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From Director-In-Training to Anywhere Festival Producer in one year

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Ruby Donohoe from the 2014 Anywhere Festival Director-In-Training scheme is taking over the reins of the internationally acclaimed Anywhere Festival in Brisbane.
She is the first person to join the core Anywhere Festival team since co-founders Alex McTavish and Paul Osuch created the festival in 2011.

“Producing Anywhere Festival in Brisbane is going to be a big challenge,” said Ruby. ”The festival will be running from 7-24 May 2015 so we’ve still got a bit of time to get organised but I know how quickly the months will fly by!”

Ruby’s appointment coincides with the call out to Brisbane based producers and performers of all types to express interest by the 4th of December, just under two months away.

“Performer, producers and anyone with an interesting event can head to the Anywhere Festival website and express interest in the 2015 Anywhere Festival Brisbane,” said Ruby

Anywhere Festival has developed a reputation for breaking the mould with new and innovative approaches to performances and business, from the original concept of theatre without theatres through to allowing businesses to host performances and now with the Director-In-Training scheme.

“We didn’t want to fall into the trap of organisations that use unpaid interns every year in lieu of respecting and paying for skills. It felt dishonest to skill people in an area with no opportunity within the organisation to be paid. That’s why we came up with the Director-In-Training Scheme for the festival earlier this year,” said Paul.

Last year the Director-In-Training Scheme skilled up six young producers with the intention that the next year would be a paid role.

“Ruby Donohoe was one of the Directors In Training last year and we’re really excited to announce she is starting with Anywhere Festival this year as the Brisbane Producer,” said Paul

Ruby is a site-specific producer and performance maker who studied a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama, minoring in Scenography at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and lives in Kangaroo Point. Ruby will take over primary responsibility for Anywhere Festival in Brisbane, working with co-founders Alex McTavish and Paul Osuch to deliver the best festival experience for performers, audiences and local businesses.

“Anywhere is an inspiring festival to be a part of and the In-Training role was a great opportunity to work with the many exciting non-traditional arts spaces and independent artists who call Brisbane home,” said Ruby.

“Learning to produce with this festival in a way that connects artists with places and businesses in our community was such a fabulous affirmation that I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of Anywhere as the Brisbane Producer.”

Anywhere Festival Brisbane is a festival of performance anywhere but a theatre running 7-24 May 2015. Expressions of interest for performers are now open and close on 4 December 2014 at www.anywherefest.com/eoi

Anywhere Festival call out for Mackay performers

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Anywhere Festival are accepting Expressions of Interest for performances and events anywhere in Mackay and Isaac Regional Councils for the very first Anywhere Festival in the region, running from 13 – 22 March 2015.

Proudly hosted by Mackay Regional Council and Isaac Regional Council, Anywhere Festival is ten days of performances and events anywhere within the Mackay and Isaac Regions- comedy in cafes, opera in libraries, new plays in car parks, poetry in record stores, storytelling in parks, music in an alley, flamenco in a car park.

If there’s a name for it and it involves performance anywhere but a theatre, it can be part of 2015 Anywhere Festival.

Performers and producers can express interest through a free and quick online form at www.anywherefest.com by 4 December 2014.

The festival has been running for four years in Brisbane and in 2012 was listed by QANTAS Travel Insider as one of the “Top Nine International Festivals You Must See!”

“We believe there is a better way for performers and producers than waiting for rare slots in theatres and losing life savings producing in overwhelming fringe festivals where there are more performances than audiences members and the entire budget goes on venue hire and paying for everything but the creation of the work,” said Paul Osuch, founder of Anywhere Festival.

Anywhere Festival will be a fully curated fringe festival featuring a mix of local and visiting shows and events in places you wouldn’t expect.

We are looking for productions that “bring joy to the nooks and crannies of Mackay and Isaac Regional Councils” by thinking outside the box.

“It’s about using existing spaces and focusing on the creation of performance instead all the superfluous and costly extras required by traditional theatres,’ said Paul.

“We want creatives to be at the top of the financial chain where they belong instead of having to accept the crumbs after everything and everyone else has been paid for.”

The freedom it provides performers is immense. Anywhere Festival performer Scott Wings received five star reviews and sell out audiences with his 2014 Edinburgh Fringe show Icarus Falling. “Anywhere Theatre Festival gives me the opportunity to explore my work in a high quality, supportive and extremely creative environment that is unique to performance art in Australia,” said Scott.

“You can perform on the river. Or a mountain. In a shed. A car park. Do you realise how great it is to remove those comfort zones of stage and lighting? The traditional audience/entertainer relationships? It hones your work. Once you’ve performed on a riverbank in the dark, man, a theatre space seems easy…”

Performers can sign up to find out more at www.anywherefest.com and express interest in being part of the festival directly at www.anywherefest.com/eoi. For further details, contact us

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Got an idea for Anywhere Festival Mackay?

