Home » FAMDA AGM 2016

Foster Arts Music & Drama Association Incorporated
8:00 p.m. Thursday 10th March 2016
Foster War Memorial Arts Centre


President:  Tania Pell – pell.tania [@] edumail.vic.gov,au 5683 2603 0427 832 303
Vice President
Peter Clyne – peter [@] johnsonclyne.com 5682 2711 0419 595 415
Secretary:  Annette Walker – annette080353 [@] hotmail.com 5682 2151 . 0417 399 134
Treasurer:  Andrew Oldroyd – aoldroyd [@] dcsi.net.au 0439 884 311 5683 2313
Publicity Officer:  Jennifer Paragreen – sgas [@] dcsi.net.au .. 5682 2077 . 0418 342 445

General:  Judy Barnard – shaneandjudy7 [@] bigpond.com 0437 904 043
……………. Edwin Coad – pandecoad [@] skymesh.com.au …. 5689 1305 0456 144 829
……………. Nicole Cooper – nicben3 [@] bigpond.com 5682 1545     0429 821 545
……………. Sarah Maclean – sarah [@] koonwarravillageschool.org
……………. Dianne Paragreen – raphoto [@] dcsi.net.au .. 0407 883 600 5682 2421
……………. Margaret Rudge – amrudge3960 [@] gmail.com 5681 2247
……………. Noel Stringer – noelstringer4 [@] bigpond.com      0428 871 250


Welcome to the 2015 Annual General Meeting of Foster Arts Music & Drama Association Inc.
At the last AGM it was voted to move the financial reporting period to align with the calendar year which means that the last two months of the FAMDA 2015-6 year (i.e. January and February 2016) will not be included in the 2015 annual financial statement.

The past year has been a highly successful and rewarding one which can in no small way be attributed to the hard working FAMDA committee along with that of many tireless members. During the year we staged four excellent productions, a one act play festival and our annual trivia night. Our old black stage curtains were given a new lease of life and installed on new rear stage tracks. Further improvements to our back stage lighting controls were also commissioned.

This musical was staged as part of the Seachange Festival during April and May. Once again FAMDA supported a locally written show which turned out to be a stunning success. It was completely Australian from the local Sandy Point setting to the sixties pop music. The inclusion of some very accomplished actors and many young performers with a brilliant 7 piece band made each performance a memorable occasion. The production received 6 Gippsland Associated Theatre nominations, winning 2 most outstanding youth performance awards for Leuca Maclean and Taj Cooper. Judge’s awards were received by Chris Gale and his band and the backing singers, Peter Epifano and Naomi Campbell. I would like to thank Chris Dickins for his conception of the show as well as his accomplished direction.

The Catafalque Party
This one act play, commissioned by the RSL, was written by our own Edwin Coad and performed as a prelude to the Larry Hills’ cantata They Went with Songs at both Leongatha and Foster. The Foster performance was also part of the Seachange Festival. It featured a cast of 10 including 7 students from South Gippsland Secondary College. On one evening FAMDA were staging two separate productions simultaneously at Foster and Leongatha.

The Peppercorn Tree
This play, written by Melbourne playwright Allison Campbell Rate, was directed by Bernadette Grainger and staged in October. This both humorous and deeply moving production was brilliantly acted and expertly directed. The set design, lighting and ethereal music combined to produce a memorable and masterful production.
We received 5 Gippsland Associated Theatre nominations with awards won for Most Outstanding Drama or Comedy, Most Outstanding Director of a Drama or Comedy (Bernadette Grainger), Most Outstanding Lead Actor Male (Bruce Grainger) and Most Outstanding Set Design (Geoff Davey). A Judges award was also won by the cast. In addition Chris Dickins (Best Sound Design) and Bruce Grainger (Best Actor) were nominated for the Victorian Drama League Awards.
My only disappointment was the low audience numbers who attended the performances.

