Home >> Festivals >> Short+Sweet Theatre Canberra 2018
3 Sep 2017 to 20 May 2018
15 Sep 2017 to 1 Oct 2017
20 Sep 2017 to 12 May 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.

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



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The best thing about Short+Sweet is that it allows anyone to participate in the biggest little play festival in the world! 

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. The process is pretty straightforward: you come on Friday evening, and get your creative juices flowing... read more

Thank you for your interest in directing for Short+Sweet Theatre Canberra 2018!

Directors make everyone’s day: you bring a script to life for the writer, and you spend most of your time trying to make actors look good on stage!

We welcome directors from all walks of life, from professional directors to enthusiastic amateurs. Everyone gets a go, although we do try to balance... read more

Thank you for your interest in submitting an indpendent production for Short+Sweet Theatre Canberra 2018!

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 you want to do, and we'll use the information you... read more

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/


Festival 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)

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. 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.

    To sign up for the workshop, use this form.