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 17 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).
As the Executive Producer of Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, Natalie oversees the day to day operation and long-term strategic planning of all the company’s production activities. Before joining SPPT in 2017, Natalie worked in various producing and production management roles in the screen content industry for over 16 years. She was the Head of Production at the WA Screen Academy a specialist screen studies program at Edith Cowan University, where she over saw the annual collection of short dramas and the gala showcase event that is broadcast on Channel 9 Perth. She was also the Executive Producer of a series of online interactive drama campaigns.
Other production credits include the AFI nominated telemovie 3 Acts of Murder, SBS comedy drama series, Marx and Venus and ABC documentary, Courting with Justice, which was successful at a number of local and international festivals. She also has experience in TVC production, including an award winning spot for NSW Waste Recycling, and numerous short films.
Natalie has expertise in production, project management and problem solving within creative enterprises. She is committed to engaging audiences and working with talented teams to deliver exceptional creative projects. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Media Studies) and a Graduate Diploma in Screen Business and Producing from AFTRS.
With over 20 years of arts sector experience across theatre, music and visuals arts, Susan brings a passion for the creative arts and a wealth of expertise to Spare Parts Puppet Theatre.
Susan Clarke started out her arts career as a visual artist, then ventured into arts management including stage management for theatre and festivals (Perth Theatre Company, Deckchair Theatre, State Theatre Company of South Australia, Womadelaide, Adelaide Festival), event and project management (Fremantle Festival, Denmark Festival of Voice, local government) and eventually returned to arts practise as a musician.
During the past 12 years, Susan’s focus has been in contemporary music where she has been a performer, music manager, industry advocate, event/production coordinator and on the WAM Board of Directors.
Marketing and Communications Officer
Elena graduated from Curtin University in 2012 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication. Since her graduation, Elena has worked in several digital communication and marketing roles including internationally for clients such as Vital Energy Micronesia and locally for energy supplier Horizon Power. Through these roles she has harnessed a multifaceted skill set, and excelled in delivering the optimisation of multiple businesses digital capabilities, resulting in enhanced stakeholder engagements. Elena specialises in social media management, website management, branding, stakeholder engagement, strategy execution (with a keen focus on employee engagement and change management), initiative development, management and execution, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), copywriting and content development for multiple media platforms.
Bookings and Administration 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 enjoyed the opportunity to work in a variety of schools and was invited to pursue a masters through research for her work in raising engagement levels of Indigenous students through storytelling and music programs. She also had excellent opportunities to work with many deaf students and non-neurotypical students where she learned a lot about how the arts can impact a child’s view of self and the world around them.
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 booking and administration operations including our School of Puppetry. You can catch her smiling at the Box Office desk Mon – Fri from 8:30am – 2pm.
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.