L’amour et la mort – Love and death in a French Restaurant

L’Amour et le Mort – Love and death in a French Restaurant

L’Amour et le Mort – Love and death in a French Restaurant (Oct 14 & 21)

The best thing about writing short plays is that they can pop up in all sorts of places, so I was delighted that Ally Cat Productions asked me to contribute to L’amour et la mort – Love and death in a French Restaurant.

L’amour et la mort will take place at Le Tres Bon, the Canberra region’s most celebrated French restaurant, on October 14 and 21 from 7pm. It will feature a degustation menu of monologues, short plays and songs about brief, ironic but life-changing encounters in restaurants, cafes and bars.

Two of my short plays, Last Drinks and Limbo, will be on show, as well as a number of short monologues written by fellow Canberra writer/actor/producer, Judith Peterson. Rounding out the show will be the musical talents of Frank Zappia.

The plays will be performed by some of Canberra’s finest actors including Nick Steain, Helen Way, Peter Fock, and Judith Peterson. The evening will be directed by Rachel Hogan.

Tickets are $85 per person and include a three course dinner and the show. For more information, or to book, go to the Le Tres Bon website.

Get ya French on!

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Stargazers goes to Hollywood

Stargazers-Poster-web

Stargazers at Short+Sweet Hollywood

I was super surprised and super delighted to learn that my short play Stargazers will be part of the inaugural Short+Sweet Hollywood in September.

This is the first time a Short+Sweet Festival has run in the US, and it will mark the occasion with a three week season at the Stella Adler Theatre, Los Angeles. About 60 directors and more than more than 160 actors will present creative, funny, touching and avant-garde works from 60 short-play writers.

Stargazers will be in Week 1 of proceedings from September 8 to 11. It will be directed by LA based theatre maker, Julie Briggs, and will feature Hannah Mae Sturges, Matt Swain and Hannes Phinney. Here’s what Julie said about her motivation for choosing Stargazers from the 132 available scripts:

“So funny, romantic, surprising, silly and hopeful. It’s a perfectly constructed 10-minute play. Smart, crisp writing, great characters, high stakes, a ticking clock. So good!”

Best. Feedback. Ever.

Short+Sweet Hollywood runs from 8 – 25 September. If you happen to be in La La Land, you can book tickets via Brown Paper Tickets.

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Double Dipping at Short+Sweet Canberra 2016

Stargazers @ Short+Sweet Canberra 2016

Stargazers @ Short+Sweet Canberra 2016

It’s that time of the year when the action packed Short+Sweet ten-minute play festival rolls into town and sets up camp in the Courtyard Studio at the Canberra Theatre.

This year I am delighted to have two plays on the bill.

The first is The Assignment, a comedic piece about a group of uni students struggling to work together to finish off an important essay.

The second is Stargazers, a romantic comedy about two teenagers trying to unpack the meaning of life, love and the universe – a hard task made even more difficult when the eccentric Dr Ludwig enters with an earth-shattering interjection.

The Assignment @ Short+Sweet Canberra 2016

The Assignment @ Short+Sweet Canberra 2016

The Assignment will feature Judith Peterson, Mariè Strazdins and Declan Hastings, and will be directed by the awesome Philip Meddows. It will be part of the Wildcard shows at 2:30pm and 7pm on Saturday August 13.

Stargazers will feature Jaslyn Mairs, Austen Saunders and Peter Fock, and will be directed by the ever-insightful Arne Sjostedt. It will be playing throughout Week 2 of the festival from August 16–19 at 7:30pm.

Short+Sweet Canberra runs from 9-20 of August. Thirty ten minute plays, more than half written by playwrights from Canberra and the Capital Region, will be on offer. Tickets are now on sale via Canberra Theatre.

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Last Drinks at At the Gates

At the Gates

At the Gates @ Smith’s Alternative

Fresh from a terrific run at Best of Crash Test last month, my short play Last Drinks will be doing an encore performance as part of At the Gates, a variety show taking place at Smith’s Alternative on 9 July 2016.

At the Gates will showcase a slew of Canberra talent including performance poets, theatre folk and musicians. Performers include Rob Defries, Helen Way, Phillip Meddows, Cara Irvine, John Lombard, Ghost Noises, Barbi Jones, Dylan Hekimian, The Faumuis, and Katherine Berry. The event has been organised and will be hosted by the wonderful Brendan Kelly.

