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From fledgling nonprofit to festival ne plus ultra: Such is the 15-year journey of DramaRama. Equal parts fest and fete, the annual extravaganza, a sort of South By Southwest for the local performing arts community, commandeers the CAC every spring to showcase more than 50 area groups on seven separate stages. The event's wide-ranging mise en scene incorporates all forms of theater and movement, from daffy slapstick to somber tragedy, exotic belly dancing to bawdy burlesque. Featured 2008 performers include the dance troupe Happensdance (pictured), politically charged Cripple Creek Theatre Company (Last Night of the Louisiana Fighting Aces), self-help satirist Pat Bourgeois (How My Mother Ruined My Life) and multimedia sculptor/set designer/adopted Wright brother Jeff Becker (Flight). If all of New Orleans is a stage, here is where to find its prime players. Tickets $12 general admission, $10 CAC members. — Noah Bonaparte Pais 6 p.m. Sat., April 19

Contemporary Arts Center, 900 Camp St., 528-3800;

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