Company

Vision: To transform people’s view of the world and each other through world class puppetry

Mission: Through the art of puppetry we share stories that celebrate what it is to be human; connecting audiences across generations.

Spare Parts Puppet Theatre is Australia’s flagship puppetry company and a driving force in the puppetry landscape in Australia since 1981.

Through puppetry we share stories that celebrate what it is to be human; connecting audiences across generations.

Over the course of our 34 year history we have entertained and enriched the lives of tens of thousands of audiences members both in Australia and abroad.
For many of our audience members we are their first live performing arts experience. We are proud to offer this experience to audiences and beholden to offer them the best puppet theatre we can.

The company is lead by Artistic Director Philip Mitchell and Associate Director Michael Barlow who work with artists from our well-established and ever-growing pool of Company Associates offering skills in writing, design & performance for puppetry.

Our annual artistic program includes performances at our home theatre in Fremantle, touring to schools, theatres and festivals across Australia and abroad, puppetry workshops for children and adults, and artists training and development programs.

Through our various programs we have an annual audience and participant reach of more than 60,000 people locally, nationally and internationally.

In 2015 we were awarded the Fremantle Business Awards ‘Business of the Year’ and ‘Outstanding Cultural Enterprise’ Awards, recognising our contribution the business community of and to the cultural vibrancy of Fremantle and surrounds.

History

Spare Parts Puppet Theatre was formed in 1981 by Artistic Director Peter L. Wilson, together with writer Cathryn Robinson and designer Beverly Campbell Jackson, to share the magic of puppetry in Western Australia.

From the onset, Peter brought an international flavour to Spare Parts. He studied theatre and puppetry with the Pule Theatre in Tokyo, the Bunraku Theatre, National Theatre of Japan, the Central Puppet Theatres of Prague and Moscow, and Cannon Hill Puppet Theatre in the UK.

The company’s first production Faust was presented as part of the 1981 Festival of Perth (now Perth International Arts Festival) and was billed as a “total visual experience”. The work was directed by Peter and developed with Japanese artists Noriko Nishimoto and Takeshi Hoshino.

The significance of bringing Noriko to Australia for Faust in 1981 cannot be understated. Noriko saw something special in Spare Parts and chose to remain with the company to share her knowledge and expertise with emerging artists. Noriko has been and still is instrumental in training, nurturing and developing Western Australia’s puppetry artists and sector.

In 1987 Spare Parts built its current venue in Short Street, Fremantle. The venue has a 190-seat theatre, a rehearsal studio, office and storage space.

From 1997 – 2001 Spare Parts was under the artistic direction of Noriko Nishimoto.

In 2006 Spare Parts was successful in its bid to host the 2008 20th UNIMA World Puppetry Festival and Congress – the Olympics of puppetry. Hosting the Festival and Congress offered Spare Parts great exposure internationally, building upon its exposure from international touring to China, USA, Korea, Singapore, Japan, Czech Republic and most recently in France.

 

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