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NASDA students wow producers across the Tasman

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Five National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Arts (NASDA) students, including one graduate, are walking on cloud nine this week having just learnt of their success in recent auditions for the…

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Five National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Arts (NASDA) students, including one graduate, are walking on cloud nine this week having just learnt of their success in recent auditions for the Australian production of 'Buddy.'

Third year students Laura Bunting, Leroi Kippen, Isla Brentwood, Akina Edmonds and 2007 NASDA graduate James Nation-Ingle have all successfully been cast in the production, with Laura Bunting taking top honours as the lead female, Marla Elena, Buddy Holly's wife.Five National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Arts (NASDA) students, including one graduate, are walking on cloud nine this week having just learnt of their success in recent auditions for the Australian production of 'Buddy.'

Third year students Laura Bunting, Leroi Kippen, Isla Brentwood, Akina Edmonds and 2007 NASDA graduate James Nation-Ingle have all successfully been cast in the production, with Laura Bunting taking top honours as the lead female, Marla Elena, Buddy Holly's wife.Auditions for the production were held in the main centres across Australia as well as national auditions in Christchurch and Auckland.

Approximately 500 performers auditioned for the production across the Tasman, 30 of which were NASDA students or recent graduates. As a result, the judging panel cast 22 performers, highly praising the talent of those connected with NASDA.

"Not only does this result give NASDA kudos within the Australasian performing arts community, but it also allows prospective students to see the different pathways and opportunities available to them - a break in Australia is a huge thing. It's what our students dream about," says NASDA's course leader for singing programmes, Angela Johnson.

"Producers are finally beginning to acknowledge that there is a reason to come to Christchurch for auditions. Our graduates are very much holding their own in a tough and competitive industry. We already have several graduates working in major musicals in Australia and this latest success will add to our profile even more. Not only is it wonderful that the students will be performing in all the major theatres in Australia, but it will also give them an opportunity to be seen by agents and other production companies."

All five performers have accepted one year contracts with the production company and are looking forward to starting their careers in the industry. Laura Bunting, alongside three other lead cast members, attended the media launch for 'Buddy' in Sydney last week, and is just beginning to realise the reality of her success and what it means for her future career aspirations.

"To be cast as the lead female is a completely surreal feeling, but incredibly exciting because it's what I've been working towards for the past three years. The experience will give me exposure to Australian audiences and, more importantly, agents and other production companies. It's an amazing opportunity to be mixing and working with other professionals, and to be working professionally so quickly."

The cast will head to the Gold Coast early next year to take part in six weeks of rehearsals at Warner Bros Studios, before opening in Sydney's prestigious performing arts venue, the Lyric Theatre at Star City Casino on the February 3, which, incidentally, also marks the 50th anniversary of Buddy Holly's death.

National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Arts

Written by

Ara Institute of Canterbury

29 Oct 2008

Email - info@ara.ac.nz Phone - 0800 24 24 76