The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts has just released its 2021 Performance Program, with over 120 exciting performances and concerts on offer across music, dance and theatre.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Edith Cowan University, a significant milestone for the home of WA’s prestigious performing arts school.

To announce the jam-packed new season, an exclusive launch event was held on Thursday 28 January at ECU’s Mount Lawley campus. Guests joined representatives from the WA arts, entertainment and cultural sector, and speakers including Mr Simon Millman (MLA Member for Mount Lawley) and WAAPA Executive Dean, Professor David Shirley, for the evening.

Professor David Shirley, Executive Dean of WAAPA

Professor David Shirley

Professor David Shirley said that after the challenges of last year, staff and students were looking forward to welcoming audiences back to WAAPA’s theatres and performance venues at the Mount Lawley campus, as well as to various Perth Theatre Trust venues.

“We’re delighted to once again offer our supporters a year of engaging, highly accomplished and inspiring performances across acting, dance, music, music theatre, opera and performance making,” he said.

To celebrate the university’s 30th anniversary, Professor Shirley announced that a special gala concert will be held on July 30 at Perth Concert Hall.

“This will be a truly extraordinary showcase of the incredible talents and creativity of WAAPA’s students, staff and alumni.”

Other highlights for 2021 include WAAPA’s popular mid-year musical, George Gershwin’s Crazy for You, which will light up the stage of His Majesty’s Theatre from 11 – 17 June.

Lovers of rafter-raising choral music will enjoy To the Hands: Buxtehude, Bach and Shaw at St. Mary’s Cathedral on Thursday 25 March, performed by WAAPA’s Classical Chorale and Classical Voice students accompanied by the String Camerata with soloists Paul Wright on violin and Stewart Smith on organ.

Later in the year, the Classical Voice students will transform into tender-hearted pirates as they perform Gilbert and Sullivan’s much-loved operetta, The Pirates of Penzance, from 10 – 16 September.

Also in September, the final year Acting students take to the stage of the Subiaco Arts Centre to perform William Shakespeare’s gripping portrayal of power and politics, Julius Caesar.

Marlanie Haerewa

BPA graduate, Marlanie Haerewa.

As part of the Minderoo Foundation’s ongoing sponsorship of WAAPA, from 22 – 28 October, the Geoff Gibbs Theatre will be the venue for an international first, as two artists from Pina Bausch Tanztheater Wuppertal are joined by Australian dance legend Meryl Tankard and WAAPA’s own Michael Whaites to create a dance program that celebrates the enormous influence of German choreographer Pina Bausch on generations of dancers around the world.

These are just a few of the exciting performances WAAPA has in store for its audiences that showcase the extraordinary accomplishments of its highly talented students.

Special guests at the WAAPA 2021 Season Launch

As ECU adheres to the latest government advice relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, WAAPA’s on-campus and external venues will follow the 60% capacity limit rule. With limited seating, tickets for WAAPA performances will be in high demand, but you can beat the rush and join the Friends of WAAPA now to take advantage of their preferential early bookings and other benefits, whilst supporting the next generation of performing artists and creatives.

You can download your copy of WAAPA’s 2021 Performance Program here.

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