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Fame's Talented Young Potentials
by: Lauren Ockwell

Production of Fame, The Musical, shows how even amateurs can give a professional performance. What, apart from the cost of the ticket, is the difference between an amateur production and a professional production? And are these differences worth an extra 45 to 55 dollars a ticket?

Amateur productions take place all over Perth on a regular basis, displaying the talents of many young local people. While they may not have a string of credits behind their names and the production budget may be much smaller than that of a professional production, some amateur productions do put on a very good show.

The Playhouse Theatre was recently home for cast and crew of the International Arts Company, as they presented to Perth FAME, The Musical. A dazzling array of colour, lights and talent lit up the stage and left the audience wanting more.

FAME, The Musical, is set in a New York City School for the performing arts and is the story of a group of students from differing backgrounds and cultures brought together by their talents. It features many colourful characters facing the struggles, disappointments and joy of fulfilling their dreams.

With a little humour and a lot of singing and dancing, this show presents its viewers with many relevant issues such as prejudice, self worth, sexuality, substance abuse, perseverance and identity.

Director Trevor Patient made the stage come alive with Perth's local talent. At just $20 a ticket this amateur production certainly gave professional plays a run for their money.

Nineteen-year-old cast member Katrina Dreckow says that working in the production has been one of the most rewarding and enjoyable experiences of her life. One of the differences with amateur theatre was that the production team do all the work in their spare time.

Katrina says: "Most of the members of the production do amateur theatre as their hobby, meaning that they have others jobs and responsibilities outside of the production and work on the production in their own time."

Members of the cast and crew did not get paid for all the work that they did and according to Katrina they all do a lot of work.

"In an amateur production everyone works really hard, we don't just stick to our main roles in the production. I was a member of the cast but I also spent countless hours putting costumes and props together and helping to set up the scenery and sets. A professional actress would not have to do any of this."

Katrina loves the idea of amateur productions because it gives everyone a chance to perform. But she argues that there is still a need for some professionalism.

People are paying to come and see you perform, you have to leave your personal life out of it, she says. "Being in the production has taught me some important lessons about professionalism in the theatre, even in an amateur production there is a necessity for professionalism."

Juggling university and a part-time job through three months of rehearsals and one week of performances Katrina admits that she owes her new found time management skills to the production. Being a member of the Lime Light Theatre Katrina has done other small amateur productions before but says that FAME is the first production that really pushed her to achieve more and aim higher.

Tegan Smith, a 21 year old student at the University of Western Australia and a keen theatre-goer, saw the production and expressed her admiration for an outstanding performance.

She says "I love the stage myself and was so pleased to see the efforts of so many young talented people, pay off. You could really see that a lot of hard work went into the play, everything was just amazing!"

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