About FAMDAHome » About FAMDA
FOSTER AMATEUR MUSIC & DRAMA ASSOCIATION Inc.
Enjoy quality theatre and music from one of Victoria’s most awarded amateur companies.
Get involved by attending performances or auditions, subscribing to the Prom Coast Film Society or becoming one of FAMDA’s sponsors.
“Small company – extraordinary talent!”
“stunning performances” … “creative genius” … “great entertainment” … “diverse” … “award-winning” … “brilliant” … “excellent” … “thought provoking” … “entertaining” … “energetic” … “innovative” … and so much more!
FAMDA is an award winning community theatre company that has involved, inspired and enriched the South Gippsland community since 1953.
If you are interested in joining FAMDA or you have any questions, please phone our helpful president Peter Clyne on 5682 2711 or use the contact form.
A BRIEF HISTORY
Foster’s theatre company is known as FAMDA – Foster Amateur Music and Drama Association.
FAMDA is an award-winning, community theatre and singing company that has involved, inspired and enriched the South Gippsland community since 1953.
We like to do a variety of shows so we stage plays as well as musicals, pantomimes and the occasional music hall. We really enjoy setting ourselves to plays which are a challenge – Oedipus Rex in 2006 and also much more modern plays like Shadowlands, Shirley Valentine and The Cemetery Club. We have also presented some locally written productions such as Stringlines and Bush Magic.
We have an affiliated choir called the Prom Coast Singers. Some choir members perform in FAMDA’s stage productions as well as in the choir’s independent performances. In 2009 the choir was heavily involved in the multi-arts spectacular, Promontory Dreaming, as part of the Prom Coast Seachange Festival.
We like to get involved in community events. FAMDA recently presented a piece called ‘In Their Own Words’ (which was written with Alzheimer sufferers with their helpers in mind), and the Prom Coast Singers perform at Community Christmas Carols.
In 2011 FAMDA went back to its roots as the Foster Film, Art, Music and Drama Association by starting a film society as another of its activities. The Prom Coast Film Society screens movies at the Fish Creek Hall at 8:00pm on the first Friday of each month. New members are always welcome to take out a subscription.
Most performances, productions, rehearsals and singing practices are held at the Foster War Memorial Arts Centre though we have occasionally done outside events such as Alice in Wonderland, staged in Pearl Park, and have even toured to Leongatha (Don’s Party), Yarram (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum) and Georgetown in Tasmania (Follow the Star).
Every year we host a one-act play festival over the weekend of the second Saturday in August. With sponsorship from the local branch of Bendigo Bank this had developed into an amazing event with the Bruce Crowl Award for the Most Outstanding Production also including a prize cheque of $1000.
We are fortunate to have some very talented people working behind the scenes to make sure that we produce top quality theatre – Geoff Davey has won numerous awards for set design and scenic art, Bruce Crowl has incredible expertise in set building and he is also a brilliant director, Andrew Oldroyd and Rob Ellis are extremely creative when it comes to lighting and sound design so FAMDA productions are always extremely well crafted.
Our next production was Blue Remembered Hills, a very challenging play which concerns a group of seven year olds playing in the Forest of Dean one summer afternoon during 1943, when Britain was in the depths of World War II. Our adult actors had to behave like children and at the end of the play we had to burn down the barn – our sound and lighting people made this truly spectacular.
Blue Remembered Hills was entered in the Victorian Drama League competition vying with plays from 25 of Victoria’s leading theatre companies. It was one of only three plays in the whole competition to be nominated in every production category – best lighting, sound, costumes, director etc. and FAMDA won two judge’s awards, one for ensemble playing and the other for the magnificent ‘pyrotechnics’.
In the 2008 Gippsland Theatre awards, Blue Remembered Hills won four major trophies. Max Hastings won two awards, most outstanding director of a drama or comedy and most outstanding support actor.
Andrew Oldroyd won the award for best lighting for his work on Blue Remembered Hills and the company also earned the inaugural Alby Fisher Memorial Award for excellence in creativity and design for the outstanding creation of the fire effects in the burning barn.
Wonthaggi Judge, Jill Allen, gave her special adjudicator’s award to FAMDA for “producing Blue Remembered Hills as a different and challenging theatrical experience”.
In January FAMDA staged a happy home-grown pantomime filled with puns, perfidy and puppets. Called Bush Magic, it was written locally by Edwin Coad with music by Rob Ellis. There were forty two performers in the cast playing humans (good and bad) bush animals, farm animals and numerous puppets. We have everything for cows to tap dancing lambs, kangaroos and cockatoos.
- Our next production was a black comedy set in contemporary rural Victoria called Dinner at Hugo’s. This gourmet thriller by Edwin Coad was served as the entrée to the 2009 Prom Coast Seachange Festival and was staged in Foster 17 – 24 April with Raymond Dunstan as the director.
- 1 – 3 May 2009 FAMDA’s affiliated choir, the Prom Coast Singers, participated in a huge multi-arts project called Promontory Dreaming. Locally written, it involved more than 100 singers, musicians and dancers in performances at the Foster Arts Centre.
- FAMDA hosted the ninth annual South Gippsland One-Act Play Festival on the weekend of 8th August with the largest number of entries to date.
- FAMDA’s final project 2009 was Stephen Sondheim’s fractured fairytale musical, Into the Woods, staged at the beginning of October. GAT Awards went to Fiona Watts (lead female), Josh Gardiner (Junior Male), Louise Dower (Junior Female) and Andrew Oldroyd (Lighting Design – His fourth consecutive win). Louise Dower also earned a Music Theatre Guild Judge’s award for her performance as the cow, Milky White.
