As the Short + Sweet short play festival approaches its 20th year in Sydney, it has just pulled through one of its worst, if not the worst, year yet with a handful of delays and interruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But they pulled through with aplomb and were finally able to celebrate the close of their 2021 season with the Gala Awards Night.
Before many people were forced to turn their homes into their workplaces during 2020, office politics were likely a dull daily normality. But, with some distance, how ordinary were they? Well, Actually Productions used the space of the global pandemic to closely examine how inequality and sexism manifest in office microaggressions and not-so-funny colleague banter.
Anne Brontë is often most remembered as the youngest of the Brontë sisters with the publication of her controversial novel The Tenant of Wildfell Hall struggling to shift focus away from her older sisters Emily and Charlotte. In honour of the Anne Brontë Bicentenary celebrations this year, writer Cate Whittaker hopes to awaken a new love for Anne’s work with this biographical play.
The Short + Sweet Theatre Festival Gala Final is the culmination of 180 short plays and 12 weeks of performances boiled down into the top 12 plays battling for the top spot. Over two nights the plays are performed, judged for the last time, and then awarded on the final night of the festival. It’s in this final week that the spirit of the festival is at its most potent and the stage positively buzzes with excitement.
In celebration and recognition of International Women’s Day on March 8th, Week Five of the Short + Sweet Theatre Festival was all about platforming women’s voices and work. Both the Wildcard and the Top 80 plays featured short plays written and/or directed by women and many focusing on issued concerning women in our society.
Sydney’s Short + Sweet Theatre Festival brings together groups of writers, directors, and performers to put on dozens of ten minute plays over eight weeks. Each of those weeks sees a selection of Wildcard plays and Top 80 plays compete for audience, judges, and crew votes to put their work through to the semi-finals and, eventually, the top of the Short + Sweet podium.