Mansfield One Act Play Festival

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Entries are now closed for the inaugural Mansfield One Act Play Festival (OAPF) held across the weekend of 11-13 September 2015.

‘What’s a One Act Play?’, we hear you ask. Check our common questions list below for everything you every needed to know about One Act Plays and how to get involved.

Entries close on 21 August, and there are limited spots, so get your booking in now. View entry conditions and download an entry form on our One Act Play Festival page.

The Mansfield One Act Play Festival joins a circuit of similar festivals in Victoria. See a full list on the Victorian Drama League website www.theatrecraft.org.au

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!