In 2023, Undercover Artist Festival was lucky enough to have two trainee producers through the Earn from Your Art Program join the team to support the delivery of the 2023 Festival. Among them was Mags Doherty, our Trainee Events Producer.
Mags has a history with Undercover Artist Festival, performing in Festival 2021 with Screech Arts. This year, she not only continued her involvement with Screech Arts by featuring in their latest award-winning performance, Blind in the Rabbit Hole, but also took on the role of Trainee Events Producer for the 2023 Festival.
Image: Mags captured performing Blind in the Rabbit Hole against a black backdrop. Mags is holding a FIFA WWC soccer ball and appears to be mid-speech.
I’m Mags Doherty, the Trainee Producer for Undercover Artist Festival 2023, and this year marked my debut as a dual producer/performer. After performing in the 2021 Festival, I was offered the position early in 2023, and without hesitation, I accepted. In April 2023, I began my journey working on this incredible Festival.
The week of the Festival turned out to be one of the most amazing experiences of my life (so far). Opening night went off with a bang, and I witnessed the positive feedback and smiles from the audience throughout. I saw countless people engaging in networking and lively conversations, creating a remarkable and beautiful atmosphere. I felt so privileged to be a part of it all, knowing my hard work had paid off.
What did your typical ‘Festival Week’ workday look like, Mags?
Like most, I imagine, my typical workday started with a coffee or tea to kickstart my day. The flexibility of working remotely allowed me to choose my workspace, but during Festival Week, I was in person at Queensland Theatre.
On the Opening Night, I collaborated closely with Festival Producer Bek Law to guarantee the event’s success. Utilising a runsheet I had developed earlier in my Festival preparations, my responsibilities included ensuring the event adhered to the schedule, arranging appropriate seating and signage for patrons, addressing catering issues, and uplifting the morale of artists and staff with my infectious smile.
How did your performance with Screech Arts go?
My performance with Screech Arts on the Festival’s final day, Saturday 23 September, was truly amazing. It felt so different to my role as a Trainee Producer, and was a unique and fulfilling experience being up on stage. The performance we delivered was powerful and impactful, and hearing the audience’s positive feedback was so great.
In 2023, Screech Arts showcased adaptations of Blind in the Rabbit Hole at the Anywhere Theatre Festival and Undercover Artist Festival. I was a featured actor in both performances, delivering a powerful monologue touching on women’s football (soccer), self-worth, identity and empowerment of women and girls!
Any final words, Mags?
Being a Trainee Producer has been an incredibly rewarding experience, and I am so grateful to the entire Undercover Artist team – Maddie, Bek, Alex, Kane, along with Queensland Theatre and Access Arts for creating yet another amazing Festival. I can’t wait to be back again at Undercover Artist Festival 2025 to see what the team pull together.
But until then, you can catch me at Screech Arts continuing my role as mentor to those new to the performing arts and performing as part of Screech Arts.
Image: A photo of Maddie, Kane, Bek and Mags smiling at the camera in front of a large blue and white media wall with the Undercover Artist logo repeated over it.
Image: Photo of Blind in the Rabbit Hole, capturing Mags and an Auslan interpreter. The interpreter is lit with a warm coloured spotlight, whilst Mags is partially in shadow, with greenish light on the right-hand side of her body. She is posing confidently. The interpreter is mid sign.
Presented by Access Arts in association with CPL – Choice, Passion, Life, Undercover Artist Festival dazzled audiences with an electrifying showcase of theatre, comedy, dance, music, poetry and more on 20 to 23 September at Queensland Theatre.
Thank you to Queensland Theatre, Brisbane Festival, Truis, Brisbane City Council, Creative Partnerships Australia, Vision Australia, CFC Foundation, Veracity, Spicers Balfour Hotel, Cairns Regional Council, Ningana Trust, Pure Catering and the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland and the Department of Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships for their ongoing commitment.