ABSTRACT

This chapter moves “down under” to look at training in Australia and New Zealand. Entitled “the postcolonial model,” it investigates five case studies relative to the imperialist histories of their two countries. This analysis is especially apt given the distinct genealogies of Australia and New Zealand. The chapter shows how Australian drama schools are influenced by UK models and to a lesser extent those in America. A national identity seems missing throughout the training, as programs have remained beholden to a praxis established in the 1960s and 1970s, when English trainers arrived to effectively colonize Australia’s drama schools. Contrarily, Toi Whakaari, New Zealand’s national drama school, combines Māori and Western forms to reflect a bicultural ethos. It is a definitively Aotearoa institution. The chapter locates Toi alongside four Australian conservatoires: National Institute of Dramatic Art, Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Victorian College of the Arts, and the BFA Acting Program at the Queensland University of Technology. Ultimately, Toi’s use of Western and indigenous methodologies is presented as an inspired approach for training actors in the twenty-first century, most especially when addressing entrepreneurism and cultural inclusion.