance (Acting) and the Advanced Diploma of Performance. All are Austudy approved and recognised under the Australian Skills Quality Authority system.

It covers a wide range. “Most people are familiar with the traditional Broadway musical style, but actually this is just one among many forms of ‘music drama’,” Scott says.

“In our course, students will be introduced to a whole range of styles and genres of musical theatre.” The course covers vocals, dance and acting.”

Right now the current group of Certificate III in Performance students are busy preparing to perform “Twisted,” billed as “eight twisted tales to unnerve and amuse,” directed by CADA’s leading acting teacher, James Scott.

Then students will be working collaboratively with the male music group,  Pocket Score Company, who were accepted by director Caroline Stacey into  the 2012 “Made in Canberra” series at the Street Theatre for their project,  “The Polyphonic Bard: Music & Shakespeare for our time”, directed by Tamzin Nugent.

The show promises to be  a journey through Renaissance pub shanties and beer-swilling Elizabethan society, the heights of sacred music and the Bard of Avon’s love poetry. Students performing the acting roles in “The Polyphonic Bard” have been studying Shakespearean works this semester.

If you’re interested in enrolling, contact Elizabeth Avery Scott, Canberra Academy of Dramatic Art at 1300 908905, 0403 014 576, or

“Twisted,” at Belconnen Theatre, Swanson Court, 7.30pm November 20-21, bookings to

“The Polyphonic Bard” at The Street Theatre, Nov. 30-Dec. 2, bookings to 6247 1223 or


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