Home >> Festivals >> Short+Sweet Theatre Canberra 2018
13 Sep 2018 to 21 Oct 2018
4 Oct 2018 to 21 Oct 2018
7 Nov 2018 to 10 Nov 2018
Tuesday, April 17, 2018 to Saturday, April 28, 2018
Courtyard Studio, Canberra Theatre Centre
Civic Square
Canberra ACT 2600
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Short+Sweet Theatre Canberra 2018

Short+Sweet has been running in Canberra since 2009, and this has grown to become a major event for the city’s artistic community. Each year over 100 people contribute to the festival over two weeks at the Canberra Theatre Centre, making this the largest annual collaboration of performing artists in the national capital.

As an open access festival, Short+Sweet Canberra brings together a broad range of artists. Professional performing artists work alongside talented enthusiasts, and artists with more experience and expertise in other artforms. And most importantly, it brings new audiences into the theatre as friends and family members of participants attend performances and recognise their own potential to participate.

Short+Sweet Canberra is at once local and eclectic. Plays are submitted from all over the world, and the festival director shortlists approximately half of the festival’s content from local writers, and half from interstate and overseas. Most actors and directors who participate come from Canberra, many travel from the capital region, and the festival has also welcomed actors and directors from Sydney and Melbourne.

Short+Sweet Canberra enjoys the support of Canberra Theatre Centre and Ainslie Gorman Arts Centres, without which, we couldn't stage this great festival each year.

The Short+Sweet family is committed to building a more creative world, 10 minutes at a time. The platform provides an accessible and enjoyable theatrical experience to individuals from all walks of life, and gives them the opportunity to connect with creatives from all over the world.


2018 Performance Dates

Top 20 Week 1: 17-20 April, 7:30pm daily

Wildcards: 21 April, 2:30pm and 7:30pm

Top 20 Week 2: 24-27 April, 7:30pm daily

Gala Final: 28 April, 2:30pm and 7:30pm



The competition has been tough at Short+Sweet's week 1... but we have results! 

People's Choice
1st place: The Hold Up
2nd place: A Letter to Harold
3rd place TIE: Drink Water, Act Your Age & One Night Stan

Judges' Choice
1st place: The Hold Up
2nd place: The Last Cuppa
3rd place:... read more

This festival doesn't have any active submission

Festival Structure

  1. Festival Structure

    Short+Sweet Theatre Canberra runs for two weeks at the Canberra Theatre Centre. Between 40 and 50 ten minute plays are shortlisted by the Festival Director, and Directors select from the shortlist to curate the festival. Short+Sweet Theatre Canberra has three components:


    Top 20

    The Top 20 is a showcase of the best works in the festival. These plays are presented in groups of 10, specifically Top 20 Week 1, and Top 20 Week 2. A position in the main season is often given to the more experienced Directors and stronger ITCs, though a director with less experience may be scheduled in this season as an opportunity to up skill if the Festival Director deems their work at a high enough standard.

    At the conclusion of each Top 20 week, the top 2 judges’ choices and the top 2 people’s choices are announced and entered into the Gala Final.



    Wildcards are – unofficially – the side season of a Short+Sweet festival. Wildcards plays are performed twice on the Saturday in the middle of the festival. A position in the Wildcards is offered to plays that present a more niche interest or a higher level of risk than those in the Top 20.

    The Wildcards can be seen as a developmental opportunity for Directors and Writers. Often the quality of Wildcards plays will be comparable to main season plays. They tend to attract large and enthusiastic audiences.

    The biggest difference technically is that Wildcards plays are not allowed any lighting changes. There is no time in the schedule to allow programming of the lighting board.

    At the conclusion of the Wildcards performances, the judges’ and people’s top choices are announced and entered into the Gala Final.


    Gala Final

    The Gala Final is a showcase of the best works from your festival. Each of the Top 20 weeks’ programs will contribute 4 plays, and the Wildcards will contribute 2 more plays. The Festival Director may also choose to add an eleventh play.

    Technically, Gala Finals productions and main season productions are the same. There is no time to make any changes to lighting or other aspects of your play, as there is only a technical rehearsal.

    At the conclusion of the Gala Final, judges cast their votes for Best Play, Best Actor, Best Director and Best Script, and the audience cast their votes for their favourite two plays.

