Vale Frank van Straten AM

The renowned theatre historian, archivist, author and performing arts devotee has died, aged 87.
A black and white photograph of a well-presented, older white man standing in a doorway, with his left hand on his hip and hie right hand and upper arm braced against the doorframe. Many bookshelves are visible in the background behind them. Frank Van Straten.

The inaugural archivist at the Performing Arts Museum (now Australian Performing Arts Collection at Arts Centre Melbourne) and later its founding Director, renowned theatre historian Frank Van Straten AM has died aged 87.

Van Straten died peacefully at Cabrini Hospital on 19 April with his partner of 54 years, Adrian Turley, at his side, and is remembered as a loyal and supportive friend, a generous mentor, meticulous in his research and attention to detail, and a champion of the performing arts.

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts