The National Theatre turns 80

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Open Day: Saturday 3 September, 10am – 3pm

The National Theatre will this year celebrate 80 years of continuous operation and provision of opportunities to emerging performing arts talents. To celebrate the milestone, The National Theatre Melbourne will be holding a series of celebrations over the next few months. The first celebration will be an Open Day where the Theatre and Schools will be opening their doors to the public on Saturday 3 September.

A true community celebration the Open Day will feature live performances from current students, come and try classes, workshops, tours and a costume exhibition of the Ballet School’s costume wardrobe.

Both the National Theatre Drama and Ballet Schools have seen great success with many graduates going on to perform in many professional contexts including the Australian Ballet, Tokyo Ballet Company, Singapore Ballet, Melbourne Theatre Company, Network 10, and many TV series and films. The schools have produced graduates such as Kat Stewart (Offspring), Richard Cawthorne (AFI winner), Richard Davies (Offspring), Amber Scott (Australian Ballet) and many others.

The National Theatre Movement was founded by Miss Gertrude Johnson in 1935 and today encompasses both the National Theatre Ballet and Drama Schools. Miss Johnson, a onetime student of Australian Opera Legend Dame Nellie Melba, was an accomplished singer who upon retiring from singing set up the National Theatre to provide training opportunities for upcoming artists after becoming concerned by the lack of existing opportunities.

Today, The National Theatre Melbourne, a Beaux art icon of St Kilda and Melbourne, is not only home to the nationally recognised training institutions the National Theatre Drama and Ballet Schools but also many regular hires ranging from community groups to non-professional theatre organisations.

In recent times The National Theatre Melbourne has expanded their offering to include a foray into contemporary programming streams encompasses cabaret, live music and innovative musical theatre which expands the possibilities for Melbourne’s thriving arts scene and community.  In addition to the 783 seat main auditorium The National Theatre Melbourne is equipped to also cater for smaller spaces in the 1920’s style Mezzanine and more contemporary spaces including two studios with black box configuration.

The National Theatre Melbourne Open Day will run from 10am till 3pm on Saturday 3 September and is supported by the City of Port Phillip.

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