Festival attracts best of NQ

Mount Isa's Good Shepherd Catholic College will be sending a strong contingent of performers to this year's NQ Festival of One Act Plays. Performer (L-to-R): Shayne O'Shea-Breed, Khade Toeke-Dean, Patrick Harman, Isabel Steele and Laura Szabadics IMAGE: Anna Telford.

The North Queensland Festival of One Act Plays is set to showcase one of the largest rosters of performances in the event’s 25-year history when it returns to the Riverway Arts Centre from May 5-7.

The annual Festival, a chance for both local actors and writers’ talents to be given the spotlight, features entrants from Cairns down to Rockhampton and as far West as Mount Isa.

A regular face at the Festival is Good Shepherd Catholic College teacher, Mount Isa’s Anna Telford.

“This will be our fourth consecutive year attending the Festival. We’ve previously earned multiple second placings in the Junior Division, as well as Best Junior Male Actor twice and the Stan Newman Memorial Bursary. Last year, the Best Male Actor was won by a past Good Shepherd Catholic College Student who had previously performed and directed entries from the College,” said Anna.

“We never take for granted the opportunity to be able to participate in North Queensland-wide events, as it means that the students are able to see that the work they do and the talent they have is comparable to others in Queensland.”

Three groups from Mount Isa will perform in the Festival of One Act Plays this year: 9am Sharp are a combination of year 11 and 12 students from Good Shepherd in 2016, who created their play as an assessment piece for a unit on Contemporary Eclectic Theatre; GSCC Players 2 will perform From the Mouth of Babes by Eva Anderson, directed by year 8 student Grace Heuir; and GSCC Players 1 will perform Internet Murder, which was both written and directed by year 9 student Laura Szabadics.

Mount Isa’s Good Shepherd Catholic College will be sending a strong contingent of performers to this year’s NQ Festival of One Act Plays. Back: Patrick Harman, Khade Toeke-Dean. Front: Shayne O’Shea-Breed, Laura Szabadics, Isabel Steele, Grace Heuir. IMAGE: Anna Telford.

Laura, who is attending the Festival of One Act Plays for her third time this year, said the chance to have her work performed for a North Queensland audience was an exciting opportunity.

“I was talking with Mrs Telford about the Festival and she suggested that I could write a script instead of having to find one on the internet. The main idea was picking a subject that I could easily write about, and Internet Murder was the one that I found most exciting,” said Laura.

“I got writing over the Christmas holidays and it developed into the amazing script that I get to showcase at the Festival. The audience should definitely expect to laugh – every rehearsal has been so much fun and the actors have had to try very hard to keep a straight face.”

Internet Murder focuses on the struggle of several teenagers who are dragged along on a holiday only to discover, to their horror, there is no internet.

“I do believe youth rely on technology too much, but I can’t talk because I’m known to spend a lot of time on the internet. Though this isn’t to say that there aren’t benefits of this technology, it’s just when you’re with friends it’s rude to be on your phone.

With so much promise, it is hard to believe Laura is still in year 9. So the burning question, of course, is what’s next?

“I mean, my ultimate goal is world domination, but my backup plan would be get into the film industry in Australia and have my name in the credits of a TV show or movie.

“I have to say a massive thank you to Anna Telford because she has always supported me and provided so many opportunities not only for me, but all of the other students. And of course, my awesome parents: thanks Mum and Dad!”

Catch Good Shepherd Catholic College student Laura Szabadic’s original play Internet Murder as part of the North Queensland Festival of One Act Plays at Riverway Arts Centre from May 5-7. Tickets are available through the Ticketshop, or by calling the Box Office on 4727 9797.

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