The Break Up

The Break Up

Short+Sweet New Zealand brings you festivals of ten minute theatre, dance and song. The Auckland festival will present up to 40 plays, 40 dance pieces and 10 short musicals over 5 weeks. That takes 50 directors, 40 playwrights, 40 choreographers, 10 composers and close to 300 performers.

A night at Short+Sweet consists of the audience seeing ten pieces, each of which is no longer than ten minutes. It is a night in the theatre where you never quite know what is coming next. You are presented with a feast of styles and subjects, and the next piece is only ever ten minutes away. At the end the audience are asked to vote for their favourite prompting the show to conclude with a foyer filled with discussion and debate.

What is it?

Ten minute Theatre and Dance are specific, unique and legitimate forms unto themselves. They stand alone with their own strengths, abilities and value. While there are opportunities for development of audiences and practitioners Short+Sweet is a presenter of Ten Minute Performance, not just an organisation which promotes development..

There are many forms of arts and performance.  In the same way that audiences are used to the idea of ‘short films’ as a completely different form to that of the feature films, Short+Sweet offers a vehicle for the presentation of ten minute theatre and dance that works alongside the more traditional formats. They have different challenges, require different skills and offer a different experience!  First and foremost Short+Sweet New Zealand is dedicated to ten minute theatre and dance as a unique form in itself. While

Who are we?

Short+Sweet is open access and culturally inclusive, and with its ten minute format in all genres, seeks to return ownership of that vital story telling ability to the community.

As such, it is a highly democratic approach to the making and presenting of art.  It does not distinguish between the amateur and the professional, welcoming both to its ranks and using the skills and experience of one to inform the enthusiasm of the other, while harnessing the passion of both.

The formula is simple. The 10 minute format is constant. Public solicitation of work ensures a huge response and broad representation, in whatever genre, in whatever society. The selection process is devolved to regional and local decision-making. Within global artistic guidelines local forms and local sensibilities can flourish. However, the international network allows a broader vision and practice   The self-produced shows are always the building blocks.  No aesthetic is imposed other than simplicity and the logistics of the physical situation.  Telling the story, in whatever art form, is the paramount consideration.


This simple format, started in Sydney in 2002 and Melbourne at the Arts Centre in 2006 (after a Shorter+Sweeter season in 2005) with text-based theatre seasons, has spread throughout Australia and now has migrated to New Zealand and South East Asia. It has also been successfully adapted to other performing arts in festival formats which are similarly being replicated in other countries.

The first Short+Sweet Theatre festival in New Zealand was presented in January of 2010 and has become an annual fixture in Auckland’s performing arts calender. In 2012 the first Short+Sweet Dance Festival was presented in January and it returns in 2013.


A more creative world, 10 minutes at a time.


EXCELLENCE: To create excellent ten minute performance

SHOWCASE: To showcase the skills of creators, performers and directors so they go on to professional employment opportunities in the industry

DEVELOP: To develop the skills of acting, directing and writing for performance through the creation of ten-minute theatrical works