Revamping theatre for the community

Application's for 1812 Community Theatre's 'Short Shorts' show are now open. Picture supplied by Danielle Payet

By Gabriella Vukman

In preparation for their July season, applications for the 1812 community theatre’s ‘Board Shorts’ segment are now open.

‘Board Shorts’, is a show consisting of a series of short works written by members of the local community.

These short works are selected from a range of applications and anyone is welcome to submit their work.

“Board Shorts is an opportunity for adult writers from the Ferntree Gully community to write their own short plays and then have them produced and see them on stage,” Head of Centre Stage Youth Theatre, Danielle said.

“Every year we put out a call for plays. They have to be about ten minutes long and can be about anything as long as they are family friendly and have appropriate language.

“We usually ask that they not have too complicated a set or tech or costuming requirements and the reason for that is that we get all the kids to organise that themselves so that they get some insight into how all of that runs.”

As part of a slightly newer establishment, a spin off show for youth playwrights titled ‘Short Shorts’ successfully took place last week.

“I run the youth theatre at 1812 and we love the idea of people being able to write their own plays,” Danielle said.

“We produce the ‘Short Shorts’ show every year for younger actors between 14 and 25.

Tickets for the Short Shorts show sold quickly, rendering it a success.

Danielle said on behalf of the youth team, “we’re so incredibly proud of the cast and crew for the show that they have created.”

“Whilst we feel like we are able to teach these youth a lot about acting from our main season, we like the idea of giving them the opportunity to write, direct and do the backstage, tech as well as the other things that come along with theatre.

“We want to broaden the offering we are bringing to the youth theatre community so we organised something really similar to board shorts which is short shorts,” Danielle said.

Applications for the Board Shorts segment close 19 April.

“We usually get a few submissions, we’ll read through them and we’ll select between six and eight plays and we offer the writers first choice of directing if they would like to.

“If writers don’t want to direct their own works, we then put out an expression of interest for directors and select a director based on who is interested,” Danielle said.

“We say to our writers that once they’ve handed over their play to a director, that is now the director’s creative vision.”

The 1812 Theatre is also happy to receive and read through drafts or unfinished works and provide feedback.

Damielle said, “a lot of our applicants have never written anything before.”

“People can write about anything that inspires them.”

Providing an opportunity for playwrights to submit their work generates different avenues for those who start with the community theatre company as actors.

“The Board Shorts and Short Shorts segments offer an opportunity to direct on the main stage later on,” Danielle said.

“The programs also foster a bit of cross communication between the youth theatre and older theatre.”

All are welcome to come and watch the shows and be involved.

“We would love to have more people writing for us and our submissions are open all year,” Danielle said.

“We have an email address where people can submit whenever they want to so if inspiration strikes randomly throughout the year it’s open and it would be great to see some new faces.”

To apply, visit the 1812 website at: