Let them entertain you
PERFORMER Emma Marie Davis was introduced to the concept of Dramafest a few years ago when she attended to support her husband, Ben, in a play.
Each night, three metropolitan or country theatres compete by delivering a one-act play performance to demonstrate their skills on stage and behind the scenes.
“I was amazed at the variety of acts on dis- play and I decided I wanted to be a part of it,” Davis said.
After producing two stage shows in 2013, Davis felt it a natural progression to take on the challenge of Independent Theatre Association’s Dramafest festival director when the opportunity was presented this year.
She is currently preparing for the week-long event at Playlovers, Hackett Hall in Floreat from September 22 to 28.
Since starting in the role, the UWA and WAAPA-trained singer, dancer, actor and writer has introduced a new category, 10-Minute Spotlight, featuring a performance of 10 minutes or less in any format, from monologue, cabaret, singing or dramatic work.
A Festival Gala Evening has also been added to wrap up the week.
“Dramafest is an opportunity to see a lot of theatre,” Davis said.
“It’s fast and fresh, with plenty of different types of plays to suit any taste. Each entry has a time limit, so if you don't like one play the next play isn’t very far behind it.”
Davis said the annual event, run for more than 25 years, was important to WA performers, writers and directors, and the community.
“For many, it is their first opportunity to act, write or direct for the theatre and Dramafest is an incredibly supportive competition,” she said.
“Each entry receives constructive feedback, which can help to build better performances in the future. It also allows them to take risks and experiment in front of an audience.”
Not only will Dramafest provide the opportunity for people to experience work that would otherwise go unseen, but there will be some world premiere performances.
“It is important for the community to see what is being done at a grassroots level and allow them the opportunity to see what could be the future of WA theatre,” Davis said.
“Audiences should expect everything and anything. Every night is different, every play is different, and every performer brings something new to the stage.
“And who knows, we may just see them up on stage next year.”
Dramafest 2014 tickets are now on sale, with single session or season pass available at ita.org.au/dramafest/tickets.
Dramafest festival director Emma Marie Davis is well versed in the art of performance having trained as a singer, dancer, actor and writer.