Theatre festival without theatres helps Frankston businesses to perform better

Businesses in Frankston are boosting their performance from 22 August to 6 September when they host a range of shows for the inaugural Anywhere Theatre Festival Frankston.

It is part of an innovative new approach to developing business that brings customers direct to the door of businesses by putting shows in businesses instead of in theatres. Anywhere Theatre Festival Frankston is a 16 day festival of performances of all kinds – music, circus, drama, comedy – anywhere but a theatre. “We realised businesses don’t get much out of partnering with traditional theatre companies,” said Paul Osuch, cofounder of Anywhere Theatre Festival. “Then we thought: ’What if we bring the customers direct to the business by putting shows in offices, cafes, sporting centre, parks?” The result has been a resounding success story, with the festival expanding exponentially from its origin Brisbane four years ago with international praise that caught the eye of Frankston City Council.

“This Festival will provide great opportunities for our local businesses and artistic performers. This Festival will further enhance Frankston City’s reputation as a leader in performing arts,” said Frankston City Mayor, Cr Darrel Taylor.

The festival is also a boon for local performers who are able to present work rent free with minimal costs instead of being charged for theatre hire, technicals and support that in any other fringe festival involve them losing money most of the time, but the relationship with business is absolutely vital.

“What we do is find businesses who like the idea, like Eeny Meeny Cafe or Bayside Rock indoor climbing wall and then we match them up with performers who can perform in their space.” said Paul.

Anywhere Theatre Festival also ensure everything else is easy for businesses and performers by providing online box office, public liability insurance, festival marketing and a range of tools and advice to ensure everyone maximises their benefits.

“McClelland is excited to be a part of this innovative festival, enabling us to work with performers whose interpretations of our outdoor sculpture collection and gallery spaces stretch our concept of audience participation.” said Lyn Johnson, Deputy Director of McClelland Sculpture Park + Gallery.

“It is great to be part of the Anywhere Theatre Festival Frankston as it is bringing together the Frankston Business community and creating a singular destination for such an incredible event.  It is like nothing Frankston has ever seen before and it is only having a positive outcome for all parties, we look forward to seeing what else is in store for Frankston’s Future!” – Sofia Frankston.

“The management and producers of the Frankston Anywhere Festival have been professional and thorough throughout the event planning process. Paul and his team have been committed to providing the best in clear communication with venues and the local community. The shows will no doubt be a success as a direct result of the hard work put in by the Frankston Anywhere Festival Management team, something they ought to be highly commended for.”   – Corey Pais, Chisholm

“eeny meeny is a unique cafe in Frankston that enthusiastically embraces a creative approach in all it does. Being involved with the Anywhere Theatre Festival is an exciting way to please our regular customers while also attracting new people that appreciate and support the artistic and cultural ventures that make for a vibrant and lively city”. Robert Wright, Eeny Meeny Cafe
“Anywhere Theatre Festival  benefits my business by providing an interesting event on our calendar of events. We love to get involved in community events and festivals as it provides a unique attraction at our cafe and people are always looking for more than just a coffee and lunch.” Irene Day, Rocotillos

Anywhere Theatre Festival Frankston is hosted by Frankston City Council with major partners Frankston Arts Centre, The Edge, EastLink and Mornington Peninsula Tourism.

“I’ve always thought the worst thing theatre did was start performing only in theatres,“ said Paul. “You take theatre out of theatres and it makes it relevant, interesting and fun and working for performers, audiences, business and council,” said Paul Osuch.

The freedom it provides performers is immense. Performance poet Scott WIngs is currently receiving five star reviews and sell out audiences with his Edinburgh Fringe show Icarus Falling. Scott has been part of the last two Anywhere Theatre Festivals in Brisbane, presenting work under the Storey Bridge and on a rooftop next to the Brisbane River. For Scott, Anywhere was vital to the development of his work and talents as an artist.

“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…”

Anywhere Theatre Festival Frankston is hosted by Frankston City Council with major partners Frankston Arts CentreThe EdgeEastLink and Mornington Peninsula Tourism.

Anywhere Theatre Festival Frankston features 76 performances between 22 August – 6 September throughout Frankston City Council. For more, head to or call 03 9013 6443.