St. John’s Shorts’ third annual festival will showcase a line-up of 22 pieces of theatre under 30 minutes at The LSPU Hall this September.
Since launching in 2015, St. John’s Shorts has been steadily growing their audience and increasing the number of productions in each year’s festival. The 2018 program will feature more than double the number of plays performed in the festival’s inaugural year. This year’s line-up isn’t just more robust than previous years, it also features more new work by local playwrights.
“We have a lot of original pieces and people doing their own stuff … a lot people stepping into that realm and saying let’s make something, let’s start with an idea and build, which is really exciting,” said St. John’s Shorts Artistic Director, Natalia Hennelly.
Each festival event is $10.00 and includes three plays under thirty minutes. This structure gives audiences the opportunity to take in new work by artists they know and admire, alongside work by emerging talents they may not be familiar with yet.
This year’s line-up isn’t just more robust than previous years, it also features more new work by local playwrights.
People will have a chance to see work by lauded local playwrights like; Robert Chafe, Charlie Tomlinson, Wendi Smallwood, and Stacy Gardner (just to name a few). As well as productions by a whole new wave of playwrights, actors, and directors crashing into the local theatre scene.
Like, Elizabeth Hicks, who will be debuting her powerful, experimental piece Murmuration which explores themes of memory and letting go. And Joshua Goudie who will be performing his one man show Mansplaining, a satiric retelling of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata that pokes fun at insincere feminist allies in the post #metoo age.
For Hennelly, it’s important that the Festival be a space where people feel comfortable testing out new skills and material. St. John’s Shorts is a cooperative, each year the organization puts out a call for submissions inviting any interested theatre companies to chuck in a small registration fee and be part of the festival (regardless of their level of experience).
“[St. John’s Shorts] has grown to be something that provides a sustainable place for people who want to make theatre to do that. It’s low cost and low intensity … For me, the concept behind it is to make making theatre really easy, really accessible for anyone and everybody,” Hennelly explained.
The Festival also creates a welcoming atmosphere for audiences who might not have seen a lot of theatre. The comparatively cheap ticket prices and decision to give people a sampling of three short shows in an hour and a half is a great way to whet new audiences’ appetites for drama.
“My hope for this festival is that it’s just this quick, dirty, cheap, fun thing that happens in the city once a year and really entertains people,” Hennelly said.
St. John’s Shorts runs from September 6th to 16th at The LSPU Hall for more information about the festival and this year’s line-up visit www.shortplaystjohns.ca.