PACT Unwrapped: Interview with CEO Katrina Douglas and Curator Alicia Demou

PACT Unwrapped

Unwrap a night of musical, comedic, and performative treats on Saturday 12th December at PACT centre for emerging artists. From 7pm the theatre will play host to an assortment of live acts and Christmas cheer. I sat down with the centre’s CEO and Artistic Director, Katrina Douglas, and one of the event curators Alicia Demou, to get a sneak peek of what’s on offer and what it’s all about.


Katrina, Alicia, happy silly season! So PACT Unwrapped, what’s it all about?

K – Well, PACT Unwrapped is a short works performance fundraising event for PACT. It’s our final event for this year, and it’s a Christmas event. The primary idea was to just invite some of our artists in and give them the stage to test a work. We wanted to have a bit of fun and to raise a bit of money for PACT and celebrate Christmas and 2015.

And so what kind of things can we expect? Music? Comedy? Performance? What kind of stuff?

A – Well there’s singing, there’s spoken word poetry, there’s more, sort of, performance in an abstract sense, and a couple of dance pieces and monologues too.

So are the acts all new works or are there some works being revisited by artists as well?

A – They’re mostly new works, or things that have been developing.

Cool so there’s a bit of something for everyone really, and you’ve got the DJ, Gatling Gun, for the night as well right?

A – Yes we do!


K – So the idea is that there’ll be a couple of performances and then the DJ will play so it’s not like you sit down for 2 hours and watch a show. It’ll be a more cabaret style event, with performances and a DJ playing, and the bar will be open.

So people can grab a drink and relax and take it in at their own pace?

K – Yeah

Great, so it sounds like a pretty relaxed, fun vibe. Alicia, you’re one of three curators for the event, the others being Courtney Ammenhauser and Tasha O’Brien, and the three of you are going to MC the event as well?

A – Yes we are, again just trying to guide the flow, in and out of the performances.

Sounds great. Is this the first time PACT has curated one of these Christmas fundraisers?

K – Yeah it is. We wanted to do a short work night and so we put the opportunity out to our Collective Artists to see who would be interested in curating the event, and so Alicia, Tash and Courtney put their hands up and they’ve volunteered their time for the gig. Everybody who is working on this including our tech crew and front of house are all volunteering their time.

Great. So, can you give us a sneak peek at something from the program? A little teaser? Maybe something cryptic?

A – Ok, well how’s this – expect ‘people-watching’ and ‘pretty hands’!

Wow, okay, well you’ve intrigued me! And as you mentioned this is a fundraiser for PACT, so what kind of initiatives at the centre is the money going towards?

K – Well the money will go back into the PACT program, so that includes a range of residency, presentation, and training programs, and just keeping the company afloat. But you know we invest most of our money back into our program, very little of it goes into overheads, and so while this isn’t raising for a specific project itself, it is raising for what we’re going to do next year. We’ll also, on the night, be talking a little bit about what we’re doing next year, so you’ll hear a bit more about our program. And a lot of programs that have expressions of interest will go live, so people can start applying, so all that will happen too.

Cool, so it’s a bit of a launch too?

K – It’s a little bit of a launch, yeah.

Exciting. And tickets are $30 and that includes a $25 tax deductable donation right?

K – That’s correct. So it’s actually a $5 ticket, plus a $25 tax deductable donation and a glass of champagne at the door!

Fantastic. So outside of this event, what other ways can people get involved in the centre in terms of donations, and in terms of being a young artist in Sydney as well?

K – Well in terms of donations, PACT is a charity so all donations are tax deductable. We accept donations of any kind. We have things like our Gold Brick Wall campaign, which is $250 and you get your name in gold on our brick wall! And then every now and then we have small events throughout the year. We’re planning to do more short work nights as fundraisers next year so there will be other events like this. For artists who want to get involved with us they should join our e-news. They should go on to our website and sign up to our e-news – we always put out what’s open for expression of interest through our e-news and our website. That’s the best way for artists to get to know us.

Great, great. And no dress code for this event? We don’t have to rock up in Christmas sweaters or anything?

A – No but you can if you want to! 


K – Santa outfits optional.

Optional! Great! And do you anticipate a visit from the big man himself?

K – Well I mean the invitations been put out, I believe…

A – We haven’t had confirmation yet…

K – I mean he’s pretty busy. You know, it’s a busy time of year for him.

Well I’ve heard he’s a fan of The Plus Ones, so hopefully he’ll read this interview and he’ll hop to it.

K – Yeah, well, you know let’s put it out there – Santa, we want you to come!

Alright well it’s official, PACT centre for emerging artists and The Plus Ones Sydney are calling on Santa to join PACT Unwrapped on the 12th December!

K – From 7pm!

Santa suits optional, Christmas sweaters optional, live acts and groovy holiday cheer guaranteed. Katrina, Alicia, sounds fantastic, thanks so much for talking to The Plus Ones Sydney!

 – Ryan McGoldrick

PACT Unwrapped, Saturday 12th December at 7pm. PACT centre for emerging artists, 107 Railway Parade, Erskineville. Tickets $30 (price includes a $5 ticket and a $25 tax deductable donation, as well as a glass of champagne on arrival)

To Book:

To find out more about PACT and their residency, presentation and training programs for emerging artists, visit