Anywhere Theatre Festival Limited is a Brisbane based not-for-profit company with a vision to propel a world-wide trend for exciting, engaging, passionate performance regardless of access to traditional theatre infrastructure.
We know there is a better way for performers and producers than waiting for rare slots in theatres and losing life savings presenting in 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.We create opportunities for collaboration, for the meaning they bring to our lives, the power with which they engage us, to share stories and engage audiences to find meaningful solutions for the challenges we face today.
In five years Anywhere Theatre Festival Limited has presented festivals in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales with over 1,300 performances to over 274,316 people.
We create cohesive communities where diversity, achievement and excellence are fostered. Where supporters, volunteers, audiences, participants, consumers, makers, creators, keepers and distributors of arts and culture are cherished and engaged instead of permitted to attend.
Anywhere stands for:
We also believe that restricting performance to theatres places an unnecessary gatekeeper for artists and audiences. The majority of performers and producers wait for rare slots in theatres and fringe festivals where there are more performances than audiences members and the entire financial risk is placed on the independent producer.
Story telling began as something we did around camp fires and over time it has been ghettoed inside traditional theatre venues and the structures that go with them. We believe that for our own stories and performance to survive we have to stop creating theatres where people “go” for live performance. Storytelling and performance needs to happen anywhere. People need to see performance, to see theatre and engage in theatre anywhere regardless of their income or location.
We’ve also demonstrated that there is great opportunity for business and communities to benefit by placing performances in public and business locations. We do this through innovative partnership with local businesses and performers by removing the fiscal and creative barriers in audience attendance. We create performance right where people live, work and play to make stronger, more vibrant communities.
Staff & Board
PAUL OSUCH | CO-FOUNDER & CEO
Paul Osuch is the Co-Founder of Anywhere Theatre Festival Ltd, a festival for performance anywhere but a theatre.
Paul Osuch holds a Bachelor of Business from the Queensland University of Technology and is a graduate of the NIDA Playwrights Studio. He is an Australia Council for the Arts Emerging Leader, a Queensland Government Cultural Champion and Arts Queensland QASP Peer Reviewer.
He was Artistic Director of Borderline Defamation Productions for several years, producing and directing the world premiere of many new works, including the Australian Film Industry nominated All My Friends Are Leaving Brisbane, which has since been adapted into a feature length film. He has created and marketed major productions from the Soho Theatre and Battersea Arts Centre in London to the Cement Box Theatre in Brisbane.
Paul has always been focused on new ideas and ways to make performance a bigger part of everyone’s life.
ALEX McTAVISH | CO-FOUNDER & GM
Alex is the co-founder at Anywhere Theatre Festival and she brings more than fifteen years experience in the arts to her role of producer and General Manager here at Anywhere Theatre Festival.
She is a cultural entrepreneur, actor, writer, producer and director who in 2013 became one of YWCA’s Queensland Leading Women.
Alex uses her varied talents to motivate Anywhere Theatre Festival participants to realise their creative aspirations. Alex has a Bachelor of Journalism, Masters in Writing and she studied acting at Rose Bruford College in London. She is also founder of Pivot City, a film company dedicated to creating “stories that matter.”
CHAIR DOUG BRIMBLECOMBE
Doug Brimblecombe’s (MIES, MLighting) career over 30 years in the live entertainment industry has taken him from his home town of Dalby in Southwest Queensland, across Australia and to many parts of the world. His specialty is performance lighting, but his involvement in performance art has seen him in many roles, from company management and design consultancy to memorable episodes such as loading 124 ton Antonov aircraft in Russia for international rock bands.
Doug’s most recent role was as general manager at Heart of Australia, where he brought his skills in logistics of large scale global events and management of diverse and multi-discipline staff. Doug is a Member of the Illuminating Engineering Society of Australia and New Zealand (IESANZ) and holds a Masters in Lighting (Physics).
DEPUTY CHAIR HELEN ASTBURY
Helen Astbury is a passionate fundraising, marketing communications and sponsorship executive with vast experience in all aspects of philanthropy, stakeholder engagement, and business development. Throughout her career, Helen has successfully worked with a number of leading state, national and international organisations to deliver outstanding engagement and development outcomes across a number of industries – including the arts, medical research, higher education and broader not for profit sector.
COMPANY SECRETARY ALEX PODGER
Alex Podger grew up performing in large scale outdoor theatrical works across Australia and is the Artistic Director of Woodford Folk Festivalâ€™s flagship â€˜Fire Eventâ€™ Closing Ceremony – a unique large-scale outdoor community project performed to an audience of 18,000.
Alex is a producer, director and designer of street, spectacle and outdoor theatre, often featuring complex pyrotechnic design, effects and puppets to tell simple stories on an epic scale. He works regularly with renowned Irish spectacle and street theatre company Macnas in Galway, Ireland as both a director and pyro designer. Previous works include ‘The Gremlins’ – an outdoor physical clown project, ‘Little Boxes’ performed in a massive bespoke set built in a carpark, and the Amphi Interludes – two large scale, site-specific works created for Woodford Folk Festival’s Amphitheatre.
