Pauline Lloyd, NWTC Treasurer and long-time FEATS enthusiast, explains what the festival is all about and NWTC’s participation in it.
FEATS (The Festival of European Theatrical Societies) is an annual festival (competition) between English-speaking amateur theatrical groups resident in Mainland Europe.
Three One-Act plays of 25 – 55 minutes duration take place each night (a total of 12) under the critical eye of an invited adjudicator, chosen by the hosting group, from the Guild of Drama Adjudicators. He/She awards points for each performance and makes constructive criticism at the end of each evening, finally awarding prizes for the Best Play, Actor, Actress, Presentation, etc. on the last night.
The back-stage team are “judged” independantly by the hosting group and the best team is awarded a prize. Each group is allowed 5 crew plus lighting and sound and has 10 minutes to set the stage, then 5 minutes to strike at the end of the performance. They also have a 2 hour rehearsal period during the day of the performance to include all technical preparation.
Other activities take place during the daytime such as workshops, tours of the town, the Forum discussion and the “Fringe”, which can be anything from music to short drama pieces.
FEATS Hosting groups were originally Antwerp, Brussels and the Hague but Luxembourg joined, followed by Frankfurt at a later stage. These five groups host the Festival on a rota basis but over the years other groups have hosted, e.g. Hamburg, Geneva and Stockholm. The Steering Committee, made up of members of the five original groups, invite participation from all the 26 – 31 groups but the final 12 are chosen, again on a rota basis. The standard of presentation is usually very high and new groups are invited to take part in the Fringe and to watch the Festival before being accepted into the Festival itself.
The atmosphere is always exciting as many “FEATS regulars” attend and catch up with old friends. Even the Adjudicators are keen to take part in FEATS because of the friendly atmosphere and high standards.
NWTC has won awards 13 out of the 22 times they participated and in 1998 and 2004, NWTC won three awards for each of its presentations.
Although NWTC is not taking part in FEATS 2016 in Brussels, I thoroughly recommend that NWTC members share in the experience for the whole or part of the weekend. More information can be found in the FEATS website – www.FEATS.eu