Mansfield One Act Play Festival 2015

oapf-imageA new event on the Mansfield Spring Arts calendar, in 2015, the One Act Play Festival offers the delights of the beautiful high country, a new performing arts centre, some great prizes to be won, and a warm welcome for the talent who will perform across a weekend full of high drama and laugh out loud comedy.

The festival features One Act Plays including a youth section. Monologues and play readings are also invited to enter the festival, running on the weekend of 12-13 September 2015.

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Common questions about One Act Plays

What is a One Act Play?

A one act play like a short story in play form, or like a short film on stage. It captures a moment in time and tells the story in 10 – 40 minutes in one act – i.e. with no set changes.

What are they usually about?

 They are as diverse as you can imagine – tragedies, comedies, musicals, weird ideas, traditional ideas, arty-farty, or classical. So having a whole heap of short ones to watch is quite a smorgasbord of unpredictable delights for the viewer.

Is it hard to do one?

 It suits most people as you don’t need too much time to prepare it, nor too many people in the cast. You can only have a very simple stage setting, with a black background. You still have to have a director and a producer or “stage manager” (unless director can do both), so it gives people an opportunity to develop their skills in any chosen area of theatre. The plays are designed to occur in one place, so they are usually quite simple in structure (but effective!)

And you probably don’t even have to audition for a part! A bunch of friends can get together and decide to do one, and if there are a whole lot of them happening at once, that means heaps of people are getting their turn on stage instead of a chosen few.

What's the point, all that work for a one-off performance?

Well, actually, there are about nine One Act Play Festivals around Victoria over winter, and you can go to as many of them as you like, entering as a contestant. And what with $1 – 3,000 prize money at each Festival, covering up to 20 categories of awards, your chance of winning some cash is quite good. Some Acts chase the main prize – Best Production – at a number of them; and with this award being around $1000 a throw, your one act play could potentially become quite lucrative!

Where do you find a One Act Play to produce?

The Victorian Drama League has a library you can access via their website. We have some available for the public to borrow, currently housed at Orange Safari. You can adapt a short story you like and turn it into a play, or even take a section out of a larger play and do that – for example a memorable scene from a famous play (or film) that you think can “stand alone” as a complete story with beginning, middle and end.

Or, better still, you can write your own! Whatever it is you do, there are endless opportunities for making it your own creation and expression.

What if I don't know how to write a play?

We thought of that! There is even a One Act Play writing workshop to be held at MACE (in Mansfield) over the last weekend of May – specifically to help local would-be playwrights get their ideas down as a producible play. Not only do you have the thrill of putting/seeing your own work on stage, but you don’t have to worry about copyright, either!