FAMDA is an award-winning, community theatre company that has involved, inspired and enriched the South Gippsland community since 1953.
In terms of theatre, 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 plays which are a challenge – Oedipus Rex, for example, 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.
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 films at the Fish Creek Memorial Hall at 7:30pm on the first Friday of each month, the only exceptions being for COVID induced disruptions.
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 2015 the locally written play, The Catafalque Party, was a major component of the Anzac Centenary commemorations.
Most performances, productions, rehearsals and singing practices are held at the Foster War Memorial Arts Centre although 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 fourth Saturday in August. With sponsorship from the local Community Bank branch of Bendigo Bank the festival developed into an amazing event, with the Bruce Crowl Award for the Most Outstanding Production including a prize cheque of $1000.
It also incorporates a hugely popular Young Players Festival with the Llew Vale Award as its major prize.
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 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.