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Andrew Upton at the VCA: 'The blank page is humiliating, shaming, disgraceful, terrifying'
Last week, VCA Master of Theatre (Writing) Coordinator Raimondo Cortese spoke with Australian playwright, screenwriter and director Andrew Upton about his career, training, personal perspectives and insights into the arts industry, followed by a Q&A session. Upton was the Co-Artistic Director and Co-CEO of the Sydney Theatre Company from 2008 to 2012 and Artistic Director from 2013 to 2015. Watch the interview, or read an edited excerpt on Upton's preferred five act structure below.
Victorian College of the Arts graduates share in the Melbourne Prize for Urban Sculpture 2020
Three Victorian College of the Arts graduates were among the winners at the coveted Melbourne Prize for Urban Sculpture 2020 announced yesterday. Lecturer in Visual Art Dr Laura Woodward (BFA Hons. 2005, MFA 2008, PhD 2014) and Isadora Vaughan (BFA Hons. 2013) received the Rural & Regional Development Award 2020, and Professional Development Award 2020 respectively.Beth Arnold, who completed a Bachelor of Fine Art with Honours in 2005 and a Master of Fine Art (Research) in 2011, was one of six finalists, and co-winners, of this year's main prize. In a groundbreaking decision, Arnold and co-winners Mikala Dwyer, Emily Floyd, Nicholas Mangan, Kathy Temin and Field Theory will pool their winnings and make a significant contribution to a First Nations community organisation to acknowledge the absence of First Nations voices and culturally diverse representation in the 2020 Prize.
Frisson, a new short film from Alex Wu, will give you goosebumps
Does listening to your favourite song give you goosebumps? Musical chills, or "frisson", are explored by VCA Film and Television alum Alex Wu in a new film entitled Frisson. Commissioned for the Multivocal exhibition at Old Quad, University of Melbourne (co-presented by Old Quad and Grainger Museum) this 3-channel video piece will open alongside almost 100 significant objects and artworks from the history of music on campus. Multivocal will open in 2021 at Old Quad (Parkville Campus). Hear from Alex on the process of creating this film in the below interview.
VCA Graduate Tina Stefanou wins $50,000 Schenberg Arts Fellowship
"I feel like I've woken up in another universe" – The Schenberg Art Fellowship 2020, a cash prize of $50,000, has been awarded to Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts, Tina Stefanou, for her works Horse Power (2019) and Antiphonea (2019).
From Southbank to West Side Story: The Maverick Brass Quintet perform Bernstein
The Maverick Brass Quintet is a group of musicians based all around the world that meets seasonally to take on creative projects such as summer festivals and international competitions. The ensemble, formed at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music Brass department, has continued to create, despite their members being spread across three different continents. Here, they present a suite from Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story, arranged by Jake Gale.
Future Forward: watch the best of the 2020 symposium for graduates entering the creative industries
Future Forward is a week-long online symposium, designed to support graduating students with the skills they need to transition into creative industries, with a COVID-19 focus. The program features workshops, discussions, and tutorials designed to inspire, motivate and inform the next steps of our graduates' career journeys. We are delighted to share some of our favourite panel discussions from Future Forward 2020 below, which took place from 27–31 July.
Short stop at MIFF program
Six films by Victorian College of the Arts Film and Television alumni have been selected as part of a new MIFF Shorts retrospective focusing on connections.
Meet Henry Kelly, Bachelor of Fine Arts (Theatre) graduate at the University of Melbourne
Henry Kelly graduated from the first cohort of the re-imagined Bachelor of Fine Art (Theatre) course at the Victorian College of the Arts. Life has presented many highs and lows since graduating, including a trip to Taipei and a broken wrist – but that hasn't stopped him creating. He tells Mireille Stahle about his most recent projects during COVID-19.
Meet Morgan Rose, graduate of the Master of Theatre (Writing) at the University of Melbourne
Morgan Rose is a graduate of the Master of Theatre (Writing) (formerly Master of Writing for Performance) program at the Victorian College of the Arts. She works with teens through various youth theatre organisations and recently took part in the Dear Australia – Postcards to Our Nation project. She gives Mireille Stahle an insight into her practice ... and what shows she's been bingeing on in lockdown.
Dear Australia – new Australian performance writing
Playwriting Australia’s (PWA) Dear Australia offers bite-sized monologues that give voice to the hopes and fears of Australians facing the persistent threat of COVID-19. The Victorian College of the Arts was delighted to be represented as part of the Dear Australia line-up through a number of current and former staff, and alumni including Morgan Rose, James Majoos, Tariro Mavondo, Carly Sheppard, Richard Frankland, Kevin Hofbauer, Diane Stubbings, Eric Gardiner and Ross Mueller.
So you've mastered screenwriting at the VCA – what comes next?
The screenwriter may not be the first name to roll in the credits – but more often than not they're the backbone of any film and television project. We spoke to some writers who have graduated from the Master of Screenwriting program at the VCA to see what they've been up to.
Meet Danna Yun, Composition alum at the University of Melbourne
Multi-instrumentalist Danna Yun talks composition, collaboration, video-game music and life goals.
New ABC media residency for arts practitioners and researchers
The University of Melbourne is partnering with the ABC and the Australia Council to present TOP 5 Arts – a media residency for graduate early-career practitioners and PhD researchers working in visual arts, performance, design, architecture and screen. Applications are open now, and close on 1 June.
VCA filmmakers get a seat at the table with Australians in Film in LA
Victorian College of the Arts Film and Television alumni will have the opportunity to work at the former home of Charlie Chaplin in Los Angeles, thanks to a new partnership between Australian’s in Film (AiF) and the University of Melbourne.
Visual Artist Scotty So opens up about drag, authenticity, and getting mistaken for Carrie Lam on the internet
In 2019, Scotty So began exploring notions of reality and authenticity – but how did this lead to his alter-ego being accidentally picked up by international news media?
Alumni collaborate on Asia TOPA's The Seen and Unseen
Eugyeene Teh and Adena Jacobs met at the VCA in 2007. 13 Years later, they’re collaborating with fellow Australian theatremaker Jenny Hector, Indonesian artist Kamila Andini and Choreographer Ida Ayu Wayan Satyani on The Seen and Unseen, for Asia TOPA 2020. They speak about their experience of being back on campus after all these years.
Corrie Chen, filmmaker: some advice for film and television graduates at the University of Melbourne
Award-winning filmmaker and television director Corrie Chen graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts with a Bachelor Film and Television (Hons) in 2008, and a Master in Film and Television (Narrative) in 2011. Taiwanese by birth, her work spans comedy, drama and documentary, and often explores issues of identity and belonging. The following is an edited extract of her speech in December 2019 to graduating Film and Television students from the University of Melbourne.
Meet Charby Ibrahim, Master of Film and Television (Documentary) graduate
From teacher to filmmaker, Master of Film and Television (Documentary) graduate Charby Ibrahim is passionate about social justice. He talks about how he’s trying to push creative boundaries of traditional documentary film making, while agitating for social change.
Dr Andrew McAliece and Dr Richard Simmie: supporting performing arts students, through their lifetime giving and a gift in their Wills
Andrew McAliece and Richard Simmie’s decision to support performing arts students, through their lifetime giving and a gift in their Wills, has opened up a whole new world – one they enjoy exploring.
Bill Henson: ‘There is no formula for how creativity unfolds’
Bill Henson is one of Australia’s best-known contemporary photographers – but it was not always thus. As the First Commissions art project launches ahead of an exhibition in Melbourne on 27 and 28 July, he tells Mireille Stahle about his early years as an artist.