I had a lot of fun taking in the opening night of Short & Sweet Malaysia, which kicked off with a week of theatre in Penang. After that it will be heading to KL for nine weeks of Short & Sweet creativity.
Here was the running order for opening night:
My play was 6th out of 9th in the running order. Here’s my play info:
And a couple photos of photos from dress rehearsal.
In the first photo, Lexi, the mom, is trying to figure out how an atomic bomb was dropped in their backyard. Yzzy, the daughter, is frozen as mom does her monologue.
In the second photo, mom is remembering how cute her little girl was as a newborn.
The girls both gave amazing performances last night. Energetic and engaging. And very tender. Lots of tears in the audience. I’ve seen it so many times and I never fail to choke up when they start reflecting upon what’s important in life.
Three more performances this week!
The rest of the Short & Sweet show was a mixed bag of various diverse genres. I’m pretty sure everyone will find some play that they will like. And that’s the genius of short and sweet, if you don’t like one, it will be over in less than 10 minutes. You just need a little patience.
Backstage before dress rehearsal tonight.
I got my annual orange name tag – this year as playwright and director. And I meant to get a couple photos of dress rehearsal, but it seems I was too busy watching the performance.
Nine different plays are taking the stage this year. Quite an eclectic mix of material. The dress rehearsal was eerily subdued tonight. Not sure why. I anticipate much more energy from everyone starting tomorrow, so we shall see.
My play had its share of glitches tonight. The actors said they rehearsed so much back stage that they didn’t have the proper energy on-stage. Not good. I’m sure that will be corrected tomorrow. But they did great, overall. I’m looking forward to see what a week’s worth of performances will do to the show. We also had some technical glitches of missed or wrong cues which detracted from my play as well. But that is the reason for dress rehearsal. Get all that stuff out of the way.
Opening night on Wednesday. Should be fun.
I’m have more from on-the scene all week long!
Next week kicks off the 4th annual Short & Sweet Theatre festival in Penang. I’ve enjoyed being involved in it since its inception back in 2012.
The Short & Sweet Theatre concept comes out of Sydney, Australia which has been holding this open, theatrical competition for many years. The concept has spread worldwide and can be found in diverse places such as Dubai and Kuala Lumpur. What makes Short & Sweet enticing is the format: 10 minute plays where professionals and amateurs can work collaborate, experiment, and have fun in a low-keyed setting. It also is a competition with a variety of awards given for best acting, best script, best overall production and so on.
This is the fourth year that one of my scripts has been included in the show. This year, I requested that I would like to direct my own piece for a change, and so I am. I’m directing a script called “Words to Say at the End of the World” – about a mother and daughter who have to figure out what’s really important once “someone drops a nuclear bomb in their backyard.” Yes, they have 10 minutes to react after the bomb explodes. It makes sense, don’t worry.
I really like this piece and I’m working with two very talented young actors who are just delightful to watch. We’ve been meeting daily to put it together, and we’ll spend a nice chunk of time this weekend perfecting it. Next Monday is the technical rehearsal where we’ll see my lighting scheme for the first time. (I hope it looks good. I doubt it. That’s not my forte.) And then dress rehearsal Tuesday night.
The show runs from Wed Aug 26 – Sat Aug 29 at the Penang Performing Arts Centre. It should be a lot of fun. If you’re in town. Put it on your calendar.
Short & Sweet Link
I can’t delay it anymore. I’ll be directing a short play in the Short & Sweet Theatre Festival in late August here in Penang. It’s actually a piece that I have written called, “Words to Say at the End of the World.” I’ve directed before for Short & Sweet, but I specifically asked to direct my own this year, so I could take the complete and utter blame if it’s bad. Typically, in Short & Sweet, a playwright’s play is directed by someone else, as one of the organizers says, “so you can have someone else mess up your play.”
Honestly, I’m always a little cautious to allow others to direct my plays. I guess it’s because I have gotten used to directing, also, and as I write I usually have a visual sense of what I’d like to see done to produce the play. I’m sure my vision for my play isn’t always the best, but at least it’s mine, and I will satisfied with it if I produce it.
So I’ll be meeting this afternoon with the technical team for Short & Sweet, talking through my lighting plan and other technical issues such as:
- special lighting needs
- sound effects
It’s a short play and a bare-bones set, but I’m excited because I love the script and I love the actors. The two actors are actually part of my drama group, The RLT Players. They are extremely talented and experienced. They performed this play before for a Forensics competition and brought home the top prize for their performances. Now I’m excited to give it a proper theatrical treatment as part of this festival.
The basic story is this: A mother is helping her daughter pack for college when a nuclear explosion goes off a short distance away. They re-live the memories of their lives in the fraction of a second after the explosion, finally coming to the realization of what words should be said at the end of the world. It’s funny. It’s believable. And it’s incredibly touching – if we do it right. Goal is simple: tears in audience.
I’ll have lots more coverage of the festival and my piece once it gets closer.
But now it’s time to get excited.
Here it is. You’ll see me on there twice. Once as director of “Noticed” and then as the writer of “‘No’ in Spite of Itself.” It’s going to be an exciting few days. If you are in Penang, please come on out! I need your support.