Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts

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Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts
Established 1980 (1980)
Parent institution
Edith Cowan University
Director Professor Julie Warn AM
Location Perth, Western Australia, Australia
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
Website www.waapa.ecu.edu.au

The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) at Edith Cowan University (ECU) was established in 1980 to provide performing arts tuition comparable to the highest calibre of national and international training benchmarks to be able to meet industry needs around the globe. 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. It is a highly prestigious school, regarded as one of the world's leading performance training institutions.[1]

The Director of WAAPA is Professor Julie Warn.


WAAPA teaches acting, music theatre, directing, dance, jazz and contemporary music, classical music, performance making, arts management, production, design, and formerly broadcasting. (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.[2]

The WAAPA Performance Season[edit]

Another primary purpose of the Academy is to 'stage' concerts and performances, laying the path for the smoothest transition possible from student to professional.[3]

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 – more productions and more diversity than any other production venue or arts training institution in Australia.[4]

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.[5]

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 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.[6]

Four more purpose built dance/rehearsal studio spaces were created. A state of the art 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.[7]

Twelve large rehearsal and dance studios, numerous music and ensemble studios, a specialised visual and performing arts library collection, and numerous exhibition spaces.[7]

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.[8]

Academic appointments[edit]

Academic teaching appointments are made on the basis of qualifications, recent professional experience, industry profile and reputation. WAAPA invites international professionals to Perth as artists in residence to work with students on productions and performances and to provide musical advice through workshops. These have included New York saxophonist Jon Gordon and composer/arranger/guitarist Anthony Wilson.[9]

Notable alumni[edit]


External links[edit]