Welcome to the official website of Crash Test Drama, Sydney.

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What is Crash Test Drama?

How it works?

The Rules

Why do we do it?

When and where is it?

Who runs Crash Test?

Getting involved



Further info

What is Crash Test Drama?

Crash Test Drama is all about creative development in the Sydney theatre industry. 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, and it's a wonderful networking opportunity.

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.

How does it work?

Each night of Crash Test Drama we select 6-10 10 minute plays to be performed as moved readings, which is where actors move around and might make use of simple props but carry their scripts in hand. Writers are given notice if their play gets selected. At 5:30pm on the day, writers and directors assemble at Darlo Drama. At 5:45pm, the directors cast their plays from the actors in attendance. All plays are rehearsed and performed as from 7:30pm that night.

Once all of the plays have been performed, the audience and judges vote for their favourite two plays. The votes are counted 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 Director, Best Actor (and Runner Up), Best Actress (and Runner Up), and the Playwright's Encouragement Award have been subtracted from the takings.

The Popular Vote Winner and the Judge’s Choice both go through to the Crash Test Drama Final. If these are the same, the Judge’s Runner Up goes through. The winning Popular Vote and Judge's Choice plays from the Finals will both automatically win a place in the Top 80 of Short+Sweet Sydney 2019!

The Rules

The price for entry is $15. $10 from every ticket goes towards prize money for the night, the rest pays for venue hire. Everyone pays for a ticket, including our writers, director and actors.

You can’t buy tickets beforehand. You can only buy them at the door on the night from 7pm to 7:30pm.

All plays must be 10 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!

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 and where is it?

Crash Test Drama Sydney 2020 is held at Darlo Drama HQ on Oxford Street, address: 16-18 Oxford Square, Darlinghurst.

2021 Season One

Round 1 - TBC! SHARP casting session (doors open at 5:20pm), 7:30pm show start

Round 2 - SHARP casting session (doors open at 5:20pm), 7:30pm show start

Round 3 - SHARP casting session (doors open at 5:20pm), 7:30pm show start

Round 4 - SHARP casting session (doors open at 5:20pm), 7:30pm show start

FINALS - : no auditions, 7:30pm show start

How do I get involved?


Actors must be at Darlo Drama on any of our performance dates for a 5:45pm SHARP casting session. Registration is not required. Note that Finals are pre-cast, so there are no auditions for this show.

Directors need to register their 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 per season – we want to give as many people as we can a chance

+ The play must not have been performed in Sydney before, including at other play reading events. 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 crashtestdrama@gmail.com

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 Drama on crashtestdrama@gmail.com with "Subscribe" in the subject line.

For more information on Short+Sweet go to: http://www.shortandsweet.org

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.

Who runs Crash Test?

Crash Test is currently produced by The Monologue Project

Crash Test is presented in association with Short+Sweet