After an extensive search worldwide, the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) have announced their new Head of Acting will be the lauded Jeff Janisheski. Interim Head of Acting, Andrew Ross will continue his post as Head of Music, and Janisheski will assume the position from January 3, 2012. “I am honoured to lead the acting program at NIDA and to work with a team of outstanding professionals as we guide the next generation of Australian actors”, said Janisheski. “Theatre is a collaborative event and at the core of that event are the actor and the audience.” Appointed Artistic Director at the acclaimed Eugene O’Neill Theater Center (USA) in 2008, a position which he currently holds, Janisheski brings with him a formidable list of accomplishments in the field of theatre, education and training. His career as a performer began almost 20 years ago, beginning in contemporary dance, with a special interest in Asian art forms which he investigated while residing in Japan. He has also worked extensively as an actor, choreographer, director and producer and his teaching career has spanned 15 years. As Head of the National Theatre Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, Jeff has been responsible for the design and development of curricula for education and training courses across a range of theatre disciplines including, acting, dance, directing and playwriting. This curricula design has included international links with a range of schools including the Moscow Art Theatre School, the St. Petersburg State Theatre Arts Academy and with the UK’s Complicite company, led by Simon McBurney. Singing NIDA’s praises, it seems that Jeff Janisheski is looking forward to the challenge of leading Australia’s most recognised dramatic institution to a new phase of course development in this ever changing world of the performing arts. “This position at NIDA is a thrilling opportunity. I am continually struck by the vibrancy of Australia’s cultural landscape and by the sheer talent I have witnessed across its stages and screens. I am energised by the prospect of contributing to this artistic community and being a part of this extraordinary institution, leading NIDA’s acting program into the twenty-first century”, he said. With a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Directing and the recipient of two Shubert Foundation Fellowships and a Columbia Graduate Arts Council Award, Jeff is no stranger to the study of arts. He was responsible for the design and development of curricula for education and training courses across a range of theatre disciplines including, acting, dance, directing and playwriting at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. “One of NIDA’s great strengths is its openness to innovation. I intend to build on this by bringing the diversity and depth of my training and drawing on my experience and connections with artists from across the US, UK, Russia and Japan. At the same time, I am deeply committed to NIDA’s mission of fostering a rigorous and professional environment that is a catalyst for personal transformation and excellence.”
NIDA’s Director/CEO Lynne Williams said “We are extremely pleased that Jeff will be joining NIDA at this time. Over the past three years, NIDA has been redeveloping its courses of study and attracting new teaching staff to enable the Institute to focus on the rapidly evolving world of performing arts. Jeff’s vision for actor training within a conservatoire setting and his insistence on new forms of collaborative theatre-making will provide pivotal leadership for our highly motivated and skilled acting department.” “Jeff shares NIDA’s vision for cultivating bold young theatre practitioners able to respond to a broad range of opportunities and who will in time go on to be the future leaders of the performing arts and entertainment industry. We are extremely fortunate to be able to welcome Jeff to NIDA”, she said.