Expressions of interest are now open for the 2015 Anywhere Festival. Local performers and groups are invited to be part of the very first Anywhere Festival in Mackay and Isaac Regional Councils. Mackay Regional Council are the host partner and you can read more about it all here.

Winners of the Anywhere Frankston audience survey

Thank you very much for everyone who filled out our audience surveys. We had a fantastic response with 92% rating their festival experience as Above Average or Excellent!

There were also some great comments (positive and constructive), so without further ado, we’d like to announce the three winners of the Anywhere t-shirts are the following people who have all been emailed. For the sake of privacy, only their first names are used below with their comments:

“I experienced cancellation of a dinner/show event at Sofia’s but communication was good and my credit card payment was promptly refunded.  I subsequently attended an open-air session of the show which we thoroughly enjoyed.” Brendan A.

“I was very impressed at the concept of The Anywhere Festival. I saw a circus show, that was held in a rock climbing gym. When I first saw this I thought it must have been a mistake, but it really was set up amongst the rock climbing walls, with bean bags for the audience to sit in, and a really good atmosphere!” Beck L.

“I absolutely loved it.  I love pieces of theatre in unconventional and unexpected places.  However I could easily have missed it as I didn’t see a lot of publicity, so I only managed to get to the one in the skate park (which was fantastic).  Next year I will spread the word far and wide.” Millicent B.

Once again, thank you for all your feedback and comments which will go into planning.

We look forward to announcing the return of Anywhere Frankston and will let you know as soon as the plans for a 2015 festival have been confirmed.

 

 

 

 

It’s a wrap! 2014 Anywhere Theatre Festival Frankston has finished…

Anywhere Frankston McClelland Orbit Sunset

As the sun sets on the final weekend of the inaugural Anywhere Theatre Festival Frankston we’d like to thank everyone who has made the event such a success. Thank you!

Sold out and packed performances of I Knew These People, To Be Determined, Impromptu Impro, Suburbia, Don’t Be A Diva, Orbit, It Sounds Silly, Girls Just Want To Have Fun, fantastic reviews and audience feedback for those shows plus many others including Cirque du Bloke, Don’t Look Up,  A Mad Tea Party, Peninsula Ferry Tails, Open For Inspection, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Periphery, Soapbox Poetry and The Gift.

Thank you to all the performers and producers for taking a risk on an inaugural festival based anywhere but a theatre. For those interested in getting involved in the future, head here.
Thank you to Frankston City Council, without whom, the festival would not have happened. Everyone at FCC has been incredibly supportive as well as making sure the festival was marketed through banners on Davey Street, advertising on trains and much more.
To our other major partners EastLink and the banners and bilboards up and down the motorway to Frankston, Frankston Arts Centre & The Edge for all their support including co presenting It Sounds Silly with Chunky Move, and ensuring Cube 37 and the Mechanics Institute were available as rent free spaces for performers as well as Mornington Peninsula Tourism.
To all the organisations who offered their space to performers rent free – Bayside Rock, Mulberry Hill (National Trust), Ballam Park, Mechanics Institute, Frankston Library and Wells Street Mall (Frankston City Council), Rocotillos, The Grand Hotel, Sofia’s, McClelland Sculpture Park + Gallery, Chisholm Institute, Just Ride It Frankston (now renamed Red Riding Hood Bikes), Cube 37 (Frankston Arts Centre), Gateway Worship and Performing Arts Centre, Eeny Meeny Cafe.
To all the reviewers who did an amazing job getting to almost everything in the festival – Erica Louise, Sarah Bollenberg, Melissa Learmonth and Andrea Louise Thomas. You can find all their reviews here.
Thank you to all the media who got behind the event and gave the performers well deserved coverage,  in particular to Frankston Times, Frankston LeaderConcrete Playground, Weekend Notes, 3RRR, Pearl Magazine, Mornington Peninsula Leader, Whitehorse Radio, Daily Review, The Age,  Moorabbin Leader, Herald Sun, SBS Radio, On The List, Chelsea Mordialloc Leader, Frankston Weekly and 3RPP. You can find a lot of the press in one place right here.
Thanks you to everyone who helped to share Anywhere news on social media with over 70,000 people watching videos, visiting the web site and sharing posts through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and good old fashioned email ;-)
Thank you to Frankston TV for putting together some excellent footage of It Sounds Silly, Don’t Look Up and Open For Inspection and having it up and ready to share less than 24 hours after filming. Incredible!
Lastly, we’d like to thank everyone who came along to experience Anywhere Theatre Festival Frankston. We hope you had a fantastic time, saw some great shows and explored some nooks and crannies of Frankston that you never expected. We look forward to seeing you again in 2015.

