Not Shortland Street

Dubbed the world’s biggest little festival, Short+Sweet is a performing arts festival that celebrates the 10-minute performance format across theatre, dance, song and cabaret. Originating out of Sydney, Short+Sweet has grown all over the world, with Festivals in every major city in Australia, as well as Singapore, Malaysia, India, Philippines, UAE and USA.

Short+Sweet is all about providing a platform for actors, dancers, singers, writers, choreographers, musos and directors to collaborate, experiment and create high quality new work in a professional theatre environment reflecting each Festival city.

Introduced to New Zealand in 2009, Short+Sweet has run every year in Auckland since, and in 2015 launched in Wellington too. Every annual rendition of the Festival in New Zealand is a collaboration by over 400 performers and creatives, all volunteering their time, passion and creativity in the celebration of short format storytelling.

The Nitty-Gritty

The formula is simple. All Short+Sweet pieces are new, never before shown in Auckland and all under 10 minutes in length,

Short+Sweet Theatre starts with a call out for entries where we ask playwrights, independent theatre companies (ITCs), choreographers and independent dance companies (IDCs) to submit proposals and scripts. We also ask directors and actors to apply to be involved. All of this is done through a simple online, and once submissions close they are then processed by the international Short+Sweet Literature Team.

After submissions have been processed, Theatre directors are offered scripts to choose from, auditions are held, pieces cast and Short+Sweet’s Artistic Curators put together two line ups for Dance and Theatre known as the Top Bills. For Short+Sweet Theatre, there’s a special one-off Wildcard show that gets programmed too.


A night at Short+Sweet consists of up to 10 dynamic works in each season, presenting the audience with a feast of styles, stories and subjects.

At the end of each night, the audience is invited to vote for their favourite work. By the end of the week, the team tallies all of the votes and the top works as determined by the audiences and anonymous judges go through to the Gala Final on Sunday.

The best of the fest perform one last time at the Gala Final where our judges also watch, deliberate and decide which shows receive awards. There are a bunch of great awards up for grabs, including Best Performer, Best Devised Piece, Best Director, Best ITC/IDC and the coveted People’s Choice and Judges’ Choice which come with cash prizes!