Pup­pets on a spring to promi­nence in Perth

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Stage -

AF­TER the suc­cess of TheGiants’ visit to Perth, pup­petry is well and truly in the spot­light.

Spare Parts Pup­pet Theatre is tak­ing ad­van­tage of this pop­u­lar­ity boom, last week an­nounc­ing a new part­ner­ship with the West­ern Aus­tralian Academy of Per­form­ing Arts, which will see the school of­fer a new pup­petry and vis­ual theatre unit as part of the Bach­e­lor of Per­form­ing Arts de­gree.

WAAPA course co-or­di­na­tor Frances Barbe said it was an ex­cit­ing time to in­cor­po­rate pup­petry into the train­ing of per­form­ing arts stu­dents.

“Pup­petry is a great train­ing tool to sen­si­tise per­form­ers to the full po­ten­tial of ob­jects in per­for­mance and to de­velop the vis­ual in­tel­li­gence of our per­for­mance-mak­ers,” she said.

“Through their work with Spare Parts, our stu­dents will be­come more vis­ual sto­ry­tellers who un­der­stand the power of the im­age and metaphor in per­for­mance, as well as the power of the word.

“We are so lucky to have a com­pany like Spare Parts here on our doorstep.”

Spare Parts has also an­nounced Humphrey Bower, Yvan Karls­son and Sam Longley as the 2015 mem­bers of First­Hand, a pro­gram that sup­ports emerg­ing artists to de­velop their pup­petry skills.

For­mer First­Hand artists in­clude Chloe Flockart and Bec Bradley, both nom­i­nated in the 2015 Per­form­ing Arts Awards, and St John Cowcher, who is on an in­ter­na­tional tour with The Ad­ven­tures of Alvin Sput­nik: Deep Sea Ex­plorer.

“First­Hand con­tin­ues to grow year by year, at­tract­ing in­ter­est from around the coun­try and over­seas,” Spare Parts artis­tic direc­tor Philip Mitchell said.

“As a com­pany we’ve been com­mit­ted to the devel­op­ment of the art form and to train­ing artists in­ter­ested in the art form since our be­gin­nings in 1981.

“Pro­grams such as First­Hand, as well as work­shops and mas­ter­class pre­sen­ta­tions, the men­tor­ing of mid-ca­reer pup­petry artists and now for ter­tiary stu­dents through our new part­ner­ship with WAAPA, are so im­por­tant to us as an or­gan­i­sa­tion.”

Pic­ture: Martin Ken­nealey www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d425958

For­mer First­Hand artist Chloe Flockart (right) with Ruth Battle with pup­pets from Spare Part’s 2014 pro­duc­tion of Farm.

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