Apart from being a great excuse to indulge in some creativity, At the Gates also aims to raise funds and awareness for the plight of refugees around the world. All proceeds will be donated to Amnesty International.

The show kicks off at 4pm. Entry is $10.

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Last Drinks at Best of Crash Test

Best of Crash Test @ Courtyard Studio

Best of Crash Test (25-26 June)

Super excited that my short play Last Drinks will hit the Canberra boards again as part of Best of Crash Test on 25 & 26 of June.

Last Drinks was my first Crash Test play back in 2012. Since then it has become one of my most performed pieces with almost a dozen productions throughout Australia and abroad. In 2013 it won People’s Choice at Short+Sweet Canberra and was a Gala Finalist in Short+Sweet Auckland. Recently it was part of the inaugural Shorts on Stage ten-minute play festival at Noosa Arts Theatre.

Apart from the buzz of getting to see Last Drinks live again, I’m excited that this version will feature the talents of Rob Defries and Helen Way. Rob and Helen were the first actors to take Last Drinks into the Crash Test arena, and I’ve been itching to get them back in the roles. Added to this, the awesome Phillip Meddows will be directing! What more could a playwright ask for?

Best of Crash Test is a celebration of Crash Test Drama Canberra, a moved reading event aimed at developing original work and fostering creative collaboration. Since kicking off in 2012, Crash Test has played a key role in the emergence of a dynamic, energetic and inclusive ten-minute play scene in the ACT. A number of writers, actors and directors that have taken part of Crash Test Drama Canberra have gone on to enjoy success in ten-minute play festivals and competitions worldwide.

The full line up for Best of Crash Test is:

  • “My Undies are Evil” written and directed by John Lombard
  • “A Dog’s Life” written and directed by Angus Algie
  • “Sprung” by Nigel Palfreman, directed by Kirsty Budding
  • “Cupid’s Waiting” by Kate Roediger, directed by Rob Defries
  • “Cuts” by Mary Langdon, directed by Marcus Freeman
  • “Wardrobe Diplomacy” by Harriet Elvin, directed by Amanda Gillespie
  • “Money Rats” by Kirsty Budding, directed by C.S. Carroll
  • “Last Drinks” by Greg Gould, directed by Philip Meddows

The plays range in subject and style, from outlandish comedy to subtle political satire. All look to be a lot of fun.

The Best of Crash test kicks off at 7pm on 25 & 26 of June at the Courtyard Theater.  Tickets are on sale via Canberra Theatre.  The show is produced by the ever-enterprising Budding Theatre.

Note: this show is not suitable for children. There will be bad words. And sexy words. But mainly bad words.

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Stargazing in Wagga

Ten X 10 Fest 2016

Ten X 10 Fest 2016

Stoked that my short play Stargazers will debut as part of the Ten X 10 Play Fest in Wagga Wagga on 17, 18 & 19 June.

Produced by the Wagga Wagga School of Arts Community Theatre (SoACT), the Ten X 10 Play Fest is fast becoming one of the best annual ten-minute plays festivals around. Not only does it showcase the works of local, regional and metropolitan writers, it provides opportunities for new and experienced directors and actors to work in a festival environment.

Stargazers will be directed by Saasha McMillan, and I know for certain she’s got something special tucked up her sleeve for the performances. Hopefully I can get along and check it out.

Ten X 10 Fest 2016 takes place at the Commercial Club Wagga, 77 Gurwood St, Wagga Wagga. Performance times are:

  • Friday 17th June from 7.30pm
  • Saturday 18th June from 7.30pm
  • Sunday 19th June from 2pm

Tickets can be purchased at the Commercial Club during office hours on 02 6921 3012 or online.

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Noosa Arts Theatre to serve Last Drinks

Shorts On Stage - May 28 and 29 at Noosa Arts Theatre

Shorts On Stage – May 28 and 29 at Noosa Arts Theatre

I’m honoured that my ten-minute play Last Drinks will be included in the line-up for Shorts On Stage at Noosa Arts Theatre later this month. It will be directed by Karina Seale.

Renowned for their National One-Act Playwriting Competition, this is the first foray into ten-minute theatre for Noosa Arts. It promises to be “a fast moving selection of ten highly entertaining ten-minute plays from stellar casts in South East Queensland”.

