Home >> Festivals >> Short+Sweet Theatre Sydney 2021
1 Jun 2024 to 3 Aug 2024
29 Aug 2024 to 22 Sep 2024
5 Sep 2024 to 29 Sep 2024
Sunday, May 16, 2021 to Sunday, August 22, 2021
Short+Sweet Theatre (@Tom Mann)
136 Chalmers Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010
Connect with this festival

Short+Sweet Theatre Sydney 2021


The biggest little theatre festival in the world’ completes the Covid-interrupted (but not defeated!) 2021 season with its semi-finals and Gala Performance & Awards Presentation over the weekend of 1 to 3 April. Over 30 plays are in contention for the top prizes including Best Script, Best Production, Best Direction, Festival Director’s Prize and the new Actors’ Circle (5 winners).

The Sydney-born but now ubiquitous international short theatre festivals’ Surry Hills home - the Tom Mann Theatre - will host the ‘Crew Cut’ Semifinal on Friday 1 April at 7.30pm; the People’s Choice Semifinal then follows on Saturday 2 April at 2pm; with the Judges’ Choice semifinal on Saturday night 2 April at 7.30pm. The best of all these will progress to the grand-final performances: the Judges’ final on Sunday 3 April at 2pm; and the Gala Performance and Awards Presentation Sunday 4 April at 6.00pm.

Festival Director Nick Hardcastle says 2021 was an incredibly difficult year for live theatre. “We had to reprogram the Festival on five different occasions due to lockdowns and new variants of COVID causing major health and safety concerns. However, as is the spirit of Short+Sweet from its 20 successful years and the wonderfully supportive community it has created - we stuck together and persevered. Now we’re so excited to finally share with our audience the very best plays of the year… that was!”

Short+Sweet Semi-finals play Fri 1 to Sat 2 April at Tom Mann Auditorium 136 Chalmers St, Surry Hills. Crew Cut Fri 7.30pm; People’s Choice Sat 2pm; Judges’ Choice Sat 7.30pm. Tickets: $27/$24/$17 
Gala Finals: Sunday 3 April 2pm (Judges’ Final); 6pm (Gala Performance & Awards Presentation). $35/$30 
**Download the great new StageCenta app for all Short+Sweet online ticket bookings & digital voting here.


CREW CUT SEMI FINAL Fri 1 April 7.30pm

Two to progress to Judge’s Final Sunday afternoon

SWEET, HE by Jeff Locker, directed by and starring Danny Barton with Patricio Ibarra. The story of two men who met, almost kissed, and fell in love.

LA 8AM by Mark Harvey Levine, directed by Angela Blake. Some things can be reduced to numbers. Some can't. Blake stars with Talin Agon, Sam Wallace and Hamish MacDonald.

ACCOUNTANT FROM HELL by Barry Wood, director Amelia Gilday. Possessed by the spirit of a condemned accountant, Karen's only hope lies with Father Murphy and his exorcism app. With Iley Jones, Ana Fenner and Anthony Ghosn.

ICE CREAM by Kath Hailing, director Casey Elder. Eddie has finally saved enough money for his very own ice cream truck but are his motivations as innocent as we are first led to believe? Starring Timothy Mannering.

AS NICE AS PIE by Barry Wood, director Lachlan McWilliam. Adam devises a scheme that any male chauvinist would be proud of: now all he needs to do is to convince his wife. Alice Furze, Cassandra Chloe & Don Ferguson star.

SHOPPING FOR LOVE written and directed by Jonathon Solomon and starring Melissa Myles a middle-aged women looking for love in the grocery aisle.

BURIED TREASURE written by Jacqui Duncan & David Allsopp, starring Duncan and director James Brettell. The story of siblings Natalie and Daniel, who were once inseparable, but now have drifted apart. With their grandmother now in aged care, they pack up the family home for sale – but is the long-dismissed story of money buried in the garden myth or truth… and will it bring them together or tear them apart?

PEOPLE’S CHOICE – Sat 2 April 2pm 
Four to progress to Judge’s Final Sunday Afternoon

I WAS FINE UNTIL YOU CAME IN THE ROOM by Rich Orloff, director Kym Vaitiekus. Helen and Pete remember the day they met which led to a 50 year marriage. With Leonard Sun, Caroline Larcombe, Rebecca May and Richard Wu.

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A PSYCHOPATH written and directed by Pat Brennan and performed with Valerie Warry. A psychopathic father is waiting for his daughter to arrive home. While waiting, he engages with his ex-wives, his victims, and his mother, who all now have pride of place in their respective urns on the mantlepiece…

DATING THROUGH THE DECADES by Ken Levine, director Gina Cohen. A boy and a girl (played by Ally O’Brien and James Saunders) date in every decade from 1950s until today.

THE WOLF WITHIN written and directed by Lisa Kelaher. A day in the life of a lone wolf, struggling for survival in a changing world. What basic human instincts still drive us and will we make it out of the woods alive? With a number of ‘nods’ to 'Little Red Riding Hood'. Starring Dean Vince as The Wolf!

