The Newtown High School of the Performing Arts (abbreviated as NHSPA) is a government-funded co-educational comprehensive and specialist secondary day school, located in the suburb of Newtown in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It is one of the very few performing arts and visual arts schools in Australia. All the students that attend the school are required to study drama, music, dance and visual arts subjects as part of the school’s curriculum for the first year of secondary school, and one Performing or Visual Arts subject until year 11. The school participates in a number of events both on and off campus in all types of performing and visual arts as well as video, technical, costume and design.
In 2016, Newtown became one of the first schools in Australia to adopt an 'inclusive' uniform policy. Although there remain separate 'boys' and 'girls' uniforms, students may wear whichever they prefer. The school is run by the New South Wales Department of Education. As of February 2020, the principal is Sharon Roberts.The school caters for approximately 1,000 students from Year 7 to Year 12.
The school was founded in 1990 as the first state selective high school for performing arts in New South Wales. NHSPA was formed from the merger of the nearby Petersham Girls High School and Newtown Boys High School on the latter's King Street site. Newtown's foundation principal was Robin Amm, formerly the principal at Petersham Girls.
The school remains open and accessible to the local population, however a larger percentage of prospective students from outside the local acceptance boundaries can audition to obtain a place at the school.
The campus is located on King Street, Newtown and bounded by Newman and Whitehorse Streets. The campus has a large paved playground and a grass oval. The various faculties within the school are located in different areas ranging from A to H Blocks and the gymnasium (G block) located near the school oval. The school also has an operational theatre, known as the Studio Theatre, that it uses for its biannual Showcase concerts and other productions. The school also manages the adjacent St Georges Hall which is used for larger productions and school activities.
Approximately 65 percent of the student body is recruited through a short audition process. Thirty pupils are in the music class, thirty in drama, and thirty in dance per year (with the exception of the class of 2023, with 40 per stream), although families living within the catchment area are prioritized in sending their children there. Students can audition to gain entry to the school for Years 7 and 11.
The Prefect body at NHSPA consists of Year 12 students who are elected by both their fellow students and teachers. Its primary role is act as role models for other students and represent the school at any public event. Two school captains (of any gender) lead the prefect body.
NHSPA offers these subjects for the HSC:
The most notable extracurricular activities available to the students of the high school are the ensembles and companies in the Music, Drama and Dance departments. These are:
Christopher Bang (2014) – professionally known as Bang Chan; singer/leader of South Korean boy group Stray Kids.
Ed Oxenbould (2019) - actor
Alycia Debnam-Carey (2011) – actress
Indiana Evans (2003) – actress
Lindsay Farris (2003) – actor and Artistic Director of the National Youth Theatre Company and founding Chairman of the National Youth Theatre Company Foundation
Nathan Foley (1997) – cast-member of Hi-5
Abe Forsythe (1999) – actor
Virginia Gay (1999) – actor
Tamara Jaber (1999) – recording artist
Rose Jackson (2002) – former president of the University of Sydney Students' Representative Council and past president of the National Union of Students
David Jones-Roberts (2008) – actor
Jordan Loukas – model and fashion correspondent
Emma Lung (1999) – actor
Hanna Mangan-Lawrence (2008) – actress
Alyssa McClelland (1999) – actor
Ralph Myers (1996) – artistic director of theatre company Company B Belvoir
Jordan Shanks (2007) - Youtuber and Political commentator
Elana Stone (1998) – jazz singer and band leader
Yael Stone (2003) – actress
Samuel Thomson (2014) – actor and rhythmic gymnastics, Australian youth champion at the 2012 Australian games
Jessica Tovey (2005) – actress
Odessa Young (2013) – actress
Jac Bowie (1997) – entrepreneur, Founder of Business in Heels