Dramafast 2014 starts Thursday

Young actors from Prince Rupert and around the Northwest will be centre stage for Dramafest 2014.

Young actors from Prince Rupert and around the Northwest will be centre stage for Dramafest 2014 consisting of nine one-act plays over three days.

“Dramafest is a unique and special experience because there’s more than 120 students from around the Northwest Zone. It’s a huge representation of youth theatre,” said Charles Hays Secondary School (CHSS) drama instructor Alison O’Toole, adding this year’s festival will include comedies, dramas, ensemble pieces and even a ghost story.

“It’s a great opportunity to see a wide variety of plays.”.

Prince Rupert drama students are putting on two of the nine productions during Dramafest, the first being “Don’t You Love Me” written by Linda Daugherty and directed CHSS student Kelsy Casavant.

“It’s an issue-based play about a relationship that turns abusive,” said O’Toole.

“It’s an ensemble piece. It’s told using technology as well as snippets from the girl’s life throughout her time in a relationship with this fellow.”

The second play Prince Rupert students will present is “Mind Games” written by Paul Elliot And directed by O’Toole.

“It’s about a young man and his psychiatrist dealing with what is real and what isn’t. It’s a bit of mind warp in that what you think is real is not necessarily what turns out to be,” O’Toole said.

High school students from Terrace, Kitimat, Smithers, Houston and Hazelton will also be presenting pieces they’ve worked on this year.

An adjudicator will be at the festival, putting on a workshop for each group of students and selecting one of the plays to represent the Northwest zone at provincials this year, taking place in May at Douglas College in New Westminster.

“We don’t like to think of theatre as being competitive. It’s more a sharing of work,” said O’Toole, adding at provincials it isn’t competitive at all.

“There is an adjudicator that students learn from, but they don’t pick a winning provincial play. It’s just a sharing of representative plays.”

Dramafest 2014 will take place from Feb. 27 to March 1 at the Lester Centre of the Arts. The curtain will rise at 7 p.m. every night with entrance by donation.