Returning for its sixteenth year in 2017 is the biggest short play festival in the world, Sydney’s own Short+Sweet which started in January and runs through to March 19 showcasing this summer’s selection of over 120 new ten-minute plays.
This year, the festival is taking place in the beautifully renovated Depot Theatre, at 142 Addison Rd in Sydney’s Marrickville. While Short+Sweet now takes place all over the world – with festivals as far afield as Hollywood, India, Malaysia, Dubai and New Zealand – it all began in Sydney.
Taking over as festival director in 2017 is acclaimed dramatist and Short-Sweet alumnus, Wayne Tunks. Over his years at Short+Sweet, since 2003 Tunks has been involved as a writer, director and actor.
“How amazing is it that every week there are around 20 new plays for an audience to watch, while also giving a wonderful opportunity for writers, directors and actors to find their voices and hone their craft?” Tunks said. The prolific playwright has some innovations planned for this year.
He’s introduced a ‘Festival Director’s Choice’ in addition to the usual judges’ and audience picks.
Tunks, a proudly gay artist, has also added a Mardi Gras event “Short+Sweet Queer” – which will showcase works with LGBTQI themes and artists.
“Come see Short +Sweet Sydney 2017 and see why this is the biggest short play festival in the world and why it is only getting better and better,” Tunks said.
Appropriately for the 16th anniversary, this year a work is being featured by 16-year-old playwright, Mikayla Hatjinikitas, whose play, Mary Twist, won the People’s Choice at Cronulla’s Crash test.
There’s also a Top 80 (Wed-Sun 7.30pm) and separate Wildcards program (Sat & Sun 4pm), with gala finals taking place in March.
S+S offers those in the arts the opportunity of a full house and a good audience. Robert Sharpe – another Short+Sweet regular who appeared in his own play “Mid Life Crisis” in Week 1’s Top 80 series – told JAO: “I can get a play on and run it for a week and it improves as it goes along; it’s a learning process doing it like that, whereas you could spend two years writing a play and it could go nowhere with no feedback,” Sharpe said. “The variety offered by Short + Sweet ensures audiences are kept entertained.”
Tickets are $30/$23 concession; more info, the weekly program and bookings are all available at www.shortandsweet.org/sydney