Unfortunately our planned production of Speaking in Tongues by Andrew Bovell had to be cancelled when it could not be cast.
- In July we celebrated with other theatre groups at the Arty-Farty Trivia Party with Andrew Oldroyd as quizmaster.
- FAMDA hosted the tenth annual South Gippsland One-Act Play Festival on Saturday & Sunday 21 & 22 August and staged a locally written drama, Living on the Edge, by Ruth Carson.
- The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee proved to be a critical and popular success with an enthusiastic new director, Nathan Eva – winning the Gippsland Theatre awards for Most Outstanding Musical, Director, Ensemble, Support Actor – Male (Ivan Koetsveld), Support Actor – Female (Jemima Eva) & Cameo Performance (Paul Smith).
- The Prom Coast Film Society was established.
- Cabaretro – a sophisticated retrospective on the history of cabaret combined with a fine dining experience was presented 1 & 2 April. The final performance on 8 April was staged in conjunction with the third Prom Coast SeaChange Festival.
- On 21st May we invited other theatre groups and theatregoers to another Arty-Farty Trivia Party with Andrew Oldroyd as quizmaster.
- Heroes, the whimsical French comedy translated and adapted by Tom Stoppard, was staged in 17 – 25 June with an all-star cast.
- FAMDA hosted the eleventh annual Foster One-Act Play Festival on Saturday & Sunday 13 & 14 August with even more theatre companies participating. FAMDA’s entry, An Unreal Reality, was written locally by Ruth Carson.
- A Choral Festival called Sing South Gippsland! with workshops by Stephen Leek attracted over 100 singers to Foster on the weekend of 17 & 18 September.
- We were saddened by the death of FAMDA life member, Max Hastings who had, earlier in the year, been one of the stars of our staging of Heroes.
- The Prom Coast Film Society continued its successful screenings.
- FAMDA staged the poignant Australian drama, The Shoe-Horn Sonata.
- The 12th South Gippsland One-Act Play Festival attracted a record number of entries.
- Dreamboats, written locally by Edwin Coad, provided opportunities for young people and older to be involved on stage and delighted our audiences.
- Our 60th year!
- There were plans to interview and record many of our significant members and to stage exhibitions of memorabilia.
- Unfortunately our planned staging of the musical, The Last 5 Years by Jason Robert Brown has been deferred.
- In February we enjoyed our third Arty-Farty Trivia Party with Andrew Oldroyd again as quizmaster.
- FAMDA hosted the thirteenth annual South Gippsland One-Act Play Festival on Saturday & Sunday 10 & 11 August.
- Foreigners from Home, written and directed by Chris Dickins, proved to be an amazing piece of poignant Australiana.
- To celebrate FAMDA’s 60th Birthday the Foster Historical Museum was host to 60 Years of Foster Theatre, an exhibition of FAMDA memorabilia on display from September 2013 to March 2014.
This exhibition was officially opened on the 60th anniversary of FAMDA’s
first performance, Monday 4th November 2013.
- There was a weekend of celebrations with a dinner and concert on Saturday 30th November and a repeat of the concert with high tea on Sunday 1 December 2013 at the Foster War Memorial Arts Centre.
- Bugsy Malone with 45 young performers on stage
- The 14th South Gippsland Festival of One Act Plays sponsored by the Foster / Toora Community Bank Branch of Bendigo Bank on the weekend of 9 & 10th August
- An all Australian year
- Waratah the Musical written & set locally, loaded with 1960s hit songs
- The 15th South Gippsland Festival of One Act Plays sponsored by the Foster / Toora Community Bank Branch of Bendigo Bank on the second weekend in August – our biggest festival ever and with FAMDA represented by by Chris Dickins’ Castaways which also toured the circuit
- The Peppercorn Tree by Alison Campbell Rate earned four Gippsland Associated Theatre awards:Most Outstanding Drama or Comedy, Director of a Drama or Comedy – Bernadette Grainger, Lead Actor Male – Bruce Grainger and Set Design – Geoff Davey
- The Prom Coast Film Society continued its successful screenings.
- Another all Australian year in theatre
- The melodrama Flora of the Prom by Edwin Coad was FAMDA’s entry in the
- The 16th South Gippsland Festival of One Act Plays sponsored by the Foster / Toora Community Bank Branch of Bendigo Bank on the third weekend in August
- Jonathan Biggin’s Australia Day proved to be a very popular comedy
- The Prom Coast Singers hosted SingSouthGippsland2!, a choral festival with Richard Gill as our special guest.
To see a complete listing of FAMDA productions from 1953 onwards, >>Click HERE<<
FAMDA COMMITTEE 2016 – 2017
President: Tania Pell – pell.tania [@] edumail.vic.gov.au
Vice President: Peter Clyne – peter [@] johnsonclyne.com
Secretary: Annette Walker – annette080353 [@] hotmail.com
Treasurer: Andrew Oldroyd – aoldroyd [@] dcsi.net.au
Publicity Officer: Jennifer Paragreen – sgas [@] dcsi.net.au
General: Judy Barnard, Edwin Coad, Nicole Cooper, Sarah Maclean, Dianne Paragreen, Margaret Rudge, Noel Stringer
1990 Pattie Fleming + & Robert Fleming +
1992 Arthur Smallwood + & Ethel Smallwood +
1993 Barbara Fleming Jack Giblett + Brian Paragreen Robert Paragreen
1999 John Kahsnitz
2001 Verna Anderson + Dick Straw
2003 Dianne Paragreen Jennifer Paragreen
2007 Paddy Broberg Bruce Crowl Max Hastings +
2008 Geoff Davey
2013 Arie Bos Peter Clyne Kate Crowl Norm Willoughby
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