About the Festival.
Since its launch in the early 1960s, the Festival of Australian Student Theatre has served to develop a thriving arts scene across Australia by connecting young practitioners so that they can grow and develop.
The first incarnation of the festival was launched in the early 1960s and ran until the mid 1980s. During this time it toured across the country, moving from campus to campus, helping to connect arts practices across the nation. Many famous figures of Australian theatre history participated in the festival in these early years. For example, Michael Gow the Australian playwright, director and Artistic Director of the Queensland Theatre Company (1999-2010) participated in the festival in 1976. Unfortunately, in the late 1980s the festival began to wane and eventually ceased.
In 2009 the Artistic Director of La Boite Theatre Company David Berthold met with Benjamin Schostakowski (then Artistic Director of Vena Cava Productions – QUT’s Student Theatre outfit) and decided to re-launch it. That year a FAST planning conference was called at La Boite Theatre in Brisbane. Student theatre delegates from across the nation were invited to discuss ideas to revive and reinvigorate FAST. Following strong support and encouragement from the student theatre community, FAST was established as a non-profit association and was launched at La Boite in 2010. At the time the festival was headed by Benjamin Schostakowski who acted as Artistic Director and Belinda Locke who took on the role of General Manager and Artistic Associate.
Since then, the festival has continued to grow to offer more and more opportunities to emerging performing artists. In 2012, FAST partnered with La Trobe Student Theatre and Film (Vic) to tour their production of Wake In Fright to the International Student Drama Festival in Sheffield, England. In 2013, the Festival returned to Australia for another successful year under the leadership of Festival Director Nuala Furtado.
In 2017, the Festival and a dedicated company of theatre-makers and producers are excited to present a lineup of adventurous, new works from around the country, created by the next wave of contemporary Australian theatre-makers.