Image:  Ryan Enniss and Anna Barber in "Antigone." Image courtesy of Ryan Enniss.

It was his love of storytelling that led Ryan Enniss to performance.

Now, after graduating with a Bachelor of Contemporary Arts from the University of Tasmania in 2018, Ryan is furthering his study at the prestigious National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA).

I got the call and I couldn’t believe it. I wasn’t sure I’d really understood until I got on the plane and moved over here. It’s an amazing feeling.

Last year Ryan won the Community Theatre Judges’ Award for Emerging Scriptwriter for Watching at the Tasmanian Theatre Awards, which he both wrote and directed.

“That was a contemporary naturalistic drama exploring question of family secrets, communication, and how people can alter the meaning of truth.

“It was quite odd and different, but it was a lot of fun for me to write and make with a cast.”

Ryan always loved writing, but it wasn’t until Year 10 when he chose a drama elective that he realised it was his calling.

 “Discovering drama was like a whole new form of storytelling and I think that was why I got so excited about it,” he said.

I think the main reason I started getting into acting and directing is that I love seeing stories in action.

During his third year at the University Ryan worked with Chris Thompson who was directing the graduate show The Torrents.

“Ever since I worked with him I couldn’t imagine doing something else.

“I thought ‘that’s how I want to be; someone who walks into a rehearsal and is alive and passionate and loves what they’re doing.’”

Ryan also enjoyed studying with Dr Jane Woollard (Head of Theatre at the University of Tasmania).

“She emailed me about NIDA and said she was very happy. The students who are just going into the course with her have got some good years ahead of them because she is a genius,” he said. 

Going to a proper institution gives you access to all of the tools you might need in a performance and you can’t really do that by yourself.

Dr Woollard said Ryan has a “unique combination of developed skills as a playwright and performer.”

His energy and commitment to constantly developing his practice will stand in him good stead over the coming years as he completes his actor-training at NIDA.

Dr Jane Woollard (Head of Theatre).

Ryan is very busy with his studies now (which might continue to master’s level) but said he would love to someday work as a playwright or a TV actor.

“I couldn’t imagine going to a 9-5 job where I don’t get to play and explore and be weird.”

Find out more about studying Theatre and Performance at the University of Tasmania.