Short+Sweet Canberra Newsletter

  1. Newsletter

    Those subscribed to our newsletter are the first to know everything that happens in Short+Sweet Canberra.

    To sign up, go to http://eepurl.com/bV8xV

Social Media

  1. Social Media

    Short+Sweet Canberra’s official hashtag is #shortsweetCBR.

    You can also follow Short+Sweet Canberra on Instagram and Twitter. Our handle for both is @shortsweetCBR. Tag us whenever relevant, and share the love with your friends!

    Our Facebook page can be found at http://www.facebook.com/ShortSweetCBR/. Like us to get updates on everything to do with Short+Sweet festivals in Canberra. 

    If you're a participant in Short+Sweet Canberra (or you want to participate) you can also join our Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/shortsweetCBR/


Key Dates and Deadlines

  1. 2018 Festival Deadlines

    Script Submissions close 15 December 2017

    Independent Theatre Company expressions of interest close 15 January 2018

    Directors must register online and submit their script preferences to the festival director by 4 February 2018

    Auditions will be held on 11 February 2018 (registrations for auditions will open in January 2018)

    Directors' casting deadline is 28 February 2018

    Directors' tech specs deadline is 15 March 2018

Writers Workshop

  1. Writers Workshop

    For writers who want some spark for their creative juices, we have just what you need.

    Short+Sweet Canberra's writing workshop will be held 13-15 October at Gorman House. The process is pretty straightforward: you come on Friday evening, and get your creative juices flowing. Then you stay up all night, or rest up and sit up all day Saturday to write a first draft of your script, or maybe even a second. And then on Sunday, you come back, hand your script to some actors, and see it come to life for the first time.

    Your workshop leader will provide you with some written feedback on your script, but more importantly, you will get an idea of just how your words will work on stage.

    The workshop will be led by Trevar Alan Chilver, Short+Sweet Canberra's festival director, who has been writing for Short+Sweet since the festival was new. His plays have been performed in festivals in Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, Hollywood and London, and he brings a wealth of experience to the table, to help you let your creativity shine. This workshop has been made possible by the generous support of Ainslie+Gorman Arts Centres.

    To sign up for the workshop, use this form.


  1. The following scripts have been shortlisted, and will be made available to directors for selection:

    Altered Expectation by Suzy Wilds

    Apollo George and the 27 Club by Nathaniel Young

    Breath on My Neck by Sally Bartley

    The Choir Needs to Get Rid of Trevor by John Lombard

    Come Die with Me by Victoria Connerty

    The Crumbling Memory of Tom Moore by Anton Baggerman

    Dad’s Vision by B. V. Marshall

    Don’t Call Me Cupid by Jonathan Crook

    Dummy by Jude Bridge

    End of the Rope by Nancy Hopps

    The Eulogy by Kel Vance

    Famous Last Words by Gregory Crafts

    Fractured by Chris DiGiovanni

    George Brown Steps Out by Gerry Greenland

    HMS Headwind by Michael Shapiro

    Home News by Tom Jensen

    The Hook-Up by Ken Levine

    How to Write a Ten Minute Play, The Ten Minute Play by Pete Malicki

    The Human Touch by David Vazdauskas

    I Love Lucy by Bara Swain

    It’s the Law by Geraldine Colson

    The Jump by Paulene Turner

    Keeping Annabelle by Rachel Welch

    Knots by Robert Moulthrop

    Late Night Pizza by Frank Leggett

    Night Moves by Ellen Davis Sullivan

    One for the Money by Clayton Zane Comber

    Playing with Fired by Steven Hayet

    The Problem of Philosophy by Wendy Dunn

    Procrastination by Allan West

    Resist by Andrew Parker

    The Saint by Scott Lummer

    Statistically Speaking by Greg Gould

    Switching Tracks by Deanna Alisa Ableser

    T-3 Trojan by Judith Duncan

    Together by Michael Sams

    True to You by Nicky Denovan

    Walked Over by Graham Yates

    The Wedding Night Tweets by Daniel Guyton

    Workplace Wellness by Kate Jaimet


    Please note that this shortlist includes only plays submitted by the writer. These scripts will be made available to directors.

    Independent Theatre Company (ITC) submissions are not listed here and will be considered separately.