FIGGY by Tom Peach, directed by Dana Lowe. Figgy (Alice Furze) having ‘lost’ both a fiancée and a husband, starts to embrace life as a single woman.

KINDLING written and directed by Tommy James Green. Deep in the woods, in the dead of night, a young woman confronts the witch she believes has abducted her daughter. Starring Katherine Poulsen and Madeleine Wighton.

IN FARCE by Steven Bucko, director Alexandra Davies. The only thing crazier than being in a farce, is being in the town of Farce. With Andrew Steel, Tom Green, Nick Gell, Annie Stafford & Akanksha Srivastra.

THE GRAVE YARD SHIFT by Catherine McKernan Doris. One woman's struggle to deal with lockdown leads her down the garden path. A tour-de-force by 83yo theatre legend Robina Beard (famously “Madge” in the iconic Palmolive “You’re soaking in it!” TV commercial!) renewing her collaboration with director Zoë Harvey after 20 years!

JUDGEMENT DAY by Katrina Samaras, director Clare Burgess. You're dead. It's Judgement Day. Who would you want to speak in your defence? With Sarah Marie Reynolds, Geoff Cordner, Elizabeth Newman, Patrick Wells and teenage Tahlia Ransley.

A PERIOD PLAY, written and directed by Joss Chalmers. A high energy (low budget) Jane Austen-esque comedy of double entendre. Sam Flack, Anetha Agoratsios and Zoe Arden star.

Four to progress to Judge’s Final Sunday Afternoon 
DIARY OF MARILYN Debbie Nielson stars in this self-devised monologue. Marilyn Monroe questions who she is in and out of the public light and if anyone - including herself - has the answers. Featuring real Monroe quotes.

THE SEAGULL by Fran Bowick, director Jeff Tabley. The seagull explores the intense fight for masculine love and self- respect. With Tabley, Adam Dorrington and Patrick Wells.

THE FORGOTTEN PLACE by Jeff Locker, director Garreth Cruikshank with Nick Shields and Tom Crotty. All Eric ever wanted was a friend. He just never knew how to find one.

YOU WON'T BELIEVE written and directed by Frank Leggett. A powerful monologue for knockout young actress Debbie Nielson, (who has had 8 plays performed in 25 Short+Sweet festivals around the world including. Nielson herself is a ‘veteran’ of 10 years of the festival… and 20+ plays and cabarets. Having spent her whole life caring for a dominating mother, ‘Grace’ enters the world of online dating only to meet a VERY alien scammer! When you have a boyfriend, you have to be supportive…

TWO PSYCHICS MEET ON TINDER by Adam Szudrich, directed by Gina Cohen. Two psychics meet for a first date. They already know how the relationship will play out, so is there any room for mystery? Cohen stars with Jeremy Godwin.

RIYA written and directed by Ruth Fingret. One woman monologue about homelessness and domestic violence. Jyotsna Sharma stars in this play based on a true story.

FALLOUT by Greg Gould, director Trudy Ritchie. It's the end of the world as we know it, and Gary feels fine. If only his wife felt the same... With Chris Meier, Jodie Sibley, Rose Treloar & Horace Uelese.

WE REGRET TO INFORM YOU THAT, written and directed by Eric Jiang. A young couple apply for the same prestigious opportunity, but discover that they might not be able to cope with any of the potential outcomes. Starring Rachel Seeto and Lachie Pringle.

SWEET, SHE by Jeff Locker, director Tabatha Lionheart. The gorgeous, romantic story of two women who met, touched pinkies, and fell in love. With Olivia Aleksoski and Shannon Ryan.

SWEETHEARTS by Sophie Irvine, director Olga Tamara. Only being married six months, Minnie and Charlie’s inability to conceal their hatred for each other results in Minnie’s parents trying to bring them back together. Only their methods are a little unorthodox… Annabelle Kablean, Barret Griffin, Graham Yates and Lynda Leavers star.



*Please note that all dates are subject to change.


Due to the number of 2020 plays that were not able to join us in this years program, we have a limited number of slots for Round 2 submissions in this year's festival program! If you were unable to get your ITC submission in on time or register as a director before the Round 1 Deadline - then NOW IS YOUR CHANCE to be a part of Short+Sweet Sydney 2021! Applications are open now until JUNE 15 for these slots in specific July and August dates. We will also hold additional Round 2 Auditions for actors wuth date and time to be annouced. Actors are welcome to send in Self tapes to beeling@shortandsweet.org





The biggest little play festival in the world is now entering its 20th year in its hometown of Sydney and will be returning to the Tom Mann Theatre in Surry Hills from May 10 until August 22!

Helmed by Festival Director, Nick Hardcastle, who has recently returned from Los Angeles where he ran Short+Sweet Hollywood's most exciting, diverse and successful program yet in 2019, this year's festival promises to bring some wonderful new changes while honouring the great spirit, legacy and format that everyone loves about Short+Sweet!

