The first cohort of students from USC‘s Master of Performing Arts is set to graduate with a solid grounding in the art of sustaining a long-term artistic career.
The group of 17 students from the Master of Professional Practice (Performing Arts) course will graduate on Friday 13 April at 3pm at Matthew Flinders College Performance Centre.
Lecturer in Drama Dr Lynne Bradley said the inaugural one-year course had attracted a diverse group of students from Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and around regional Queensland.
“What makes this Masters quite an innovative course is that we are not just looking at artistic skills development, but also long-term career sustainability,” Dr Bradley said.
“We have a strong focus on mental health, so we have a whole unit in mental health and psychology. A lot of artists can be very sensitive and the nature of the performing industry is very high-pressure, so we need to build mental tenacity and strategies for self-care.
“We also had a boot camp on financial literacy because the aim is to thrive, not just survive in the arts.”
She said that the nature of artistic careers required careful planning to avoid burnout and financial struggles between paid work.
Dr Bradley travels to the Sunshine Coast weekly from Brisbane where in 1992 she co-founded the Zen Zen Zo Physical Theatre, which went on to become one of Queensland’s leading innovative arts organisations.
Her 30-year history as an award-winning director, performer, actor-trainer and lecturer helped her teach the first year to a very diverse group of students.
“This group was a true cross-pollination of art forms. We had visual artists, musical theatre performers, directors, film and television actors, physical theatre performers, writers and marketing people,” she said.
“I’m super proud of them. They did a magnificent job on the course learning a plethora of new skills and they topped it off performing Dusk Till Dawn at the J Theatre in Noosa, which garnered a lot of attention.”
She expects the course to eventually attract international students because of its focus on preparing for a sustainable creative career.
The group’s graduation ceremony will be one of 11 USC graduation ceremonies from April 11-13 that will see 1,700 students graduate before expected crowds of almost 6,000 people.