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Sep 19, 2015 3:23 PM ET

Archived: The Public Theatre: a pop-up outdoor theatre in Civic Square, Canberra

iCrowdNewswire - Sep 19, 2015

The Public Theatre

The story of the project

The Public Theatre is a pop-up outdoor theatre in Civic Square, Canberra, that will present theatre, cabaret, music, spoken word and film from 17 – 29 November 2015. It’s presented by Aspen Island Theatre Company, an independent contemporary Australian theatre company based in Canberra, in partnership with Cox Architecture and in collaboration with Design Canberra, a new festival showcasing Canberra’s design arts and innovation culture and Springout, Canberra’s Gay and Lesbian cultural festival. The theatre is inspired by the timeless design of the Classical Greek theatre and realised in a pop-up aesthetic. Over two weeks we’ll present some fine theatre and cabaret talent from Canberra and further afield, as well as some prime music and film – the program will be released in early October. There’ll be a bar where you can enjoy a great local wine or a beer before your show.

How the funds will be used

We are seeking to raise $20,000 in donations and sponsorship, $5,000 of which we hope will come from Pozible.
Our bar will cost us $3,000 and make us $5,000
Our live performance program will cost us $20,645 and will make us $25,600
The structure and operations will cost us $35,000, including approx $10,000 in toilets and security alone
Marketing and publicity will cost us $4,685
And our functions will cost us $1,500 and make us $2,100
We enter the project (after hopefully raising $5,000 from Pozible), needing to do $11,329 better than our box office projections, which are in keeping with standard theatre budgeting.

Some of my other work

Aspen Island Theatre Company has a board comprising people who are experienced in the various fields being employed to produce this project. Julian Hobba is the Artistic Director of AITC and brings experience producing theatre and arts projects in a number of guises, including at the Centenary of Canberra, Malthouse Theatre and currently creatively producing a festival for Tuggeranong Arts Centre. Production Manager Justin Watson has experience producing lots of large scale and high profile events in public spaces including for the Australian War Memorial. Architect Ronan Moss is an associate of our supporter Cox Architecture and is designing the theatre; he’s been involved in several pop up projects that in recent years have enlivened Canberra’s public spaces. We also have the marketing and financial brains on the board to pull this project off.

Since it got going in early 2014, Aspen Island Theatre Company has been the associate producer of a professional production of Julian’s Bartleby, presented by The Street Theatre. That was a highly praised season in July/August 2014 featuring the fine acting talents of Ben Crowley, Max Cullen and Dene Kermond. Early this year we undertook a two-week development of Kill Climate Deniers, a new play by David Finnigan, with the support of an ACT Government Arts Fund grant.

1. Kill Climate Deniers. Miranda Borman, Clare Moss, Cathy Petocz. Image Alex Hobba.
2. Bartleby. Ben Crowley, Max Cullen. Image Lorna Sim.


There’s a few challenges involved in this project. One is that we’re an outdoor theatre, so subject to weather. Like other outdoor events in Canberra – like Voices in the Forest, say – our performances will go ahead in any weather (unless it’s fully cyclonic), so we can’t give refunds after we’ve sold tickets. It would simply make the whole project unviable. Nonetheless, that risk is factored into the ticket prices, and these performances will either be really magical, or you will need to don a poncho that we’ll distribute before the show. We also need volunteers to help us do front of house duties and watch the space. If you want to do some shifts and great work experience, hit us up!
Contact Information:

Aspen Island Theatre Company

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