Sweet success for Dubbo playwright

Jodi Cramond is one of four western NSW playwrights to have a production selected for Short+Sweet's run at the Sydney Festival. 								         Photo: AMY MCINTYRE
Jodi Cramond is one of four western NSW playwrights to have a production selected for Short+Sweet's run at the Sydney Festival. Photo: AMY MCINTYRE

FOUR plays performed at Dubbo's inaugural Short+Sweet Festival have been selected for a Sydney season as part of the 2013 Sydney Festival.

Another play from a Broken Hill author will join them in a tour de force from the western region, to accompany 75 other short plays.

Two of Dubbo's plays are from St John's College drama teacher and playwright Jodi Cramond.

She has presented her plays at festivals in Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Sydney before but was still happy that new audiences would see her material.

"It's really scary actually too, to give complete control to someone else, but I've never been disappointed," she said.

"To watch what they're doing and how they might change the play."

Miss Cramond said she had also just been shortlisted for the Dubai leg of Short+Sweet's international festivals.

In Sydney, her plays 2 Count and Disposable will be joined by Mudgee journalist Sam Paine's Extra Special, Emergency Exit Aisle from Will North and Clean Sweep from Broken Hill's Deb Hunt.

The selection of plays from the west spoke loud to Miss Cramond, who believed Dubbo's Short+Sweet event would only grow.

"It's given performers and writers a chance to shine on a local stage, which is a lot less frightening than a capital city straight up," she said.

"Some of my students can't wait to audition, the word of its success has spread."

The four Dubbo plays were recipients of major awards when first performed.

2 Count, a play about a man with the obsessive compulsion to count, received best script, best actor and best director awards.

"It shows the empathy with people who are different, and looking at people in a new way," Miss Cramond said.

Emergency Exit Aisle won the best overall production and best actress awards, and Extra Special the people's choice award.

Clean Sweep received best play and best production awards at Broken Hill.

The 10-minute plays cover a mix of slapstick and realism among a range of topics.

They tell of holidays from hell (Emergency Exit Aisle); a classic date-gone-wrong set-up (Extra Special); the revenge of a wily janitor (Clean Sweep); a Beckett-esque play set in Central Station (Disposable); and a young man's confessions (2 Count).

Regional NSW Short+Sweet Manager Michelle Hall said she was happy to see the five plays appear alongside their coastal counterparts.

"We are very excited to spotlight these fantastic four playwrights in the Sydney Short+Sweet season," she said.

"Their works really shone in the regional festivals and I'm sure that Sydney audiences will fall in love with the unique and very special flavour of their writing and the stand-out performances of their casts."

Short+Sweet is the biggest festival of ten-minute theatre in the world, and sees more than 2000 submissions received annually.

The dates for regional NSW plays at Short+Sweet at King Street Theatre Newtown are as follows: January 9 to 13: Emergency Exit Aisle by Will North (Dubbo).

o January 12-14: Clean Sweep by Deb Hunt (Broken Hill).

o January 16-20: 2 Count & Disposable by Jodi Cramond (Dubbo).

o January 19-21: Extra Special by Sam Paine (Mudgee).


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