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Welcome to the official website of Crash Test Drama, Sydney.
This site shows you our upcoming events, details of past performances, and all the information you could possibly want relating to Crash Test. Scroll down or select an item from the menu below:
Crash Test Drama actress
Jennifer Van Heeckeren in costume for "OHS&M"

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What is Crash Test Drama?
How it works?
The Rules
Why do we do it?
When is it?

Getting involved

Further info
What is Crash Test Drama?
Pioneered by Harry Paternoster and Bearing Your Arts in Melbourne, Crash Test Drama is a great way of trying out and developing ten minute plays!

It’s also a great way for actors and directors to practise their craft, writers to learn more about the art of writing for the stage, plus a wonderful networking opportunity.

Crash Test is entering its sixth year in Sydney. In that time it has developed plays by writers such as Cerise de Gelder, Kate Toon, Dave Bulmer, Alex Broun, Craig Delahoy, Ruth Fingret, Pete Malicki and Vee Malnar – that have gone on to be performed around the world!

It was brought to Sydney in 2008 by Master of the 10 minute form, Alex Broun, and is currently run by one of Sydney's most active producers and writers, Pete Malicki.

Crash Test is also a 'feeder competition' to Short+Sweet Theatre Sydney, developing scripts for inclusion in the world's largest festival of 10 min play. As an example of how this has worked, in 2011, Crash Test staged 65 plays, 26 of which were produced at Short+Sweet Sydney. Two thirds of the writers involved in our show went on to have work produced in the festival!

How does it work?

Each night of Crash Test Drama we select 8-10 ten-minute plays to be read. Writers are then notified of when their play will be performed. At 5:30pm on the day, writers, actors and directors assemble at New Theatre. The directors cast their plays from the actors in attendance.

All plays are rehearsed for the next 90 minutes and performed as MOVED READINGS from 7:30pm. A moved reading is where actors move around and might make use of simple props, but they carry their scripts in hand.

Once all of the plays have been performed, the audience and judges vote for their favourite two plays. The votes are counted up and the Popular Vote winner, as voted by the audience, wins 66% of the Door Takings, and the Popular Vote Runner Up wins 33% of the Door Takings (the prize money is split evenly between the actors, director and writer). This is after cash prizes for Best Actor, Actress, Director and a few others have been subtracted from the takings.

The People's Choice and the Judge’s Choice both go through to the Crash Test Drama Final. (If these are the same, the Judge’s Second Choice goes through to the Final.)

The Judges also allocate prizes for Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress (and Runner Ups), and the Coordinator gives the Playwright's Encouragement Award.

As an added bonus, the winning People’s Choice and Judge's Choice plays from the Finals will both automatically win a place in the Top 80 of Short+Sweet Sydney 2015!

The Rules
The price for entry is $15. $10 from every ticket will still go to make up the prize money for the night, the rest pays for venue hire. Everyone pays for a ticket, including our writers, director and actors.

All plays must be TEN MINUTES or under. Votes are deducted if the play is over ten minutes: 11 minutes (-5 votes), 12 minutes (-10 votes, ineligible for Judge's Choice award), 13 minutes (-15 votes, might as well not even bother!).

Check our AIMS and RULES page for more details on the rules.

Why do we do it?
Crash Test helps to promote script development for new and established writers.

It is important that playwrights can hear their works read by good actors so that the works can be improved. To encourage talented local actors to come along (so that writers get the benefit of hearing quality reads of their scripts), we offer the prize money. Yes, real cold hard cash!

We are also looking to find great writers, actors and directors to perform in Short+Sweet Sydney 2015 and beyond!

And for those just interested in great theatre for a mere $15 you can come along and enjoy the fun. Comedy, tragedy, romance, intrigue… you never know what you will see.

When is it?
Crash Test Drama Sydney 2014 will be held at New Theatre, 542 King Street, Newtown.

Season One
ROUND ONE: Mon 7 Apr 2014 - 5:30pm SHARP casting session (doors open at 5:00pm), 7:30pm show start
ROUND TWO: Mon 5 May 2014 - 5:30pm SHARP casting session (doors open at 5:00pm), 7:30pm show start
ROUND THREE: Mon 19 May 2014 - 5:30pm SHARP casting session (doors open at 5:00pm), 7:30pm show start
ROUND FOUR: Mon 16 June 2014 - 5:30pm SHARP casting session (doors open at 5:00pm), 7:30pm show start
SEASON ONE FINALS: Mon 14 July 2014 - 7:30pm show start

Season Two

How do I get involved?
Actors, just send an email to Pete Malicki, Crash Test Drama's Coordinator, and let him know you will be attending, just so we can get an idea of numbers. You can’t buy tickets beforehand. You can only buy them at the door on the night from 7pm to 7:30pm.

You can also just turn up on the night.

Directors, you need to register your interest in advance. If selected, a play will be allocated to you prior to the night. To get involved, send an email to the Coordinator.

+ To have your play read you must submit it beforehand. Don’t just turn up on the night expecting your play to be read
+ You must be based in Sydney or be in Sydney when your play is going to be read. The whole point of Crash Test Drama is that the writer is there to see it
+ All plays entered must be 10 minutes or less (1800 – 2100 words max). We will not even read plays that are clearly over ten minutes
+ Only one entry per writer – we want to give as many people as we can a chance
+ The play must not have been performed in Sydney before. Reading is okay. The whole idea of Crash Test is to test out new plays
+ It’s no problem if you have already entered your play to Short+Sweet – or are going to – you can still submit it to be Crash Tested!
+ If your script is eligible to be performed, submit it to Crash Test Coordinator Pete Malicki on

We look forward to seeing you at Crash Test Drama.

The (Mostly) Sleeping Princess, by Geraldine Aegerter
This play was voted "runner up" by the audience in September 09's Crash Test Drama.

Further info
To stay updated, join the mailing list by emailing Crash Test Coordinator Pete Malicki on with "Subscribe" in the subject line.
For more information on Short+Sweet go to:
For some examples of Ten Minute Plays, including suggested layout, have a look at the plays on Alex Broun and Pete Malicki's websites. The Monologue Project also hosts a stack of 10 min monologues.