Plays are being presented by Noosa Arts Theatre, Miranda’s Dressing Room (Noosa), Little Seed Theatre Company (Sunshine Beach), Farmhouse Theatre (Cooran), Suncoast Repertory Theatre (Maleny), and In Time Productions (Brisbane).

There are only three performances on offer, so if you’re in the area make sure you grab ticket. Performances kick off at 2pm and 7:30pm on May 28, with an additional show at 2pm on May 29.  Tickets are available through the Noosa Arts website.

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The Assignment gets a HD at Crash Test

The Assignment gets the Crash Test treatment

The Assignment gets the Crash Test treatment

My play The Assignment made a great first impression at the last Crash Test Drama Canberra. Not only did it take out the People’s Choice award (as voted by the audience and other Crash Test participants), it also took home Best Director thanks to the insightful and energetic guidance of Philip Meddows.

As a founding member of Crash Test Drama Canberra, it’s awesome to see the format doing so well. Hats off to Budding Theatre for keeping the ten-minute play format alive on Canberra stages. Great to see so many new actors, writers and directors taking part.

From a writer’s point of view, Crash Test is still my favourite way to develop ten-minute plays. It’s fast. It’s furious. It’s never what you expect. It’s also the best way to find out which parts of your play will stand up under the pressure of an unforgiving stage. What dialogue works? What can be left out? Does the story need more attention? Put your hard-earned words in the hands of a Crash Test crew and you’ll find out quick smart.

Big shout out to my fellow Crash Test writers at the last event. The quality of plays on offer was impressive. I especially enjoyed Cupid’s Waiting by Kate Roediger (directed by Annastasia Denton) and My Undies Are Evil by John Lombard (directed by Arne Sjosetd). Both were witty, funny, and subversively insightful.

For info about upcoming Crash Test Drama Canberra events, check out the Budding Theatre website or Facebook page.

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Today’s Assignment: Crash Test Drama

Super excited that my new ten-minute play The Assignment will be taken for a spin at Crash Test Drama Canberra today. Not only will I get to see my script read for the first time, but I have been lucky enough to be paired up with Philip Meddows, who has kindly agreed to sit in the director’s chair. After seeing Philip’s stellar performance in Rachel Hogan’s adaptation of The Mandrake Root a few weeks back, I’m keen to see what he’ll do.

The full Crash Test line up is:

  • Cupid’s Waiting by Kate Roediger, directed by Annastasia Denton
  • My Undies Are Evil by John Lombard, directed by Arne Sjosetd
  • A Dog’s Life written and directed by Angus Algie
  • The Supermarket by C.J. Naylor, directed by Judith Peterson
  • The Experiment by Andrew Richey, directed by Lynn Petersen
  • The Assignment by Greg Gould, directed by Philip Meddows

As always, Crash Test Drama Canberra takes places at Canberra Rep’s awesome Theatre 3. Proceedings kick off at 4pm for directors and actors, with performances starting at 6pm.

If you’re an actor looking for a role, or simply want to come and check out Canberra’s newest ten-minute plays, be sure to get along. More details are available at the Crash Test facebook event page.

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Unexpected update

Just thought I’d post these great pictures from the last production of my short play The Unexpected at Short+Sweet Dubai 2016.

In what I believe to be a first for any of my productions around the world, the entire cast was all from a single family. Lisa Harter played the role of Lisa, Clara Harter played Jeannie, and Paul Harter (in his stage debut no less) played Robert. Talk about keeping it in the family!

Although the play missed out on making the finals, it looks like a great time was had by all. I have it on good authority the performance got more than its fair share of laughs.

Big thanks to the Harter crew for taking it on. It’s nice to know theatre can still be a family affair.

Ok, I’ll quit the family cliches … now …

Lisa Harter in The Unexpected (Short+Sweet Dubai 2016)

Lisa Harter in The Unexpected (Short+Sweet Dubai 2016)

Clara Harter in The Unexpected (Short+Sweet Dubai 2016)

Clara Harter in The Unexpected (Short+Sweet Dubai 2016)

Paul Harter in The Unexpected (Short+Sweet Dubai 2016)

Lisa and Clara Harter in The Unexpected (Short+Sweet Dubai 2016)

Paul Harter in The Unexpected (Short+Sweet Dubai 2016)

Paul Harter in The Unexpected (Short+Sweet Dubai 2016)

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