Frank van Straten

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Frank van Straten
Born Francis Van Straten
1936 (age 77–78) [1]
London, United Kingdom

Frank Van Straten is a notable performing arts historian, author and former director of the Performing Arts Museum.

Straten was the first archivist of the Museum (now Performing Arts Collection), at the Arts Centre, Melbourne, and its director from 1984 until 1993.

Between 1986 and 2001 Frank researched and presented ABC Local Radio’s Nostalgia segment, broadcast on Melbourne’s 774 and the Victorian Regional Network.

In 2002 Straten acted as the Historical Consultant for Graeme Murphy’s ‘dance musical’ Tivoli, performed by the Sydney Dance Company, which premiered at the State Theatre, Arts Centre, Melbourne.

Straten is a patron of the Cinema and Theatre Historical Society (Victoria), a member of the Board of the National Theatre, Melbourne, and a founding member and committee member of the Victoria Theatres Trust. He is also on the judging panels of the Green Room Awards and Helpmann Awards.

In recognition of his services to the performing arts in Australia Straten was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 1999.

In 2007 Straten was appointed Live Performance Australia’s Official Historian.


  • Discovering puppets (South Melbourne : Performing Arts Museum, Victorian Arts Centre, 1981)
  • Bourke Street on Saturday night : the memories of Charlie Fredricksen "the man outside Hoyts" (Melbourne : Performing Arts Museum, Victorian Arts Centre, 1983)
  • National treasure : the story of Gertrude Johnson and the National Theatre (South Melbourne : Victoria Press, 1994)
  • The Regent Theatre : Melbourne's palace of dreams (Melbourne : E.L.M. Publishing, 1996)
  • Tivoli (South Melbourne : Lothian, 2003)
  • Huge deal : the fortunes and follies of Hugh D. McIntosh (South Melbourne : Lothian Books, 2004)
  • Florence Young and the golden years of Australian musical theatre (Mornington, Vic. : Beleura, 2009)


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