August 2011 - Special Edition

The Crash Test Special Edition was held this Monday. As a thank-you to himself for voluntarily running the show for the past 18 months, Pete put on a night of mostly his own new plays. He also did a bit of fundraising for his team in the Oxfam Trailwalker, a charity event he's doing this month. Thanks to the generosity of the audience, he raised around $240 for Oxfam!

There were nine plays on the program but unfortunately two had to be cancelled due to a low number of male actors auditioning. Several roles in the remaining plays had to have their genders switched. It wasn't ideal for the plays, but these are the challenges we have to face at Crash Test and the directors handled the changes beautifully.

First up was a play written collaboratively by Pete's latest Creative Writing class, called Pet Hate. Kingsley directed and most of the writers - Joyce Sanders, Maria Adm, Angela Morgan, Craig Pendleton, Emma Wilson and Jenny Castle - were in attendance. Though we had to change the gender of the lecherous landlord, the play still worked well. Gael Ballantyne and Georgie Edwards were the two students concealing a pet snake from Kate Buchanan, the landlord.

Second was Hayley Gets Married, directed by Craig Delahoy and written by Pete Malicki. Bill Jordan and Michele Antonia played Ross and Jono, best friends who happen to be cheating on their girlfriends with each other's girlfriends. Holly Butler and Megan Evans played Hayley and Jess. A strong cast for this play.

Third and last for the first half (short first half!) was Alex Broun's Diary of a Break Up/Break Down, which Alex wrote and directed. Libby Munro was fabulous as the heartbroken woman trying to deal with her ex-boyfriend moving on without her. The play came in second in the Popular Vote and would be a wonderful addition to the Finals had it not been the Special Ed. What is most remarkable about this script, for those writers out there, is that it is written entirely in the second person, which is one of the rarest forms of voice/perspective in any form of writing and incredibly difficult to pull off. It's another credit to one of the world's best writers of short plays!

After the interval came another four plays. A Psychopath was first in the second half, a monologue about a man with a lack of empathy, guilt and remorse and his journey from upstanding citizen to killer. David O'Donnell won Best Actor Runner-Up for his portrayal of Theo, the psycho, and Jacque Vickers was awarded Best Director for showing a strong understanding of the text and the playwright's vision. A very strong performance of this piece.

Next was Breast Pun Ever, a rude and irreverent take on the anthropormorphic genre of theatre. Sharlene Zeederberg was the bold director who took this one on, with Garreth Cruikshank as Con the Condom, Sandra Cambpell as Tammy the Tampon (and winner of BOTH the raffle prizes!) and Murray Robertson as - yes, you heard it right - the Cockgina. It suffered from a lack of costumes and went way over the time limit but the playwright has a good idea on what to do with this one in the future.

Haunted was next, directed by the unblemishable Con Nats. A young couple, played by the handsome Nir Shelter and the beautiful Eliza St John, are plunged into an argument over a sexy text message that Damien has received. Unbeknownst to them, a pair of ghosts (Sheila Fielding and Stephanie Williams) are hanging around their apartment, enjoying the spectacle. Nir was awarded Best Actor for his moving performance and deserves special mention for his flexibility in giving up the play he was meant to direct and stepping in as an actor. Thanks mate!

Finally, the winner of the inaugaral Crash Test Cronulla, V.D., was up. Lisa Eismen did a superb job of directing this and Kym Parrish won Best Actress Runner-Up for her wonderful performance as Sophie, the neurotic, semi-alcoholic single girl who goes on a blind date on Valentine's Day. This play won the Popular Vote by a decent margin and is - in his opinion - one of the best short plays Pete has concocted to date. This may well be the script Pete offers up to Short+Sweet Sydney 2012, should he be selected.

A huge thank-you to all of those who performed, supported and attended the show! While some of the scripts were fairly 'out there,' it was a great experience for Pete as a writer and he sincerely appreciates the hard work of everyone who helped him see his work come to life.

Next Crash Test: Season Two Round One on August 29th. Hope to see you there!


Results
Pete judged for the night, as he felt he was in a good position to say how well the actors/directors interpreted the writer's work. He decided that judging is hard work and too much pressure!

Popular Vote First Place: V.D.
Written by Pete Malicki
Directed by Lisa Eismen

Popular Vote Runner Up: Diary of a Break Up/Break Down
Written and Directed by Alex Broun
  
Best Actor: Nir Shelter (from Haunted)


Best Actor Runner-Up: David O'Donnell (from A Psychopath)
Best Actress: Libby Munro (from Diary of a Break Up/Break Down)
Best Actress Runner-Up: Kym Parrish (from V.D.)
Best Director: Jacque Vickers (from A Psychopath)
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