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Curtain call for drama teacher Clark

NIDA will appoint a new director toward the end of 2004

SYDNEY– Australia’s premier drama teacher, John Clark, who nurtured the careers of Mel Gibson, Baz Luhrmann and Cate Blanchett among many others, said Wednesday he will retire from the National Institute of Dramatic Art at the end of 2004 after 35 years as director.

Clark became director of NIDA in 1969, after spending a year in the U.S. studying television and film, and helped to shape it into one of the world’s most successful and influential theater schools.

An accomplished director, he’s helmed numerous plays for NIDA and the Sydney Theater Co. as well as productions for the U. of California at San Diego, the National School of Drama in New Delhi, India, the Intl. Theater Institute in Korea and the Practice Performing Arts School in Singapore.

“John has influenced two generations of actors, designers, directors and technicians whose professionalism has transformed the industry,” said NIDA chairman David Gonski.

NIDA will appoint a new director toward the end of 2004.