Short+Sweet Launches Historic 19th Season
The biggest little theatre festival in the world breezes into the Sydney summer scene with its 19th big year of the popular 10x10 minute format. And it all takes place Thursday to Sunday at the Tom Mann Theatre in Surry Hills from 13 Feb.
This year's line-up of plays (announced at this Wednesday's launch event at the Tom Mann Theatre) offers almost a hundred new short plays over the 8 weeks of heats and subsequent finals - all climaxing in the Gala Awards Finals on the Anzac Day Weekend.
Short+Sweet has spread the popular 10-minute format in theatre, dance, cabaret & comedy across Australia and the globe with festivals as far afield as NZ, India, Malaysia, Ireland and the Middle East. Its Hollywood festival is the world's go-to showcase for actors, writers and directors for stage and screen. Its Sydney alumni include Rose Byrne, Josh Lawson, Damon Herriman, Andrew Steel and QTC artistic director Lee Lewis.
The 2020 fest will again feature judges' voting and the People's Choice audience votes. Among the many industry judges this year are actors Amanda Muggleton, Tony Bonner, Peter Mochrie, Peter Kowitz, Danny Adcock and casting agents Faith Martin & Jo Briant.
Festival director Sarah Purdue said this year's offerings were unique, diverse and ground-breaking.
"For the first time, we have a play - Silent Agreement by Davo Hardy - entirely in Auslan (sign-language). Playwrights - even visiting directors are coming from all over Greater Sydney... and beyond to Adelaide and even Los Angeles. Our actors hail from India, Spain, France, London and Malta. And many have won international awards for their work."
Gordon Williams is bringing out his mini-musical Lenny, You Slay Me directly from its success at Short+Sweet Hollywood. Dean Carey is among the directors... and ACT IV Theatre Company returns to the S+S stage with a uniquely female take on dating in Love Me Tinder. Artists range from student age to veterans, first-time festival participants to 'regulars' totting up their 20th play and 15th year! The short form structure means there is always another great piece - comic, romantic, thrilling - just 10 minutes away. "The 'alchemy' of S+S is its unique strength," adds Purdue. "From a mix of youth, experience, new and established talent comes gold!"
Short+Sweet Theatre opens at the Tom Mann Theatre, 136 Chalmers St, Surry Hills on 13 Feb and runs through to April 26 (Thurs-Sat 7.30pm, Sun 1pm and 6.00pm).
There are 10+ plays a night with a new program each week. The gala finals take place on the Anzac Day weekend. Tickets are $27, $24 Concession, and $15 for full-time students on Thursdays.
Week 1 & 2 Highlights
Week 1's offerings (13-16 Feb) include Into the Wind by writer/director Lisa Kelaher, starring young actress Lola Bond and Short+Sweet legend Liz Hovey. On her 16th birthday, Julie finds the golden path to womanhood not so golden... but she navigates her way toward her dreams, listening to them floating on the wind.
Just Another Day by Cathy Friend and directed by Bedelia Lowrencev, is a sweet human company about two high school friends, Milton and Sarah... who have things to say!
The playwright stars alongside Jeremy Lowrencev.
LA writer/composer/actor Gordon Williams brings his mini-musical (and his director Adam Taylor) direct from Short+Sweet Hollywood! Lenny You Slay Me is about a refugee German composer coping in Hollywood. He misses his country... and he has to keep his wife from the clutches of his 'sincerest admirer'! Williams stars alongside local actors Holly Matheson and Tayman Jamae.
Diagnostic Inventory by Michael Gooley is a hilarious look at corporate culture. He directs Angela Gibson & Melissa Myles in this play about Human Resources... and Relations!
US writer Steven Otfinoski's absurdist comedy Philosopher's Hospital is directed by award-winner Kathleen Hrayssi. Poor Theo attends Emergency only to be put through the ringer by a team of philosophers before he can see a doctor! Starring Jamie Treselyan, Bob Deacon, Dani Lavorenti, Justin Young, Aldo Fedato and Trey Daniels.
And Death of a Tradesman by 20 time S+S veteran Graham Yates, directed by Emily Perry, is a dark comedy about two retirees with an unconventional way of 'giving back' to the community. It stars Di Mifsud, Craig Bulmer and Yates himself.
Week 2 (20-23 Feb) features Jeremy Godwin's extraordinary one-hander and Buddhist allegory, Bodhirattva. Godwin - a NIDA graduate, veteran school drama master and ordained monk - plays a rat - traumatised by his brother's death and racked with guilt over eating the cheese he left behind. Now he must face The Great Evil... and the cheese!
One of the world's leading monologue writers, Aussie Pete Malicki returns to the festival with The Happiest Day of My Life, directed by and starring James FitzGerald. Becca (Shereen Nand) keeps trying for the perfect wedding day, but it doesn't ever quite come off... and her husbands keep on dying... mysteriously!
Danny Boy by Sandra Faithhorne and directed by Tegan Ware, sees two brothers, plagued by tragedy, reconnecting in a prison visitation room. Oli Stening and Lucca Paijmans star.
More detail for these and more is available in individual play briefs under separate cover.