15 August 2019
The Mansfield Festival of One Act Plays was held at the PAC last week, with enthusiastic audiences and plenty of entertainment. After a morning, afternoon and evening session, each containing a number of short plays, Mansfield Bush Poet Val Kirley entertained the crowd with her unique brand of recital while the adjudicator deliberated over the day’s offerings to come up with the winners.
Despite theatre troupes coming from all over Victoria, the judge, Sandy Fairthorne of Airey’s Inlet, was very impressed with the work of local writers Dallas Daniel and Carol Lowden. She also gave some major awards to local actors as well, Ian Todd and Cathie Smith.
This is the first time a locally written and home-grown production has taken out major awards at a Festival of One Act Plays, anywhere in Victoria.
Still, some of the visiting troupes took out the coveted awards for Most Outstanding Production (“TEECHERS!” from Healesville) and Runner-Up (“I Love the Way you Cook!” from Noble Park), but theatre artists from Mansfield and surrounds can hold their heads up high.
The winning director of TEECHERS!, Tanya Ryder-Barnes wrote “We all said that Mansfield had the best audience by far! It was like people were compelled to come and speak to us and the reviews we received were glowing. We all felt very humble and moved by your audience.”
Writer-Director from Macedon, Christopher Milne, wrote “It was a long drive but thoroughly worthwhile. Mansfield runs a terrific festival – not as grand as some but with a big heart.”
Partner at major sponsor, Williams Hunt Solicitors, Stuart Bett – who got to see most of it – said of the day: “Festivals such as this provide amateur actors with a great opportunity to perform, and we as a community have a wonderful opportunity to enjoy their talent, having stage performances brought right to us. Our thanks to Arts Mansfield for enabling that to happen.”
Arts Mansfield committee members hope to continue to build the status of MFOAP, to keep attracting the troupes that are willing to travel and perform for our audiences in the hope of winning some accolades.
“Local audiences are gradually learning the incredible value of this event, with numbers growing each year and feedback getting increasingly enthusiastic” said event organiser Kammy Cordner Hunt. “Hopefully more people will come and enjoy a winter’s day in the warm PAC in future years, to witness the fabulous energy of these short plays”.
Gill Belle, President of Arts Mansfield thanked the sponsors. “We are very grateful to Williams Hunt as our major sponsors, and also Eisners Guardian Phramacy who have been with us from the start. We are thrilled to welcome The Rural Pool, Vintage Traders’ Emporium and MMuDS – all of whom make it possible to attract a high calibre of theatre”.
Ian Mallyon was the indefatiguable technical man for the day, and Viki Rochford drove from Melbourne to be Stage Manager. Sculptor Timo Juntunen from Gough’s Bay made the unique Wombat trophies. As always, our volunteers make these things happen.
Theatre groups love nothing more than to have their performances seen, and they give so much of themselves for their audiences. Don’t miss this event next year!
Written by Kammy Cordner Hunt
Thank you to Tom Kalenius for generously donating his services as the official photographer for FOAP this year.