Crestwood High teacher's play makes Short + Sweet cut

IF teaching doesn't work out for Stephanie Merriman, there's always the entertainment industry.

The Crestwood High School drama/English teacher directed the play And What a Damn Fine Morning It Is, which won its heat at Short + Sweet - a festival of more than 170 short plays, cabaret performances and dozens of dance routines.

The play follows the story of two competitive neighbours who try to outdo each other.

Ms Merriman said she was "thrilled" for her actors when they won their round.

"They both worked really hard and one of my actors it was his stage debut," she said.

"They both worked so hard and hammered away."

The comedy, by Trace Crawford, will now be performed at the Short + Sweet Gala 2014 at the Seymour Centre on March 21.

The gala includes the festival's top 12 short plays fighting it out for ultimate supremacy.

But it's not all about winning for the West Pennant Hills resident.

She uses her experience to teach her students.

"I think it's really important if you're working in the creative arts," she said.

"I like to do it as a hobby rather than a career choice.

"I think it helps me come from more of a practice rather than a theory.

"So when I'm instructing my students I find that it's a lot easier because I'm not talking from a text book but from actual experience."

Her passion for the entertainment industry as well as teaching was sparked at Crestwood High School.

She graduated from the school in 2007.

"Drama for me as a student was my safe space," she said.

"Every time I had a drama lesson I felt accepted and I felt free to be who I wanted.

"Not to restrict myself but at the same time challenge myself."

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