South Gippsland One Act Plat Festival incorporating
the South Gippsland Youth Festival of One Act Plays

In August we staged our 15th One Act Play Festival with 23 entries in the main section and 7 in the youth section. There were quite a few headaches involved in organising the schedule which we eventually fitted into 6 sessions including a Friday evening with the youth section on Saturday morning. Many thanks to our hard working organising team, our adjudicator Max Rackham and everyone involved.
Thanks to the strong organisational skills of our team and the generous sponsorship provided by the Toora and Foster Branch of the Bendigo Bank the weekend was enjoyed by all. Many thanks to the South Gippsland Shire Council for their sponsorship of the Youth Awards. This is probably one of the best run and well patronised one act play festivals in the state.
FAMDA’s entry, Castaway was our fourth production for the year. This play was written and directed by Chris Dickins and was also performed at the Dandenong Ranges and Monash One Act Play Festivals and also a Leongatha Lyric play evening. Congratulations to Harley McDonald-Eckersall for winning the VDL Encouragement Award at our festival and at Emerald.

Prom Coast Singers
In April the Prom Coast Singers joined with the Bass Coast Chorale and the South Gippsland Singers
to form a mass choir performing an ANZAC centenary cantata written and conducted by Larry Hills. They Went with Songs was performed at Wonthaggi, Leongatha and Foster with an orchestra and the use of visual projections. The recital was enjoyed by hundreds of people from many parts of the state.
The choir once again sang at the Foster Community Carols by Candlelight.
The singers are currently rehearsing for performances at the Fish Creek Tea Cosy Festival and SingSouthGippsland 2 in September with the well known Richard Gill as musical director.

Prom Coast Film Society
The society is now in its 6th season of screening a diverse selection of films at the Fish Creek Hall on the first Friday of each month. A total of 14 films were screened in 2015.
The Society is subscription based with a growing number of attendees.

Affiliations and Sponsorship
We have continued our promotion of youth by sponsoring Evy Nye to attend the Victorian Drama League Youth Summer Camp. Cas Maclean was the recipient of South Gippsland Secondary College Performing Arts Award.
We have continued our affiliation with Gippsland Associated Theatre, the Victorian Drama League and the Music Theatre Guild of Victoria.
Norm Willoughby has resigned as our GAT representative and has been replaced by Jennifer Paragreen who is also the FAMDA representative on the judging panel.

Coming up Next
The Australian comedy Australia Day will be staged 14th – 23rd October. This is a wickedly funny comedy written by Jonathan Biggins and to be directed by Andrew Oldroyd. Auditions will be held in June.
Our 16th One Act Play Festival will be held 19 – 21 August with Max Rackham returning as the adjudicator.
We are also looking into the possibility of staging a small – cast musical in conjunction with Chris Dickins. Edwin Coad is currently writing a pantomime for our consideration late in the year or early 2017.

The Boring Stuff
Our finances are certainly in better shape than this time last year. This is due in the main to good returns from our One Act Play Festival and the musical Waratah.
Despite low audience attendance figures for The Peppercorn Tree, the production generated a reasonable return. I feel sorry for those who missed seeing this masterful performance. We must do everything to encourage more numbers to Australia Day.
We made a small loss with The Catafalque Party which was due to a shortfall in the grant money promised by the RSL and no admission returns for the performances. Unfortunately we were unable to get the cast up for the re-staging in our One Act Play Festival.
This year we have spent $2,000 on new curtain tracks for the rear stage curtains where we rejuvenated from our best old set of blacks. We now have three new tracks for stage curtains with two new curtain sets. Works still has to be done to improve our tiered seating with the hall cyclorama requiring a new coat of paint. I would also like to see a clean out of our storage shed at Blands’ property.

The Future
I have thoroughly enjoyed these last two years as FAMDA President but now is the time for a younger and more energetic person to step up. Fortunately Tania Pell has agreed to take on the role.  Tania has been president of FAMDA before and I know will do a great job.

I would like to thank all members of the Committee for their tireless work over the past year.
I would especially like to pay tribute to our secretary Annette Walker, Vice President Dianne Paragreen and Publicity Officer Jennifer Paragreen and Margaret Rudge for their organisational skills during the year, especially their work with the One Act Play Festival.

Peter Clyne.

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