Young theatre-goers, get ready for Faust Festival 2004, which starts tomorrow. It will showcase a series of drama productions by local and overseas artists to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Faust International Youth Theatre (FIYT). Over the past five years, FIYT has held drama workshops and summer camps for children interested in stage performance. Of the 23 productions this year, 11 are final presentations by about 200 children and teenagers who have taken part in the workshops. According to FIYT director Matthew Gregory, watching children fulfil their potential is a rewarding and satisfying experience. 'The process is fun and the kids are great. When you see children understand what you have been trying to explain to them ... that's a great moment for me and other instructors as well,' Gregory says. Gregory is directing two of the festival's dramas - Live @ Five and Marvin the Monkey Drummer on Fire Island. Live @ Five is set in a busy TV studio. It is three hours before air time and things are in a mess, with producers, reporters and anchors trying frantically to sort out their problems. 'It's more of a satirical look at theatre, television and media,' Gregory explains. 'I suppose the message is that often the process is not as organised and structured as you want it to be, but the end result is the important thing.' Marvin the Monkey Drummer on Fire Island is a light-hearted children's tale. It is the third episode of the story of Marvin, who plays the monkey drum. This time, he and his friends get kicked out of Level Middling as a punishment after a prank goes wrong. 'For the first time you will find out in this show why he is called Marvin the Monkey Drummer. This is a series of plays that have been written specially for Faust. It's performed by seven- to 11-year-olds and will appeal to children of the same age,' Gregory says. Another crowd-pleaser is Animal Tales from around the World, by Canadian story-teller Andrea Darvill. The festival also caters to teenagers and adults. The Dresser is a serious play by Ronald Harwood, who won an Oscar for The Pianist. It revolves around a struggle to perform on stage during the second world war. 'It's about how people want to carry on with life even when the world around them is pretty much falling apart,' Gregory says. Another highlight is the world premier of My Red Dress performed by the Theatre of Silence and San Francisco Mime Troupe. Based on Loung Ung's memoirs of her childhood in Cambodia's killing fields, the play includes deaf actors and sends a stern message to the world that wars have far-reaching consequences on people's lives. Faust Festival 2004 runs from tomorrow to June 19 at the Fringe Club and Hong Kong Arts Centre. Tickets are available at all HK Ticketing at 3128 8288. For details, visit www.faustfestival.com .