Looking Ahead: Short & Sweet Theatre Penang Next Week

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

“A Tad of Trouble” – Less than two months away!

Below is the first flyer for our new production of our old musical play, “A Tad  of Trouble.” This one keeps the original artwork done by Sophie Shin back in 2009. The picture is of the mute boy, Tad, being symbolically muted by the crooked traveling salesman, Obediah. It’s a really fun story with some great original songs. It’s been greatly expanded since it’s first run in 2009. It’s now a full-fledged musical with a cast of 29 including singers and dancers. It’s going to be a ton of fun, but it’s also going to be a lot of work.  But you know what they say, when you love it, it’s not really work.

The countdown is on. Less than two months.

a tad of trouble flyer 1

Opening night – Short & Sweet Theatre Penang – A Synopsis of Two Plays

Wednesday, September 3 opens the third annual Short & Sweet Theatre Festival at the Penang Performing Arts Centre. This is the third year that I have been involved in this festival, and I’ve had a lot of fun along the way. This year, like last, I’m directing one piece and another one that I have written is being directed by someone else.

How does it work? Playwrights send in their best short plays of 10 minutes or less. About 10 plays are shortlisted to be produced. Directors are assigned and actors recruited who will then compete in a bunch of categories such as Best Script, Best Director, Best Actor, etc …

This year I’m directing a piece called “The Surgeon’s Creed” written by Eoin Carney. It’s a fun little piece about a cocky surgeon who meets another “surgeon” at a party, though he’s about to get a big surprise when he finds out that they aren’t exactly the same kind of surgeons. As director, I put another spin on the script by casting the other “surgeon” as a female and the cocky surgeon is trying to pick her up. It creates a lot fun tension on stage. I cast my daughter alongside one of my fine young actors from school. It’s going to be funny.

The play I wrote is called “A Pinch of Fate, A Shot of Destiny” in which the Grim Reaper (or whomever you want to call him) comes to pick up his next victim, Rebecca, who is scheduled to be flattened by a bus on that particular morning. However, Mitch misses his own bus and ends up at the wrong corner on the wrong day which enables him to miraculously save Rebecca’s life. This angers GR so much that he plots to get back at both of them. This piece is being directed by Matthew Koh and starring Sudhan Nair who both recently directed a revival of the Malaysian theatre piece “In a Nutty Shell” here in Penang. Mitch and Rebecca are being played by two of my young talented actors from my school. I haven’t seen too much of what they have done with the script, but I can’t wait to see it. I’m sure it’s going to be really fun.

Short & Sweet Penang runs from Sept 3-6 with 10 plays being performed each night. The awards ceremony will be held after the show on the 6th.

Come on out if you are in town!

Short & Sweet Penang