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Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts

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Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts
Established1980 (1980)
Parent institution
Edith Cowan University
DirectorProfessor Julie Warn AM
Location, ,

31°55′16″S 115°52′3″E / 31.92111°S 115.86750°E / -31.92111; 115.86750Coordinates: 31°55′16″S 115°52′3″E / 31.92111°S 115.86750°E / -31.92111; 115.86750
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The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) at Edith Cowan University (ECU) was established in 1980 to provide performing arts tuition. WAAPA (commonly pronounced "whopp-a") operates as a part of ECU, located at the ECU campus of Mount Lawley, a suburb in Perth, Western Australia.

The Director of WAAPA is Professor Julie Warn.


WAAPA provides courses in many fields of performing arts including acting, music theatre, directing, dance, jazz and contemporary music, classical music, performance making, arts management, production, and design. Broadcasting is now taught in the School of Communications and Arts of ECU. Originally an initiative of the State Government the Academy receives funding from both the State and Commonwealth governments.[1]

The WAAPA performance season[edit]

A further primary purpose of the Academy is to 'stage' concerts and performances, laying the path for a smooth transition from student to professional.[2]

Every year WAAPA stages hundreds of concerts and performances across the genres of Jazz, Contemporary and Classical Music, Composition and Music Technology, Dance, Acting and Musical Theatre. This represents more productions and more diversity than other production venues or arts training institution in Australia.[3]

Venues and facilities[edit]

The WAAPA buildings and facilities form a part of the Edith Cowan University campus in Mount Lawley, a suburb in Perth, Western Australia.[4]

The Academy currently has eight public performance spaces constantly in use for performances and concerts. These include the Geoff Gibbs Theatre – a 270-seat proscenium arch theatre, the Roundhouse Theatre – a 130-seat court style theatre, the 165-seat Music Auditorium, an outdoor amphitheatre, Enright Studio, Dance Studios and Jazz Studio all designed for more intimate performances.[5]

Four more purpose built dance/rehearsal studio spaces were created. A recording studio, electronics studio, and four production workshops for design and costume making were also added to the existing workshops and behind the scenes production facilities.[6]

Twelve large rehearsal and dance studios, numerous music and ensemble studios, a specialised visual and performing arts library collection, and numerous exhibition spaces.[6]

Fully equipped broadcasting facilities and studios for television and radio. An environment has been created where broadcasting students can gain first hand experience of working within a media environment.[7]

Academic appointments[edit]

Academic teaching appointments are made on the basis of qualifications, recent professional experience, industry profile and reputation. The most senior academic is Professor Geoffrey Lancaster. WAAPA invites international professionals to Perth as artists in residence to work with students on productions and performances and to provide performance and professional advice through workshops. These have included New York saxophonist Jon Gordon and composer/arranger/guitarist Anthony Wilson.[8]

Notable past teaching appointments include the Australian conductor of choral, orchestral and operatic works, Richard Gill (conductor) as Dean of Western Australian Conservatorium of Music from 1985-1990. When Richard Gill moved to take up an appointment as Director of Chorus at the Opera Australia, Edward Applebaum filled the appointment.

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Luke Arnold
  • Viva Bianca
  • Andrew Bibby
  • Shalom Brune-Franklin
  • Jeremy Callaghan
  • Jarrod Carland
  • Vivien Carter
  • Karina Carvalho
  • Dustin Clare
  • Jai Courtney
  • James Wearing Smith
  • Martin Crewes
  • Cassie Davis
  • Charmaine Dragun
  • Lucy Durack
  • Georgie Gardner
  • Mark Gasser
  • Marcus Graham
  • Kerrie Anne Greenland
  • Georgina Haig
  • Geraldine Hakewill
  • Karla Hart
  • Hugh Jackman
  • Jim Jefferies
  • Kate Jenkinson
  • Hélène Joy
  • Gerald Lepkowski
  • Ewen Leslie
  • Ben Lewis
  • Meg Mac
  • Tammy MacIntosh
  • Suzie Mathers
  • William McInnes
  • Lisa McCune
  • Tim Minchin
  • Seann Miley Moore
  • Dacre Montgomery
  • Frances O'Connor
  • Taryn Onafaro
  • Paul Paddick
  • Karin Page
  • Nicholas Papademetriou
  • Eddie Perfect
  • Chris Piechocki
  • Dominic Purcell
  • Matthew Lee Robinson
  • Dana Rosendorff
  • Gretel Scarlett
  • Kris Stewart
  • Pria Viswalingam
  • Erica Wardle
  • Nic Westaway
  • Stella Donnelly


  1. "Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts". WAAPA.
  2. "Bachelor of Arts". Directions Magazine. 2012.
  3. "WAAPA our partners". Hawaiian Alive. 2012.
  4. "WAPPA - Campus Life".
  5. "Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts". WAAPA.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Other WAAPA Studios | Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts". Archived from the original on 11 March 2015. Retrieved 7 November 2015.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  7. "WAAPA student winner at WA Media Awards". Campus Daily. 17 November 2010.

External links[edit]

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