Griffith and QPAC partnership brings Queensland’s best talent to Queensland’s best stages

QPAC Chief Executive John Kotzas, QPAC Chair Professor Peter Coaldrake, Griffith University Chancellor Henry Smerdon, Griffith University Vice Chancellor Professor Carolyn Evans

Musical theatre students at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University have never been closer to performing on the professional stage following the announcement of a partnership with QPAC.

Building on an enduring relationship the South Bank-based institutions have long enjoyed, this partnership is a first for both and furthers their joint commitment to nurturing the next generations of performing arts talent.

The partnership will provide Conservatorium students with access to three purpose-built rehearsal spaces at QPAC year-round and will allow the University to consolidate its performing arts courses at its South Bank campus and further establish itself as one the nation’s leading theatre finishing schools.

Griffith University’s Musical Theatre program is one of the most sought-after programs of its kind in Australia with more than 450 applicants auditioning for just 20 places each year.

Griffith University Vice Chancellor and President Professor Carolyn Evans said the Conservatorium’s Musical Theatre program had produced a raft of acclaimed artists, several of whom are starring as leads in high profile and popular stage musicals here and overseas.

Griffith University Vice Chancellor Professor Carolyn Evans
Griffith University Chancellor Henry Smerdon
(Signing MOU) flanked by John Kotzas (QPAC Chief Executive ) and Professor Peter Coaldrake (QPAC Chair)

“Since the Bachelor of Musical Theatre was introduced in 2011, we’ve had students like Courtney Monsma who’s starring in Frozen – the Musical, and Shubshri Kandiah currently in the lead role of Cinderella, to name just a few outstanding performers,” Professor Evans said.

“Our theater program has every ambition to be the best performing arts program in the country and this partnership creates an absolute powerhouse.

“I’ve talked about the Julliard-Lincoln Center relationship. We won’t be there next year, but we will be in 10 years, in 20 years.”

Head of Performing Arts Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University Professor Paul Sabey said Griffith students will be afforded opportunities and industry engagement on a scale never seen in the Australian musical theatre space

“For the students to spend time, and most of their week studying in a professional theater environment is really going to give them industry perspective, and give them an education par excellence”

Second Year Musical Theatre student Charlotte Page said the students can’t wait until they are immersed in the QPAC environment.

“We’re here to work in the arts industry and it’s fantastic that QPAC recognise that students at Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University are the future stars of tomorrow’s stage performances.”

John Kotzas and Carolyn Evans with Griffith University students Charlotte Page, Jacqueline Dwyer and Jack Ingram.
Photo: Sharyn Swanepoel, QPAC

Fellow student Jack Ingram calls it a gamechanger.

“Doing the course is one thing but being able to have that experience with professionals, with people who have been in the industry already, that’s the special dust that makes it perfect.”

QPAC Chief Executive John Kotzas said they’re looking forward to seeing the fruits of this partnership end up on stages around Australia and the world for years to come.

“Just as we aim to deliver remarkable live performance experiences for our audiences, Griffith aims to nurture remarkable graduates.”