Ali Crew – Winner, Best Wildcard 2014 | Co-Founder of SF3
I’d studied acting in my 20s and then got pulled in a different direction, being radio. After ten years away from the stage and Sydney, on my return to the city I wanted to get involved in theatre again so I turned up to the open auditions for Short and Sweet. It was already week 3 and I thought there probably wouldn’t be many roles left. Thankfully I got teamed with a great script and a wonderful director and fellow actor. To our amazement our play “Weeing On A Stick” made it right through to the Gala Finals and even went on to win the Best Wildcard Award! It was a great way to connect with other artists and foster creative collaborations and partnerships. All of us involved in our play became great friends with the director, Angela Blake, and I going on to establish our very own festival, the SmartFone Flick Fest, Australia’s international smartphone film festival! Sitting in the foyer of New Theatre I nearly got cold feet as I was the last one to be called up in my category. I’m so glad I didn’t because I could never have dreamed what’s come as a result.
Mitchell Fitzpatrick – 2013 Best New Talent
Short+Sweet is a great creative outlet for aspiring writers, directors and actors. It gave me the opportunity to workshop and perform an idea that would have been harder to showcase without the festival’s help. With my best mate, Nathan O’Keefe, we created our own independent theatre company and wrote, directed and acted in our own short play, which might not have been possible if not for Short+Sweet providing us a stage and an audience. In total I performed 14 times, and though exhausting, it was a fun environment and a great way to meet out creative talents and practice my skills.
Since Short+Sweet I have created an independent, online webs series titled, Who Killed Jessica Lane?, which has had multiple international film festival acceptances and won the Grand Prize at LA Web Fest which took me to the south of France on an all expenses paid trip to the Marseille Web Fest in October. Having the courage and confidence to enter Short+Sweet, and the success of my play, The Coffee Table within the festival, it has helped me to further my original work in theatre and film. I am very thankful to Short+Sweet for its initiative in offering a home to stage short plays. I was very humbled to receive Best New Talent, as well as Overall People’s Choice Winner, in 2013. It was an amazing experience that I’ll never forget and wish all the best for this year’s finalists!
James Hartley – Best Director 2013
I believe in Short+Sweet. I suppose you can’t get any more melodramatic than that. As if Short+Sweet was a kind of miracle or saviour. But it was, for me. And I don’t even mean winning Best Director. I mean going back to when I first joined, in 2006. I had nothing. I had recently returned to Sydney permanently from living in the Philippines for half of my life and I had no connections, no work history, no friends, nothing. I had no history of acting or writing or directing in the country. So no one took me seriously. But Short+Sweet gave me a chance. I did backstage for the 2006 festival and made friends and saw plays and got excited. And then when I wanted to act it let me do that. And then write. And direct. Without Short+Sweet I wouldn’t have the contacts I have today and without those connections I would definitely not be standing where I am right now. I apologise that this has turned into a pithy love letter to Short+Sweet but I honestly owe this festival a great deal. And I believe that this isn’t just my experience. Any chance I can I try to encourage people who want to act or write or direct to try it out because they too may find what I found: a great chance to try or improve their artistic skills in a supportive environment, and great, passionate people.
Pauline Su – 2010
I have been coming to see Short+Sweet almost every week every year, and it is the best thing that’s ever happened to theatre in Sydney! I love the creative energy and surprising ideas that burst forth on stage, and it is inspiring to see such passion and devotion to craft.
What makes it a particularly pleasurable experience for me is the enthusiastic and tireless team working from front of house to behind the scenes. Even when it’s hot and stuffy, with crowds milling around, they are consistently helpful, friendly and cheerful. Somehow, they always manage to find everyone a seat ….
I am proud and happy to say that I would rather see a Short+Sweet performance in Newtown Theatre than the Opera House – for there is nothing more up close, personal and uplifting! Imagination certainly know no bounds.
Rachel Torrance, Director – Wildcard S+S Theatre
Short+Sweet allowed me the greatest opportunity of extending my artform. Allowing me the chance to explore directing for the first time. This has opened my eyes to a path I will definitely be following. Without such an opportunity I would not be the theatre artist I am today.
The diversity comes from the mix of practiced/experienced theatre artists and first time ventures. Both sides have the ability to learn from each other and continue to grow in their practice. It is a vital stepping stone for many in the arts community of Victoria. Also the format of 10 minute plays allows for a huge range of styles and genres. Encouraging exploration and risks in the 10 minute format.
Miles Blackford – Writer – Top 30 S+S Theatre 2009
The Short+Sweet Short Playwriting course by Alex Broun in 2007 set
me on the path of writing plays. As an emerging playwright, I have had the opportunity through Short+Sweet to work with directors and actors in the final shaping of my work during the rehearsal process. Also, by seeing my work performed repeatedly in front of paying audiences, I have had the opportunity to see what does and what doesn’t work on stage in my writing. Short+Sweet is not only the largest short play festival to operate in Victoria,
but it is now one of the few opportunities for playwrights to have short plays
produced. Short+Sweet is unique in that it is the only outlet for short play production thatis open to all comers. Short plays are sometimes produced by independent theatre companies, but the works produced are usually commissioned from established writers. Short+Sweet provides a unique opportunity for emerging playwrights to have their work seriously considered for production and be put in front of a paying audience
Peter Bloome – S+S Melbourne 2010
It gives new writers a voice that we don’t otherwise easily have for our to be work considered and hopefully performed. Note – I have been thrilled to have my work shortlisted even if it never made it to the stage. Even that type of recognition is very valuable as a writer.
Natalie and Paul, Atrocity Cabaret, Burlesque and Cinema – S+S Cabaret
“Short+Sweet provided us with a public forum to debut both our theatrical work and our new business venture in 2009. Through the dedicated support and marketing of the Short+Sweet team, we were able to deliver our art to a wider audience that would not have otherwise been possible. As a result of this, we have now secured regular performance opportunities in a number of high profile Melbourne venues/events, as well as being given the chance to network with industry professionals. The festival promotes and presents a wide array of genres and styles of cabaret, allowing performers from diverse backgrounds, skill levels and art forms to showcase their creations in a public forum that is fun, supportive and rewarding”
Emma Ford – Participant
Short+Sweet is an incredible forum for artists. It allows applicants an initial platform to present their work and skills to the industry and the public. It is a safe, supportive and inspiring environment for artists to develop and showcase work, without the stress (financial and otherwise) of producing the work alone. It builds initiative and confidence within the artists and often creates fantastic career opportunities.