The Arts Center the fourth edition of Short+Sweet Festival

A series of ten-minute plays created by UAE-based talent set to compete in the annual competition

Press Release

The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi is delighted to welcome back the internationally renowned Short+Sweet Festival, featuring 12 ten-minute plays in The Black Box, for the fourth year on January 25-26 at 7:30pm.

Short+Sweet is a collection of plays highlighting a variety of genres featuring locally based actors, writers, and directors including the festival’s first all-Emirati production.

The Short + Sweet Festival aims to develop the art of performance, present a platform for artists and storytellers, as well as entertain audiences.

Short+Sweet provides a wonderful opportunity for people to give writing, directing or acting a go... whether you're an experienced theatre practitioner or new to the world of theatre. I'm really excited about the festival this year - there's a great mix of locally written plays and plays from around the world,” continued Cvitanovich. “There'll be some familiar faces on stage but also plenty of new talent appearing in their first Short+Sweet.

Abu Dhabi Festival Director of the 2019 Abu Dhabi edition Zakaia Cvitanovich

The competition is separated into two parts: Judge’s Choice and People’s Choice. Judge’s Choice is split into the following categories: Best Male and Female Actors, Runner-up Best Actor and Female Actor, Best New Talent, Best Script, Best Director, Best Independent Theater Company, and Best Overall Production.  For the People’s Choice, the audience receive a voting slip when they enter The Black Box and are asked to vote for their favorite play, with a winner and runner-up being announced.

Confirmed judges include actor, director and Academy Award nominated producer Leo Wong; founder of Blue Fever and Voices of Harmony Laura Roberts;  Writer and Filmmaker Faisal Al-Jadir; and Executive Artistic Director at The Arts Center Bill Bragin.

Part of The Arts Center’s mission is to nurture homegrown talent, and  our collaboration with the Short+Sweet Theater Festival is an important way that we meet this mission, and build on our work with the spoken word community through Rooftop Rhythms and Hekayah. Through Short+Sweet, we shine the light on the diverse writers, directors and actors who are our friends and neighbors, and present them in the best venue with finest technical support in the UAE, while gaining unique insights in to what is on the collective artistic mind of the country. Theater is an important way to build community, and Short+Sweet is a particularly wonderful community builder.


Executive Artistic Director at The Arts Center Bill Bragin

The first UAE Short+Sweet took place in 2013 and has expanded ever since. The international festival started 15 years ago in Sydney, Australia, and has since spread across the globe. It is now set in in over 28 cities, across nine countries. Worldwide, Short+Sweet presents around 500 ten-minute plays every year.

Access to tickets and the Half Season Membership are available here.

About NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and research campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly selective undergraduate curriculum across the disciplines with a world center for advanced research and scholarship. The university enables its students in the sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities, and arts to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from over 115 countries and speak over 115 languages. Together, NYU's campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.