Professional Development

2016 FirstHand: Emergent Puppetry Training

Applications Now Open

Spare Parts Puppet Theatre is inviting applications from artists to join the 2016 FirstHand emergent puppetry artist program. The program commences in April 2016 with opportunities for observation, participation and mentorship before entering a puppetry performance project development period in August 2016.

Over a 3 – 4 month period, FirstHand offers rigorous training in the creation of puppetry and is suited to applicants with a strong skills base in performing or design for new theatre and performance. Ideally you will have completed a undergraduate degree in a related field but consideration will be given to applicants with a demonstrable level of other training or relevant experience.

The program operates at Spare Parts Puppet Theatre on a fee-free, part-time basis and requires a variable but sustained time commitment.

At a minimum, FirstHanders are expected to commit to a two-week, full-time training intensive in the first two weeks of August 2016 and commit additional time for creative developments, observation of rehearsals and performances, apply for grants and other arts administrative duties related to their puppetry project form August – November 2016. At the core of the FirstHand training and mentoring is the development of the participant’s puppetry performance project.

On the successful completion of the initial training and development phase, participants will then be offered seed-funding of $3,000 for the incubation of a new puppetry performance project. The seed-fund also includes in-kind support through access to Spare Parts’ rehearsal and office space, artistic and administrative mentorship. Applicants will be required to reconcile and acquit the seed-fund and to deliver a showing at the completion of the FirstHand internship to Spare Parts Company Associates, staff, board and other invited guests.

Application process:

Artists and recent graduates who are interested must apply for consideration by 5pm WST on 26 February 2016. Expressions of interest must include:
(1) a current CV (max 3 pages)
(2) a recent photograph (max 2MB)
(3) a one page (max) letter outlining your key reasons for wanting to participate in the program and your capacity to commit and participate in the program,
(4) a one page (max.) proposal for a new puppetry performance project. This could be a single artist or a group and open to any performance platform (indoor / outdoor)

Applicants will be required to attend an audition in early March 2016. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application / audition by mid- March 2015.
Successful applicants will be inducted into the program in April 2016.

For more information and to submit applications, please contact: Philip Mitchell, Artistic Director,, 08 9335 5044

About Spare Parts Puppet Theatre

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

We have been creating puppetry works of a world-class standard for 35 years, cultivating a strong and loyal audience base in our local community and touring extensively and consistently around Australia, and internationally through Asia, Europe and North America.
Our enduring vision is to transform people’s view of the world and each other through world-class puppetry.
We present four seasons a year at our home theatre in Fremantle, nurture the art form through our School of Puppetry and artist training and development programs, perform in venues, festivals, corporate and community events and tour extensively through regional Western Australia and the world.

As skilled leaders in the art form we pursue a strategy of building greater capacity amongst the artists we work with. Our FirstHand emergent puppetry artist program provides an entry point to the art form and the company for a new generation of emergent artists and is supported by a multi-pronged schedule of activity through our School of Puppetry program including development and training opportunities for student, mid-career, transitioning and established artists.

In Conversation

Artist talks

After each performance we offer the audience an opportunity to ask the cast and crew questions to help them maximise their experience and comprehend the story and the development process. In 2015 we have begun introducing Artist Talks for the grown ups to have a similar opportunity.

The perfect opportunity to satisfy your curiosity and gain insight into the world of puppetry.


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