Armidale’s festival of short plays, “Favourite Shorts”, provides UNE Theatre Studies students and staff members with opportunities to develop their professional skills in acting, writing, directing and production.
It also provides opportunities for other members of the UNE community to contribute their theatrical skills to this popular Armidale event. In each week of the three-week festival there are four or five different original works.
In the second annual “Favourite Shorts” festival, which begins this evening, Bengi Smith, a second-year Theatre Studies student, has the lead role in Bubble, by Luke Brattoni. Bengi plays the part of a boy born with a rare immunodefiency disorder who has lived his life in a “bubble”, and the play explores how he deals with the effects of lonliness.
A third-year PhD student from the UNE’s School of Health, Margaret Anderson, directs this play. Margaret also co-directs â€“ with the young Aboriginal actor Adam Williams â€“ TJUM’S Story, written by the Aboriginal writer Jaluka Rose Quinlan. A controversial narration is provided by Steve Widders, a prominent member of the local Indigenous community, and one of Australia’s leading didgeridoo players, Steve Donovan, will provide a live performance.
Jenny Greaney, a UNE law lecturer, has teamed up with Barabra Albury, an Adjunct Senior Lecturer in Theatre Studies, to co-write and co-direct the comedy EXERTIA. Jenny is once again one of the three stand-up comedians to perform during the festival.
Peter O’Donohue, the UNE Theatres Studies technician, directs Theatre studies graduate Martin Mantle in Martin’s own play, Return to Sender.
Terry Cooke, UNE surveyor, has taken on the role of festival photographer for the second year.
“Favourite Shorts” runs for three weeks (May 8 to 24), on Thursdays Fridays and Saturdays at 7 pm, and on Saturdays at 2 pm, in the New England Hotel upstairs. Tickets ($10 each) are available at the door.
THE PHOTOGRAPH displayed here shows Terry Cooke with some favourite shorts. It expands to show him “hanging out” with the Artistic Director of the festival, Kate Coward.