Alex has a Bachelor of Film and Screen Media Production, and occasionally design TV Commercials or creates props for film / TV.
TREASURER JEREMY WICHT
Jeremy is a Chartered Accountant at Hanrick & Curran with over 15 years experience assisting small and medium businesses to grow and thrive.
He brings a commercial focus to assisting businesses and their owners in both compliance and leveraging existing financial information flows to assist them in better managing their businesses. He holds and M.B.A. from the University of Queensland, together with business accounting degrees from Q.U.T. He is also a graduate of the Institute of Company Directors course.
He is passionate about sharing his skills and knowledge with the broader community and assisting Anywhere Theatre Festival in its success.
HOWARD DUGGAN | DIRECTOR
Howard is the director of Eyeball Media which, for over 20 years, has published a range of music and lifestyle titles in Queensland and around Australia.
Today he publishes the pop culture and entertainment brand scenestr, as
monthly print titles in Queensland and South Australia, and
as a national website
He’s previously published ‘Junior’ – a national magazine which remains Australia’s highest CAB audited entertainment street press title at over 80,000 copies per month, easily besting both JB HiFi’s in-store title and the now defunct triple J magazine.
He was initially trained in retail management at Myer and Big W before securing his first media role in advertising sales with News Ltd at Bowen Hills while gaining honours in his Diploma Of Communications at the Australian Institute Management.
MEGAN LAVENDER | DIRECTOR
Megan Joy Lavender is a transformational leader of organisations with a focus on stakeholder engagement. An experienced public company director and government board member, she is also peer recognised as one of the Asia Pacificâ’s best third sector CEOs having held senior executive roles in the corporate, government and third sectors.
Megan presently serves as a State Government appointed board member of the NSW Ministry of Health Centre for Health Record Linkage and has been commissioned by the Minister for Lands and Water as Deputy Chairman of the Gosford Showground Crown Lands Trust. In addition to these two existing NSW Government board appointments, she also currently serves on a further eleven boards: Special Olympics Australia as a director on the Australian board of international sporting body; Children’s Book Council of Australia as the director representing the state of New South Wales; Mainly Music International as a director of this global music, book, clothing and gift company; Royal Automobile Club of Australia as the only female director of the 114-year-old private club; Australian Ice Racing as the director responsible for policy and records in this Olympic sport; Anywhere Theatre Festival as the director responsible for legal affairs of this national arts body; Swimming NSW Aquatic Management as independent director of Swimming NSW subsidiary; Australian Womensport and Recreation as a director of national peak body for women’s sport; Boots For All as a director of the charity promoting social inclusion through sport participation; Friends of First Government House Site committed to Australian heritage and conservation; Bankstown Harness Racing Club â€“ for which she was named 2013 Volunteer of the Year by the industry’s controlling body, Harness Racing NSW. Megan has served as an independent board member of the NSW Government appointed racing industry controlling body, Greyhound Racing NSW, and as a director of multiple public and private companies, associations and charities, including Comtax Credit Union, Co-Op Bookshop, Australian Institute of International Affairs, Sport NSW, Independent Living Centre NSW, Five Dock Leisure Centre, Macquarie University Union, Cancer Council Relay for Life, Australia Indonesia Association.
She currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of the Australasian Association of Clinical Biochemists and has previously served in other senior executive roles, including: Chief Executive Officer of both the professional association representing practitioners from Australia’s oral health industries and also the professional association representing barristers, solicitors and plaintiff lawyers from across all Australian legal jurisdictions; Chief Financial Officer for the Australian operations of the worldâ€™s leading sports management and player management companies, international interests and marketing organisations; and National Head of Corporate Affairs for the Australian operations of a China based global group of companies with interests in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, mining and mineral resources, and property investment, as well as operating her own management and strategic consultancy business. Megan has also served as an Elected City Councillor on the City of Canada Bay Council and Ministerial Advisor to the Australian Minister for Sport, Minister for Tourism and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Sydney 2000 Games. She is peer recognised as one of the Asia Pacificâ’s best third sector chief executives and among a select few people conferred with a full Fellowship by the Australasian Society of Association Executives the professional industry association where she previously served as NSW Chairman.
Megan is an arts, education, speech and drama graduate of Macquarie University and Trinity College, London.
GARY MCDONALD | DIRECTOR
With 37 years experience in national/international markets at senior management, contract/consultancy level in marketing, media, advertising and creative fields that commenced in movie distribution including Walt Disney, Pixar, Roadshow, Buena Vista, Touchstone. Working across film, television and radio in Australia, US and UK as a qualified journalist, producer and director through the 80/90s he continues to partner and consult in those fields as well as new digital avenues.
He ran his own Event/PR/Media company for two decades during that time and continues to represent major brands, organizations and individuals with counsel and strategic thinking, expertise in innovative communications, production values, marketing/sales, creative/brand, digital/film/tv, cultivating cultural change, organizational alignment, change thinking and project development. Formerly AJA/MEAA, Board of RSA (London), AICD, holds B.Psy., and a number of additional qualifications.
Gary continues to concentrate on strategic change thinking and advising in across industries as well an in the philanthropic and fundraising space.