One-act play fest folds


The show must go on? Well not if it’s the Manawatu dis­trict fi­nals of the New Zealand Theatre Fed­er­a­tion one-act play fes­ti­val.

The an­nual ad­ju­di­cated com­pe­ti­tion and its as­so­ci­ated free work­shop for lo­cal ac­tors and di­rec­tors has been can­celled af­ter three of the four en­trants pulled out.

Spokes­woman for the lo­cal branch of the Theatre Fed­er­a­tion, Joan Ford says the first to go was reg­u­lar youth cat­e­gory en­trant, Feild­ing High School. Then on Fri­day two other plays, both youth en­tries from Wan­ganui High School, with­drew. That left Feild­ing Lit­tle Theatre Play­ers per­form­ing the sec­ond act of their re­cent main­bill show, Dirty Dust­ing.

‘‘When you have two schools pull out at the last minute it’s pretty hard to make it hap­pen,’’ Joan says.

How­ever, one play does not a fes­ti­val make, nor did it fi­nan­cially stack up. ‘‘Host­ing these fes­ti­vals costs the­atres a bomb.’’

Joan says it’s a pity the com­pe­ti­tion can’t go ahead as hoped be­cause ad­ju­di­ca­tor Steven Arnold, a se­nior ed­u­ca­tor at AUT, is an ex­cel­lent and in­sight­ful theatre coach. A lec­turer in Montes­sori ed­u­ca­tion, he has ex­ten­sive theatre ex­pe­ri­ence and knowl­edge as an ac­tor, di­rec­tor and tu­tor, and has won sev­eral fes­ti­val awards for his work.

How­ever, Steven’s work­shops set down for Satur­day Au­gust 1 which were to cover ‘Look­ing at text – per­for­mance and char­ac­ter­i­sa­tion – get­ting the most out of the script’, and ‘Tak­ing the next step ‘‘be­yond talk­ing heads’’ to telling a story’, have been post­poned.

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