Celebrating a Stellar 2024 Season with ACA Company

As we look back on ACA Company’s spectacular 2024 season, we are filled with immense pride and gratitude. This year, we brought two iconic plays to the stage: Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House (dir. Anthony Skuse) and Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot (dir. Adam Cook).

These performances not only showcased the incredible talent of our ACA graduates, but also captivated the imaginations of more than 700 high school students who attended, most of whom study these texts as part of their HSC curriculum.

Spotlight on Our ACA Graduates

Our productions this year featured some of our brightest ACA graduates, who brought their unique skills and passion to these challenging  works. Their dedication and exceptional performances breathed new life into these classic texts, making them accessible and engaging for both seasoned theatregoers and students experiencing them for the first time.

In A Doll’s House, our graduates masterfully portrayed the complexities of Ibsen’s characters, exploring themes of gender roles, self-discovery, and societal expectations. The intricate dynamics between Amelia Parsonson’s Norah and Harry Reid’s Torvald Helmer were rendered with such nuance and sensitivity that audiences were left in awe.

Waiting for Godot, with its existential undertones and minimalist staging, offered our actors a platform to delve into the depths of human experience and the absurdity of life. Mark Barry and Ciarán O’Riordan’s performances were lauded for their depth and authenticity, making Beckett’s timeless dialogue resonate with contemporary audiences.

Engaging High School Students: A Learning Experience Beyond the Classroom

One of the highlights of our season was the enthusiastic response from more than 700 high school students who attended our performances. For many, it was their first live theatre experience, and the opportunity to see their HSC texts performed on stage was invaluable.

The energy and curiosity these students brought to the theatre were palpable, and it was a joy to witness their engagement and excitement.

Interactive Q&A Sessions: Bridging the Gap Between Art and Education


Following each performance, we hosted interactive Q&A sessions with the cast and director. These sessions provided a unique opportunity for students to delve deeper into the themes, characters, and production processes of the plays.

  • Jolene, student at Strathfield High School: “In the Q&A, I learnt the meaning of certain scenes, the purpose of the play, what the author was trying to convey, overarching themes.”

Our actors shared insights into their preparation, character development, and the nuances of bringing such complex texts to life. The students’ questions were thoughtful and reflective, sparking meaningful discussions that extended beyond the confines of the classroom.

  • Do you get nervous?
  • What’s the modern day relevance?
  • Do you like your character?
  • How do you memorise a script?
  • Why did you ring those bells?
  • Did that costume change signify something?

Heartfelt Teacher Testimonials

We were overwhelmed by the positive feedback from teachers who accompanied their students to our performances.

Here are just a few of the amazing testimonials we received:

  • Elizabeth Steven, Teacher at St Patrick’s: “What a fantastic experience we had last week in Sydney! Our night at ACA certainly enhanced our dramatic reading of A Doll’s House, which had previously taken place in the back corner of our classroom. Please pass on my gratitude to the director Anthony Skuse. The students have not stopped talking about his generosity of spirit after the theatre emptied or his interpretation of Ibsen’s original idea and Beatrix Christian’s script.”
  •  Ibaa Makhoul, Teacher at Mitchell High School: “I loved many elements of the play, from the characterisation, the set design and the simplicity, for example the doubling of roles so that the children could effectively be “removed”. I particularly liked the way that the characters stayed visible even when not on set, a directorial choice that I thought caused greater tension and focus for the Nora/Torvald relationship.”
  • Andrew Robartson, Teacher at Central Coast Adventist School: “I really wanted my students to experience live theatre beyond the realism or musical theatre that they are familiar with—Godot delivered.”

  • David Jebakumar, Teacher at Chatswood High School: “Our class really appreciated how well your cast captured the rhythm and pace of the piece. It’s such a difficult thing to recreate with English students in a classroom setting. Hearing it performed ‘at pace’ helped them recognise the wit of Beckett’s writing. The cast was so brilliant, and it was through this performance that our class developed a much deeper understanding of Estragon and Vladmir’s relationship/dynamic. It was particularly insightful for our English students to hear about the play from the perspective of performers – the technical challenges of performing the play, the way the actors found ways into these Absurd characters, etc. It was also just so refreshing to hear from a director and cast who were so passionate about the material. It certainly helped my students see why this text is so celebrated and sparked their enthusiasm for it.”

Student Feedback

  • Tracey, Student at Cabramatta High School: “I honestly loved the way the actors presented everything. So so good, I understood every part of the play, and the actors did such an amazing part acting out the scenes. 100 percent recommend.”
  • Student at Sydney Technical High School: “I liked the emphasis on staging and stage directions and actions, costume, props, lighting and sound. Experiencing it in real life gave meaning to those actions that in class are just words on a page. In the Q&A, I learnt about the symbolism throughout the play, the significance of the inclusion of characters and ideas, the acting process and the links to [the playwright’s] context.”

A Doll’s House — Photo Gallery

[Photographer: Phillip Erbacher]

Harry Reid and Amelia Parsonson [Photographer: Phillip Erbacher]

Amelia Parsonson and Abhilash Kaimal [Photographer: Phillip Erbacher]

Lucasta Madeleine and Amelia Parsonson [Photographer: Phillip Erbacher]

Barret Griffin [Photographer: Phillip Erbacher]

Waiting for Godot — Photo Gallery

[Photographer: Phillip Erbacher]

Ciarán O’Riordan, Michael Jones, Mark Barry and Arkia Ashraf [Photographer: Phillip Erbacher]

Ciarán O’Riordan and Mark Barry [Photographer: Phillip Erbacher]

Ciarán O’Riordan and Arkia Ashraf [Photographer: Phillip Erbacher]

Charlotte Edwards [Photographer: Phillip Erbacher]

Ciarán O’Riordan and Mark Barry [Photographer: Phillip Erbacher]

Looking Ahead

As we celebrate the success of our 2024 season, we are already looking forward to the future. ACA Company remains dedicated to producing high-quality theatre that not only entertains but also educates and inspires. We are excited to continue our mission of bringing classic and contemporary works to life, providing valuable experiences for students and audiences alike.

Thank you to everyone who supported us this season – from our talented graduates and dedicated staff to the enthusiastic students and their supportive teachers.

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