Professional Development


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Puppetry bootcamp: a two-week puppetry training intensive with Michael Barlow, Philip Mitchell and Noriko Nishimoto

Spare Parts Puppet Theatre is offering a limited number of places for a two-week, full time puppetry training intensive led by the company’s Artistic Director Philip Mitchell, Associate Director Michael Barlow and master-puppeteer Noriko Nishimoto.

This is a rare and exclusive opportunity to learn from three of Australia’s most experienced puppetry artists in this highly specialised art form.

Over the course of two weeks, participants will be introduced to puppet manipulation technique, how to use different types of constructed puppets, object theatre and also have the opportunity to devise small performance pieces of their own.
We are currently accepting expressions of interest from artists wanting to participate in the intensive.

To express your interest in participating please send:
1) a current CV (max 3 pages)
2) a cover letter (max one page) outlining key reasons for wanting to participant in the program

Applicants must be able to commit to attending the full intensive (details below).

Date: 3 – 14 August 2015
Times: 10am – 4pm, Mon – Fri
Venue: Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, 1 Short St Fremantl
Cost: $500

Applications are now open, closing at 5pm WST on Friday 17 April 2015. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their EOI by 30 April 2015.

For more information and to submit applications, please contact:

Georgina Cramond
Operations Officer | 08 9335 5044

About Spare Parts Puppet Theatre’s School of Puppetry

Spare Parts Puppet Theatre is Australia’s champion of puppetry, using the art form to transform people’s view of the world and each other.

As Australia’s longest running company dedicated to the art form of puppetry, Spare Parts has a long serving commitment to artist training and art form development. As skilled leaders in the art form we pursue a strategy of building greater capacity amongst the artists we work with.

Our School of Puppetry is one of a kind in Australia. It offers unique opportunities for artists and others who are interested in puppetry to learn, connect, develop and work with acclaimed puppeteers, including Master Puppeteer Noriko Nishimoto, Artistic Director Philip Mitchell and Associate Director Michael Barlow.

For more information about Spare Parts Puppet Theatre visit


Philip Mitchell, Spare Parts Puppet Theatre’s Artistic Director, has devised and directed original and innovative productions including Out of the Blue, Spellbound, Granny is an Alien, Grendel and the Gladiator, The Velveteen Rabbit and the award winning H20 (designed for Olympic swimming pools) and Aqua Sapiens, both for the Perth International Arts Festival. Philips most recent works include Tales from Outer Suburbia (based on the book by Shaun Tan), Hachiko and Farm. In 2015 Philip was nominated for Best Director in the Performing Arts WA Awards for his work on Farm.

Michael Barlow, Associate Director of Spare Parts, is a Director, Writer and Performer of Puppetry/Visual Theatre. He has successfully adapted books such as The Arrival and Tales from Outer Suburbia (Shaun Tan), Miss Lily’s Fabulous Feather Boa (Margaret Wild) and created original works The Night Zoo, The Birthday for puppet theatre, several of which have toured nationally and internationally. Michael’s most recent work, Moominpappa at Sea (based on the book by Tove Jansson) premiered in 2014, and will be performed by Michael at Spare Parts in April 2015. Michael is a Co-creator and Director of the production Fox, a new work that will premiere in October 2015.

Noriko Nishimoto was invited from Japan as a quest artist in 1981 for the company’s first show Faust. She went on to become the Artistic Director at Spare Parts from 1997-2001, directing many shows that have become part of the company’s repertoire such as The Deep and Cat Balloon. In 2012, The UNIMA (Union de la Marionette) Women’s Commission acknowledged Noriko’s outstanding International contribution to puppetry at the 21st UNIMA World Congress and Puppet Festival in Chengdu, China.

In Conversation

Artist talk – Wednesday July 8, 7:30pm

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. This year, we have begun introducing Artist Talks for the grown ups to have a similar opportunity.

Watch this space to find out who will be involved in the Blueback artist talk during our July season.

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

Wednesday 8 July following the 6:30pm performance of Blueback

RSVP to by Monday 8 July
Book your tickets to the performance online using the book now option in the top right.

2015 FirstHand: Emergent Puppetry Training Program

Now in its fourth year, FirstHand aims to support emergent artists to develop their skills within the art form of puppetry. It immerses the participants in all aspects of the creation and performance of puppetry including a two-week intensive skills training period, support through a creative development process, business skills and training, and presentation opportunities.

The 2015 intake of artists sees Humphrey Bower, Yvan Karlsson and Sam Longley join an impressive alumni of FirstHand artists.

Recent graduates include Chloe Flockart, nominated in the 2015 Performing Arts Awards for Best Actress for Farm, St John Cowcher currently touring internationally with The Adventure’s of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer, and Bec Bradley, also nominated in the 2015 PAWA Awards for her role in Farm.


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