Spare Parts Puppet Theatre welcomes new FirstHand cohort for 2017

Clare Testoni, Daniel Dosek and Tristan McInnes have been announced as this year’s participants in Spare Parts Puppet Theatre’s FirstHand emergent puppetry artist program.


They will join the ranks of more than 15 Western Australian FirstHand alumni including Jessica Harlond-Kenny, Ian Sinclair, Yvan Karlsson, Sam Longley, Finn O’Branagain, and St John Cowcher. This ‘career kickstart’ program, now in its sixth iteration, aims to grow quality independent performers by immersing them in all aspects of the creation of puppetry performance.


Clare Testoni who has previously trained with Spare Parts Puppet Theatre and worked on several FirstHand developments, is now taking the next step towards creating a new work with the mentorship.


Daniel Dosek is a recent Bachelor of Performing Arts graduate of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), and was a puppeteer in the 2016 production of I See Red, a collaborative work between WAAPA and Spare Parts Puppet Theatre.


Tristan McInnes is in his final semester of a Theatre Arts degree at Curtin University and has been performing in independent arts projects in Perth for three years. Tristan was a co-devisor of the Emergence Company’s award-winning debut Under This Sun.


Clare, Daniel and Tristan  will each receive mentorship from Spare Parts’ creative leaders Philip Mitchell and Michael Barlow, puppetry skills training including participation in the company’s two-week training intensive in August, and a seed fund of $3,000 to work on a puppetry project.


Spare Parts’ Artistic Director Philip Mitchell said that the company has invested strongly in developing its artist training and development programs in recent years, and is thrilled to be working with three exceptional artists through the FirstHand program in 2017.


“Our FirstHand program along with our WAAPA partnership to deliver a dedicated puppetry unit as part of the Bachelor of Performing Arts degree has provided entry points to the art form for a new generation of puppetry artists in Western Australia,” said Mitchell.


Established in 2010 with assistance from the Ian Potter Foundation, the program has developed in response to the needs of the theatre sector to nurture established and emerging artists who are looking to transition or broaden their practice to include puppetry.


For more information on the FirstHand program click here.