One-Act Writers Shine

The Festival of One Act Plays will be staged at Riverway Arts Centre 5 - 7 May 2017. IMAGE Chrissy Maguire

One stage. Performers from every corner of North Queensland. And just one Act to impress.

The annual North Queensland Festival of One Act Plays returns to Townsville this May, featuring performers of every age and skill level. The event, adjudicated this year by Matrix Theatre Brisbane’s Michael Futcher, gives locals a chance to step into the spotlight and showcase to a major Theatre Company, as well as appreciate the amount of talent here in the North.

Not only are the performers from North Queensland, but most of the plays were written locally as well. Townsville’s Catherine McKernan Doris walked away with an armful of awards last year for several of her plays, with more set to take to the stage this year.

“I’ve submitted three plays to be performed at this year’s Festival under the Townsville Little Theatre banner, and they are all ten-minute comedies. I love writing comedy; there’s enough seriousness in the world and I like to bring some levity,” said Catherine.

“Two of the plays are being directed by local directors, Michael Doris and Christine Scott, and I’m directing the third. I’m hoping everyone has a good laugh.

“Last year’s Festival will be hard to top for me. My plays picked up seven first place awards and one second place, I was thrilled to pieces.

“I think it’s vital that the North Queensland community has every possible chance to showcase its talent. Funding for the arts has been drastically cut, sadly at a time when it’s really needed.  This Festival and others are the best opportunity for like-minded theatre folk to get involved at every level. I truly believe that community theatre is the best way to get people together.”

Another playwright set to showcase – with a little less experience but just as much promise – is Mount Isa year nine student, Laura Szabadics.

Laura’s play, Internet Murder is a window into the lives of a group of children who are dragged away on holidays only to discover, to their horror, they have no internet.

“The audience should definitely expect to laugh – every rehearsal was so much fun and the actors had to try very hard to keep a straight face. I do believe that youth rely too much on, but I can’t talk because I’m known to spend a lot of time on the internet.

“Unfortunately, there is not a wide range of opportunities [for actors and playwrights] in Mount Isa, and thus we have to travel. Myself and my classmates are grateful for any opportunity to act, such as the Festival of One Act Plays. I think that these competitions are important for us to assess our skills compared to the rest of Queensland. It’s always exciting putting on a performance and so I make sure that I never pass up the opportunity to, and I believe my classmates would agree.”

Celebrate the North Queensland Festival of One Act Plays’ 25th Anniversary at Riverway Performing Arts Centre from 5 – 7 May. Tickets are available from TicketShop, or by calling the Box Office on 4727 9797.

Quick Numbers

3 days

38 plays

21 from Townsville

17 from regional areas

19 hours of performances

8 years old – youngest cast member

4 schools entered

25th anniversary

169 characters

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