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School performances at the FAC: Keeping the drama onstage

Wednesday 11 September 2019

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We had the pleasure of chatting to Tim Blundell, who is instrumental in developing the relationships between local schools and the FAC.

School performances at the FAC:  Keeping the drama onstage

With a proud history of supporting the local community, it’s no surprise that the Frankston Arts Centre is the preferred venue for schools in and around the Frankston area looking to host their annual concerts, productions and awards nights. Currently servicing more than 20 local primary and secondary schools every year (and growing), we take this role very seriously; priding ourselves on the state-of-the-art facilities and professional expertise we can offer to schools that may not have the space or equipment required to host their own performances in-house.

So what makes the Frankston Arts Centre such a great host venue for school concerts and productions? We had the pleasure of chatting to our Operations Coordinator Tim Blundell, who is instrumental in developing the relationships between local schools and the Frankston Arts Centre as their performance venue of choice.

“There are so many benefits to choosing the Frankston Arts Centre as the host venue for a school performance” notes Tim. “Firstly, there’s the prestige of who’s performed here before – from Guy Sebastian to Jimmy Barnes and Kasey Chambers, the centre is known for hosting such a great calibre of local talent and household names!” enthuses Tim.

But what’s probably most relevant to the teachers in charge of the school performance is that “We offer a professional theatre environment with professional staff who can interpret their needs and provide them with the best product” says Tim, who is quick to note the equally important roles played by back-of-house and front-of-house in making the school’s event a success.

“Schools hire the Frankston Arts Centre because they have access to a great venue, and all the stresses of a normal school production are handled by our experienced team of professionals.  The teachers can focus on looking after their students, and we will take care of all their other requirements” offers Tim, who proudly reports that many of the schools are return customers who are familiar with our venue and enjoy working with our staff.  

"There is a peace of mind that comes with knowing that our staff are on top of things, and can pre-empt if something is going wrong” says Tim, who further notes that “Our staff will have Plans A to Z up their sleeves, as they have seen it all before and are able to adapt to the situation”. This is particularly important for schools that would not normally have access to the extensive staging equipment and expert technical support that is required to get a high-quality production off the ground.  Says Tim, “We can interpret their staging and design notes to make a spooky forest or a sunrise with some clever lighting, for instance.  And being a purpose-built facility, many of this technical equipment is already in place here, with very little need for adjustment”.

Aside from the actual performance, Tim keenly observes the difference that a professional theatre environment can make to the overall success of the show.  “Compared to a school hall, a professional theatre makes the whole experience better for the audience members.  From buying their tickets to having access to a fully catered bar and comfortable seating with a great view, the audience member is well-looked after throughout the whole process - meaning once they are seated, they are in the right mood to enjoy the show”.

And as if these benefits weren’t enticing enough, did you know that financial incentives are also available to local schools that book the Frankston Arts Centre for their performances?  As we are primarily funded by the Frankston City Council, government grants make it possible to support our local community in more ways than ever before, including rebates of up to $865 per day for the use of our venue.

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