This year is a particularly special year as we finally return to the theatre to turn back on the lights and share our stories after having to cut our 2020 festival 'SHORT', leaving theatres being blacked out due to the Global Pandemic.

Throughout the pandemic, we have been encouraging people around the World to use this time to write their great 10 minute story - Finally, here is their chance to share it on our stage, where it belongs!

We will kick off the festival this year with a week of 'hindsight' when we present the best plays from the 5 weeks of the 2020 festival. This will culminate in a special 'Best of the Fest' evening on Sunday May 16.

All remaining plays that were invited in to the 2020 festival and were yet to be presented will be automatically invited to appear this year. Any of the writers, directors and actors that had participated in the first five weeks of the 2020 festival will be welcome to submit another work in the 2021 festival! There will be NO WILDCARDS this year. Everyone who is accepted in the Festival will be programmed in competition and will be guaranteed two evenings and one matinee performance.

Short+Sweet is, at its heart, a community and professional development, cultural event. It is a wonderful opportunity for writers, directors and actors who want to share their voice and talent in a professional environment and venue. Its goal is to become a powerful tool for diversity in the entertainment industry, as well as providing a way to discover new or established local talent by engaging more people in the live theatre experience. The festival multiplies participants' raw and creative energy, with different ensembles, directors and writers exchanging ideas, learning from each other and providing creative inspiration.

"To ensure that we have the opportunity to see the full breadth of our community here in Sydney represented on stage, I am building a Diversity and Inclusion Programming Team. Everyone on this team will be asked to engage with specific community groups of writers, directors and actors to make sure that those artists have an opportunity to participate in the festival and that their stories can be shared. Whether they be diversely abled, BIPOC, new immigrants, LGBTQ+, have English as a second language or are elderly - I want anyone that might think that there isn't a place for them in the open English language program of Short+Sweet, to know that we have room for them and want them to be seen and heard," says FD Nick Hardcastle.

Our message to you is that this is: ‘Your COMMUNITY, Your STORY, Your VOICE, Your FESTIVAL!'

To find out more or to apply to join our D&I Committee, contact nick.hardcastle@shortandsweet.org


Short+Sweet presents a unique opportunity to sponsors and partners to reach thousands of people over a extended period. With in theatre activations, on screen loops, outdoor signage, verbal acknowledgements, merchandise, a printed festival brochure, special events, prize giving opportunities and an endless array of bespoke collaborations possible - now is the time to get your brand or company involved with our incredibly engaged community!

To request a sponsorship and partnerships proposal, contact nick.hardcastle@shortandsweet.org


If you have a passion for the theatre and would like to be a part of our great team then REGISTER HERE! We have roles waiting for you behind the scenes in production, props, front of house, sponsorship and more!!! We’d love to hear from you!

We look forward to welcoming our community back to share Short+Sweet Sydney 2021 with us at the Tom Mann Theatre, 136 Chalmers Street Surry Hills. 

#shortandsweet #turnonthelights #sssydney2021 #shortsweetfest

Principal Festival Partners

This festival hasn't posted any news articles yet.

Join our team and volunteer at Short+Sweet Sydney's 20th birthday celebration 2022! Front of House, stage management, hospitality, programming, sponosorships and partnerships - whatever your interest, we'd love to welcome you!
read more read more

Thank you for your interest in submitting an independent production for Short+Sweet Theatre Sydney 2021!


Independent Theatre Companies (ITCs) may pitch their ten minute performance using this form. You don't have to be an established organisation - even a loose collection of creatives is fine by us. This form allows you... read more

Thank you for your interest in directing for Short+Sweet Sydney 2021!


We welcome directors from all walks of life, from professional directors to enthusiastic first timers. Everyone will be given consideration. You'll be asked to submit a cv or any relevant information to us.

If you are selected as... read more

Thank you for your interest in submitting an independent production for Short+Sweet Theatre Sydney 2021!


Independent Theatre Companies (ITCs) may pitch their ten minute performance using this form. You don't have to be an established organisation - even a loose collection of creatives is fine by us. This form allows you to tell us what... read more

Thank you for your interest in directing for Short+Sweet Sydney 2021!

We welcome directors from all walks of life, from professional directors to enthusiastic first timers. Everyone will be given consideration. You'll be asked to submit a cv or any relevant information to us.

If you are selected as a director, you will be sent all the relevant information regarding selecting your... read more

Thank you for your interest in performing in the Short+Sweet Theatre Festival Sydney 2021!

We welcome professional and enthusiastic amateurs actors alike. Everyone will be given consideration.

If you are selected as an actor, you will be contacted by the director of one of the plays you have been selected for.

Before registering, please check the key festival... read more

Join our team and volunteer at Short+Sweet Sydney 2021! Front of House, stage management, hospitality, programming, sponosorships and partnerships - whatever your interest, we'd love to welcome you!
... read more