'Suit the action to the Word, the Word to the Action' - Retired NIDA Artistic Director, John Clark AM
Summary: John Clark was born in Tasmania and his first intention was to be an archeologist. However, it was the theatre that called and provided Clark with an illustrious career as a theatre-maker and teacher. His greatest triumph is an indelible turn as Director of the National Institute of Dramatic Art. For 40 years he guided and nurtured generations of practitioners who would become crucial contributors to our Theatre, Film and Television industries. He studied theatre at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre school and at Bristol University, where he designed the set for the first production of Harold Pinter's play - The Room. A series of firsts would decorate his career as a director, delivering productions of Death of a Salesman in Hobart, a premiere production of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and a landmark Sydney season of Don's Party. He played pivotal roles with the Old Tote Theatre and the Jane Street Theatre at a time when a new Australian voice was being developed in playwriting and an authentic style for the Australian actor. When the Old Tote Theatre Company ceased operation, Clark together with Elizabeth Butcher, became the Sydney Theatre Company's initial Artistic Director and Administrator, overseeing an interim season in the Drama Theatre at the Sydney Opera House. His contribution to defining 'an Australian theatre' on local and international stages is vast. He is one of our great champions and a man of tremendous charm and infinite story. It was indeed a privilege and a joy to spend some time with John Clark.