Philip Mitchell is an award winning director and puppeteer with more than two decades experience working in puppetry and visual theatre in Australia. He has been Artistic Director of Spare Parts Puppet Theatre for 14 years.
Philip’s work explores the point at which the visual arts meets the performing arts – it is this point of ignition that excites and feeds his artistic journey. Through his work Philip aims to explore new directions in puppetry development; he is passionate about discovering where the artistic leadership or authorship of a work can be placed.
Philip is committed to nurturing new artistic leaders in puppetry through Australia’s only tertiary education unit at WAAPA and training programs like FirstHand.
Michael Barlow is a puppetry director, writer and performer with more than two decades of experience. He has been Associate Director at Spare Parts Puppet Theatre for 9 years.
Michael has trained extensively in puppetry technique with master puppeteer Noriko NIshimoto and L. Peter Wilson and in contemporary mime with Kriszta Bodonyi at Hush mime school. He has also worked with visionary puppeteer Roman Paska. He is closely involved with the delivery of Spare Parts’ training programs for young and emerging artists through the FirstHand program and as a tutor for WAAPA.
Michael’s work reinterprets contemporary puppetry technique, recontextualising puppets, objects and performers in new frameworks.
Natalie Bell has worked in various producing and production management roles in the screen content industry over the past 16 years. Before joining Spare Parts, she was the Head of Production at the WA Screen Academy, a specialist screen studies program at Edith Cowan University, where she over saw the annual collection of short dramas and the gala showcase event that is broadcast on Channel 9 Perth. She was also the Executive Producer of a series of online interactive drama campaigns.
Other production credits include the AFI nominated telemovie 3 Acts of Murder, SBS comedy drama series, Marx and Venus and ABC documentary, Courting with Justice, which was successful at a number of local and international festivals. She also has experience in TVC production, including an award winning spot for NSW Waste Recycling, and numerous short films.
Natalie has expertise in production, project management and problem solving within creative enterprises. She is committed to engaging audiences and working with talented teams to deliver exceptional creative projects. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Media Studies) and a Graduate Diploma in Screen Business and Producing from AFTRS.
Rebecca has nine years experience in the areas of event management, arts management and community development and has spent the past four years leading the annual Stretch Arts Festival in Mandurah.
Within this role, she has been production manager for large outdoor performances and events which engage a huge number of the local community in performance, music, storytelling, and puppetry.
Rebecca brings with her a wealth of experience in program development, project management and facilitation, and has a particular passion for young people- creating opportunities for them to actively engage in high quality, inspiring arts experiences.
Through her work, she has seen the transformative power the arts has on communities and individuals and is excited to be a part of the team at SPPT, supporting us to deliver quality artistic programs and touring projects nationally and internationally as well as the School of Puppetry program, events and other activities.
Production & Technical Coordinator
George Ashforth is an emerging theatre maker and technician. Having spent six years training on the job around Perth as a freelance Stage Manager, Production Manager and Designer, he has gained a wide array of knowledge and experience in all aspects of theatre-making. He also maintains a regular presence as a performer, deviser, composer, writer and dramaturgy mentor.
George is passionate about creating cohesive and immersive design, striving for a seamless integration of the technical and dramatic elements of theatre to create moving and unforgettable experiences.
Karen trained and worked as a secondary English teacher, but looked for part time office work after having a family, and retrained as a bookkeeper. She has found her niche working in not-for-profit arts organisations since 2003, and at Spare Parts since 2014.
International Touring Manager
Nicholas Clark Management NCM provides international and national management and representation services to professional performing arts companies.
Over the last 20 years, Director Nic Clark has worked as producer, administrator, director and actor in the professional performing arts industry.
John Michael Swinbank has managed the company’s publicity since 1999. Prior to this appointment, he was with West Australian Ballet from 1994-1998. His 20+ year professional practice includes all disciplines in the arts and culture sectors, including theatre, dance, music, visual arts and PR management of over 20 arts festivals. He holds a Master of Communication Management from Murdoch University and has ongoing research interests in strategic communications, propaganda and visual communications, especially the Vietnamese Propaganda Art from 1946-1975. Please contact John Michael for any publicity requests regarding Spare Parts Puppet Theatre.
Marketing & Communications Officer
Elena graduated from Curtin University in 2012 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications. Since her graduation, Elena has worked in several digital communication and marketing roles, where she has harnessed a multifaceted skill set, and excelled in delivering the optimisation of multiple businesses digital capabilities, resulting in enhanced stakeholder engagements. Elena specialises in social media management, branding, stakeholder engagement, strategy execution (with a keen focus on employee engagement and change management), initiative development, management and execution, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), copywriting and content development for multiple media platforms.