Short + Sweet back again

Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) will host the launch of the Sydney 2011 Short+Sweet Theatre festival on Tuesday, December 7 from 6pm.

Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) will host the launch of the Sydney 2011 Short+Sweet Theatre festival on Tuesday, December 7 from 6pm.

NIDA’s elegant Nancy Fairfax Foyer is the vibrant venue as hundreds of Sydney’s finest exponents of the shortened theatrical form  gather to hear the official announcement of which ten-minute gems will premiere in Sydney this summer.

Short+Sweet founder Mark Cleary, Short+Sweet Sydney Festival Director Alex Broun as well as Sydney 2011 participating artists such as Aarne Neeme, Christopher Stollery, Kate Gaul, Rachael Coopes, Julie Hamilton, Lorna Lesley and Samantha Tolj will be on hand to mark the occasion.

Short+Sweet Theatre Sydney 2011 will present 170 works from January to February in two parallel venues – Newtown Theatre Wed-Sun for 8 weeks from January 5 and The Parade Theatres (NIDA) Tues-Sat for three weeks from February 8. The festival, which features independent judges as well as audience voting, climaxes at the Gala Finals – on March 11 and 12.

Short+Sweet began life at the Newtown Theatre in 2002 and has expanded to Melbourne (2005), Singapore (2007), the Central Coast of NSW and Malaysia (2008), Canberra and Brisbane (2009), and Newcastle, Rockhampton, Auckland and Delhi (2010). It is, quite simply, conquering the world… ten minutes at a time.

In its nine year history Short+Sweet has presented more than 1500 of the best ten minute plays from writers all over the world, with over 60% of those coming from Australian writers.

“Short+Sweet is now the largest producer of new Australian theatre in the world and gives playwrights a chance to have their work produced internationally and is introducing Australian plays to countries across the world,” said festival director Alex Broun, who is also one of the world’s best exponents of the 10 minute format.

“In 2010 alone, Short+Sweet has produced plays by Australian playwrights in five countries – Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand, India and of course Australia.”

Indian-Australian playwright Sonal Moore just scooped the pool of rich prizes at the inaugural Short+Sweet Delhi festival. Her play The Shadows Within won best overall production as well as the People’s Choice Award for the audience’s most popular play.

Said Short+Sweet founder Mark Cleary: “During Short+Sweet Delhi we saw Australian plays translated and performed in Hindi and in recent years plays from Short+Sweet have also been translated into Persian and published in Iran.”

Short+Sweet’s national reach is also greatly emphasized in Short+Sweet Sydney 2011, with Short+Sweet’s highly successful 10 minute playwrighting course inspiring writers from every state and territory to have work selected for the Festival. For example Short+Sweet Sydney 2011 will feature a rich selection of Northern Territory writers as well as many plays from writers in regional areas such as Rockhampton and Newcastle.

Newly appointed S+S General Manager Fiona Beattie announced that this year again, local actors and directors also have a chance to be selected for Shorter+Sweeter, the professional touring arm of Short+Sweet which this year completed a successful four month nationwide tour.

The full program of works for Short+Sweet Theatre Sydney 2011 will be announced at the launch and published the following day at  www.shortandsweet.org/shortsweet-theatre/Sydney.

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