Short + Sweet is an annual short play festival run in Sydney over a mammoth 12 week season between January and March. Short + Sweet Sydney is the biggest short play festival in the world and has its origins based in the cultural hub of Newtown. Now Short + Sweet runs twenty-one festivals across seven countries and is expanding every year.
To get a real understanding of the festival I chatted with actress, director and Short + Sweet’s Audition Coordinator, Karoline Rose O’Sullivan. Karoline, a Drama & Theatre Studies graduate from University College Cork in Ireland, brings a wealth of experience to her roles. Karoline has performed on stage for over a decade with her most notable roles including A Play on Two Chairs for Strand Street Theatre and Macbeth for Upstart Theatre Company in Ireland. Locally, Karoline has performed with Factory Space Theatre Company in their ensemble show Sex, Death and Chocolate. Karoline has taught drama for The Irish Board of Education and The Eileen Fitzgerald School of Speech and Drama and currently works for Drama Scene and runs her own acting classes in Sydney.
Karoline has been living and working in Sydney for two years and Short + Sweet has become an annual event in her performance calendar. “I was eager to have more direct involvement in the arts scene in Sydney and Short + Sweet allows that. Sometimes as a performer you rely on others to help maintain your involvement in the arts and I didn't want to do that anymore.”
Karoline has extended herself into the area of arts administration with her Short + Sweet role. Karoline co-ordinated the auditions of over 400 actors and says she really enjoyed supporting actors through this process. “The best part was seeing people walk in nervous and apprehensive – for some people this was their first audition – and then they come out feeling powerful and having a real sense of achievement. As an acting coach myself those were the special moments.”
As for the practical of the Short + Sweet shows they are simple in format and staging, ten to twelve plays, each ten minutes long , with lightening fast set changes between plays. Each play gets a week long run with a Wildcard program held on the weekends. The best part of this festival is – its accessible, its engaging, its original. It’s local artists writing, directing and producing their own work – which usually means stories of their own city, their cultures, their lives.
You can see Karoline on stage at Short + Sweet from 11th to 13th January 2014 in ‘Flowers Set Me Off’ and her play Mum’s Army runs from Jan 22nd – 26th. Following Short + Sweet Karoline will be on stage in Pinball for Duck Duck Goose which opens February 11th at The Tap Gallery in Darlinghurst. Karoline also runs her acting classes on Thursday nights from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at The Palace Studio in Marrickville and welcomes newcomers to join her. For more information visit: http://www.meetup.com/Sydney-acting-classes-for-adults-in-Glebe-and-Bondi/