Hissyfest celebrates 5 years supporting Newcastle Playwrights

Hissyfest is back in 2017 platforming the work of 33 local playwrights, actors and directors from Newcastle. The festival is an important part of Tantrum Youth Arts annual program. It promotes new writing from the region, creating a platform for audiences to experience new productions. This exciting festival will take place between 10 – 11 November. OH! There will be cake on opening night to celebrate the festival’s fifth birthday and you’re invited!

Hissyfest’s content is developed through instructive and collaborative workshops in acting, writing and directing. This year emerging writers were offered the opportunity to work on their scripts with award-winning playwright Vanessa Bates prior to submission.

“Working with Vanessa has been invaluable in developing my writing,” says local playwright Emma Graham.

“I was surprised how emotional I felt watching my play performed. The actors and director have perfectly captured not only the characters but the message of the play. Hissyfest has provided me with a platform to further pursue both my acting and writing in a supportive environment. As a working mother, I am incredibly grateful that local opportunities are available.”

Hissyfest 2017 in Newcastle

Emma Graham, playwright of ‘Cold Streak’ and star of ‘Juice For A Pirate’, in rehearsal for ‘Hissyfest 2017: Hot + Cold’.
Photos: Eryn Leggatt / Tantrum Youth Arts

Emma Graham’s new short play, Cold Streak, directed by Stephanie Priest and starring Jan Hunt and Patrick Campbell is one of ten 10-minute plays exploring themes of nostalgia, loss, connection and autonomy for an entertaining night of drama, comedy and the absurd.

“It’s been great offering new opportunities for development of new writing here in Newcastle,” says James Chapman, Associate Director of Tantrum Youth Arts and Hissyfest festival director.

“The caliber of work that Newcastle playwrights are capable of is outstanding, and having Vanessa involved this year has been a great professional development experience for participants.”

Hissyfest is a not-to-be-missed event in Newcastle’s theatre calendar. Bringing together young, emerging, independent and community artists to showcase the range and depth of new work created locally, the festival features some of Newcastle’s most established creatives alongside exciting up and coming talent.

Tickets on sale October 26th from Ticketek. Recommended for mature audiences. Strong themes and language.

#FunFact about Hissyfest

We asked ‘where did the name come from?’

Creative producer, Lucy explained that ‘Hissyfest got it’s name from the young people who were involved in the initial festival, Hissyfit Festival. A hissyfit is a small tantrum and Tantrum Youth Arts is all about getting creative energy out and getting young people heard. So it worked.’ In subsequent years, the name was shortened to Hissyfest. We love it!


When: November 10 – 11

Venue: Civic Theatre Playhouse, 375 Hunter St, Newcastle NSW 2300

Tickets: $20.40 Concession / Under 30 / Student, $35.70 General Admission

Bookings: www.tantrum.org.au or Ticketek