Review – Impromptu Impro

If you are free tonight, Saturday 6th September, grab a ticket for Impromptu Impro. The $25 price gives $20 to Relay for life, a very worthy cause. Not only does most of your ticket go to charity, but you will be assured of a fantastic night of entertainment (and I am referring to the actual performers and not the inebriated woman in the front row who couldn’t stop yelling at the improvisers).

The improvisation games are most of the stock standard choices including; interpreter, movie director, question only and song.

A new game was ‘Kick it’ where chosen performers had to go into a rap which brought the house down and the end challenge was truly a feat of amazement that had me screaming out loud.

The group are really tight and work very well together which is a real credit considering they never really get together to ‘train’ in improvisation as other improv groups usually do.

However most of the cast hail from PLOS which only highlights the calibre of performer that are attracted to the group. The Emcee and creator of the team did a standout job of orchestrating the players and knowing exactly when to bring an improv to the end. He dealt expertly with the hecklers and that same drunk woman who even threw her shoes around the audience at one point.

Fingers crossed she’s not there when you go! A very funny and engaging evening.

Review – ORBIT

Orbit is an engaging performance piece that is an ingenious combination of technology, nature, performance and art. McClelland Sculpture Gallery is always spellbinding and Orbit serves to take its audience on an adventure through the sculpture park as an integral part of the story, really integrating the sculptures into the piece and not merely as a back drop. The narrative gives the audience a voyeristic position throughout the performance and the trajectory allows the viewers to listen to stories, take in the majestic art works and listen to a very clever soundtrack with cleverly chosen pieces. ‘That was really good’, my eleven year old son said at the finish. ‘What did you like about it?’ I probed. ‘All of it, just all of it’. This concept could really be an engaging way forward in theatre for a new generation of tech reliant kids. If you are disabled in any way though, this is not the piece for you. We really worked up a cracking pace through the bush on the sandy and gravelly paths, so if you are immobile in any way, you won’t be able to keep up. I felt that this was a perfect way to absorb art, theatre, performance and fresh air as the sun went down. Nina Barry-Macaulay has created a refreshing and wonderful work.

Review: Impromptu Impro

Don’t miss “Impromptu Impro”- a night of hilarity and belly laughs. Plus it is a fundraising event for Relay for Life so it is an excellent way to support cancer research and have a great night out too! This was a fun-filled, entertaining evening of Theatresports. These are various games where creativity, spontaneity and team work are required and the players from “Impromptu Impro” were most definitely up to the challenge.

The team of 16 were all highly skilled in working with offers, using their imaginations and thinking on their feet. The teams kept being rotated in groups of 4 -5 which meant we got to see all their talent and it kept things fresh. They provided many funny moments for the audience, especially the finale with the mouse traps. Everyone was in stitches laughing.

Theatresports encourages high audience participation through getting ideas from us as to the location of scenes, what they could be doing and possible lines of dialogue. There is great satisfaction to hear your line being used. The MC kept the show moving from game to game and time passed quickly with all the frivolity. Credit to the actors for keeping it mostly PG and not just going for the cheap laughs “If you know what I mean?” The musical accompaniment was clever with sound effects and music to suit the action being played out before our eyes.

The Mechanics Institute was a great venue to host such an event as there was a room off to the side for a silent auction and the large hall suited the sizable audience. There was a party atmosphere entering the hall with musicians playing, some tables and of course it being BYO. There was even a raffle and door prizes.

Definitely go see “Impromptu Impro” not only to marvel at the quick-witted actors, but to have a laugh and support a wonderful charity too.

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Review: The Gift

This is a heart-felt production that touched this reviewer. “The Gift” was an honest and brave portrayal of a couple facing an extremely difficult choice. The story line was built up on little scenes giving us insight into the couple, their family and their life.

It was clear from the beginning of “The Gift” that religion would be its foundation and this play would serve as a tool to reach out to audiences in regards to sacrifice, love and healing. The notion of life being a precious gift was explored as well as parents’ unconditional love for their children. This was mirrored in God’s love for mankind. Some songs of worship were included, all of which were sung beautifully and really served to heighten the emotion of the play.

All the set changes were smooth and it was obvious the backstage crew were a well oiled team. The simple lighting proved effective, props were used well and the aged makeup was well done.

It had a wonderful ensemble cast who worked well together to deliver this poignant story. The mother in particular was solid and natural in her acting while the lead female could relax more into her role. There was a slight technical fault with the DVD of Lara’s last goodbye with a delay in the sound which made it difficult to connect to the scene.

Overall, “The Gift” was an inspiring piece, performed with passion and commitment to love, sacrifice and God.

 

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