Philip Mitchell is an award-winning director and puppeteer with nearly three decades experience working in puppetry and visual theatre in Australia. He has been Artistic Director of Spare Parts Puppet Theatre for 20 years.
As an Artistic Director Philip’s passion is to create and commission contemporary puppetry works that explore the boundaries of the artform. Large scale works, interactive and experiential puppetry and the tension between the performer and the puppet drives his exploration in puppetry.
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 is a director, writer and puppeteer who joined Spare Parts Puppet Theatre through the company’s training program in 1992. As a performer, he toured extensively for the company for many years before his appointment as Associate Director in 2007. As a director, his productions have been presented nationally, including The Little Prince, The Night Zoo and Roald Dahl’s The Twits, and internationally as an adapting writer/animator of Shaun Tan’s The Arrival.
Michael’s work explores contemporary performance by re-contextualising puppets, objects and performers on an animated stage, and investigates themes of connection and identity. He enjoys sharing his love of puppetry with young and emerging artists through the company’s training programs and the puppetry unit Spare Parts delivers for the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA).
Katie is a passionate arts professional with experience spanning philanthropy and fundraising, corporate partnerships, human resources, artistic and general management, compliance, policy and strategic development. Katie comes to Spare Parts Puppet Theatre from the Australian Chamber Orchestra where she has worked for five years. She is currently Manager, Philanthropy and Partnerships and was previously Head of Executive Office. She has worked as a research partner on various projects for REĂ Consulting since 2018. Katie has a background in university administration – working in various management and operational roles at the University of Sydney before coming to work in the arts.
Katie holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours I) in Philosophy and Music from the University of Sydney, and is part-way through studying a Juris Doctor degree at the University of New South Wales.
Audience Engagement Officer
Georgia began working in live events as a volunteer 20 years ago. Over the course of the next 15 years, she pursued twin careers of education and teaching, and event management before switching exclusively to event work.
In education, Georgia is passionate about celebrating diverse experiences and intelligences through the arts to encourage academic risk taking, social and emotional learning and team building. She also enjoys getting creative to explore the whole curriculum using our performances and workshops.
In her venue career, Georgia has worked in a variety of capacities and venues for audiences ranging from 50 to 45 000. She especially enjoys experiencing theatre through the eyes of the audience and delights in seeing the joy and connectivity it brings to adults and children alike.
At Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, Georgia manages all of our school and learning operations including our School of Puppetry.
Technical & Production Officer
In 2018 Jackson completed a Bachelor of Arts in Live Production & Technical Services at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. As part of his final year of study he was seconded to Spare Parts Puppet Theatre where, over the course of the four-week placement, Jackson displayed and developed a series of skills and attributes that earned him a place on the resident Spare Parts team.
As Technical & Production Officer Jackson has responsibilities ranging from stage management to technical operation. When he is not in the theatre Jackson spends most of his time in the on-site workshop constructing scenery and props for one of Spare Parts’ inspiring new works.
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.
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.
Megan graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) in 2010. Since graduating Megan has worked on an array of theatre shows and events throughout Australia from small local shows to large scale outdoor events. Working in many roles over the years Megan has had a particular focus on Stage Management, Production Management, Lighting Design and Tour Management.
Over the last decade Megan has worked with a variety of companies in both a freelance capacity and in full time roles including Sydney Festival, Melbourne Festival, Melbourne Theatre Company, Belvoir Theatre Company, Illawarra Performing Arts Centre and Polyglot Puppet Theatre. Since setting down a base in Western Australia, Megan has worked for companies including Black Swan State Theatre Company, Western Sky Projects and Fremantle Theatre Company. Megan is also passionate about teaching and held the position as lecturer in Stage Management at the University of Wollongong for several years.
As Program Manager Megan works between the administrative side of getting Theatre and Event works on the road and, along with the Production Manager, ensuring a smooth running theatre season here in The Spare Parts Theatre.
Marketing & Development Officer
Dawn Jackson is an award-winning filmmaker and arts producer who commenced her professional career in dance. Graduating from WAAPA with a BA in dance, Dawn worked with West Australian Ballet, STRUT dance Inc, Kalika Dance Company and Mudhra Dance Company before establishing her own intercultural choreographic practice. Her special interest in Indian Classical dance led her to work in India, Singapore, Canada and notably in the UK with Sampad, Britain’s largest South Asian Contemporary Arts organization. As a recipient of the WA Future Moves Mid-Career Fellowship, she produced a body of short intercultural dance/theatre works.
As Projects Manager for Ausdance WA, Dawn participated in Bite the Big Apple Tour to New York and MAMAS WA acquiring specialist skills in arts marketing and audience development. Since attaining her Masters in Communications, through WA Screen Academy in 2014, Dawn has been working in the film industry, and on digital communications in the arts and business sectors. Dawn is also a sessional lecturer at WAAPA.
Dawn has a long association with Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, as a Yoga teacher, an adoring parent and recently working Front of House for school holiday seasons. In the Marketing & Development Officer Role, Dawn will be handling the sponsorship and philanthropy portfolio, as well as overseeing marketing for special initiatives.
Booking & Operations Officer
Ayesha grew up in Fremantle cultivating a lifelong passion for the arts. She attended John Curtin College of the Arts studying Media and her first job was as a children’s entertainer at festivals and parties where she discovered delight in helping children explore their imagination.
Ayesha has worked for five years in Front of House at various sized venues for a range of shows and audiences. From running a science camp and teaching dance classes, to studying science communication and media, she has found joy in facilitating and curating experiences that engage people meaningfully. She loves how performance can influence audience perspectives and that stories, characters, and puppetry can convey unexpected ideas in profound and understandable ways to people of all ages.
At Spare Parts, Ayesha will likely be the first friendly face you see when coming in to see a show or make your next booking.