5 June, 2024

Spare Parts Puppet Theatre is thrilled to announce these outstanding WA artists for its sought-after Artist in Residence Program for 2024.

The program offers artists a two-week residency at Spare Parts Puppet Theatre in Fremantle, providing financial support, access to studio space, company resources, and assistance from artistic and technical staff to develop an original puppetry work.

After a highly competitive application process, Spare Parts Puppet Theatre has selected Jane Davies and Louis Spencer, whose projects explore fearless and imaginative puppetry works.

We are proud to support these talented artists and look forward to supporting the creative growth and innovative puppetry works that will emerge from the program. We’ll share more information as each residency takes place across 2024.

The selected recipients for the 2024 Artist in Residence Program are:

Jane Davies

Jane Davies, living in regional WA, is a professional puppet fabricator with thirty years of experience. From 1997 to 2001, she collaborated with Spare Parts Artistic Director Noriko Nishimoto as a co-devisor, designer, maker, and performer, working on notable productions including Bugulugs Bum Thief and Cat Balloon. More recently, in 2022, she assisted Designer Cecile Williams in creating puppets for Show Day.

Jane has been mentored by leading puppetry artists, notably spending six months with Compagnie Philippe Genty in Paris to assist in the making of Forget me Not. In 1999, she formed her own production company, presenting Fortunata at various festivals, including the World Puppet Theatre Festival in France.

Her fascination with bringing inanimate objects to life drives her work in puppet fabrication, animation, and performance. Playing with scale is what Jane finds intriguing and the power puppets have in suspending an audience’s disbelief.

The Project:

Jane and her collaborators aim is to explore the possibilities of using shadow puppetry in combination with pre-recorded animation and live projected imagery. There will be a specific focus on technical skills, including the use of tools like projectors and laser cutters. They aim to develop and share these techniques through workshops with Indigenous children in the Great Southern, culminating in performances that celebrate their local stories and culture.


Louis Spencer

Louis is a theatre maker and performer with a keen interest in visual storytelling told through clowning, physical comedy and puppetry.

Since obtaining a BA in Theatre Making from the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts in 2018, Louis has pursued the development of an artistic practice that sits at the intersection of playwriting and visual/physical theatre making. This practice has led to Louis staging work at Perth’s Blue Room Theatre where he has taken up roles as writer, director and performer on multiple occasions.

Louis’ relationship with Spare Parts Puppet Theatre goes back to 2017 when he received training as part of the WAAPA’s Bachelor of Arts course. That relationship has developed overtime to include performing in Spare Parts’ season programs and participating in workshops and further training.

Louis proudly works and contributes to the Perth theatre in education ecosystem, working for and running programs for organisations such as the Constable Care Foundation and the WA Youth Theatre Company. This work has allowed Louis the opportunity to help develop artistic careers and foster community engagement amongst young people all over Western Australia.

The Project:

Louis and collaborators will be exploring the meeting point of clowning and object theatre during the residency. Their plan includes developing and exploring skills in object theatre and puppetry, integrating it with the performance styles of clowning and physical comedy. Armed with existing ideas and concepts, they will enter a process of experimentation and improvisation, examining how puppetry and object theatre can impact the clown character and their world.

Acknowledgement of Country

Spare Parts Puppet Theatre respectfully acknowledges the Whadjuk Noongar people as the traditional owners and custodians of the unceded land on which we work. As we tour our work across these vast lands, we pay our respect to all First Nations elders, past and present. We celebrate their continuing connection and contribution to culture, country and community, and thank all First Nations peoples for their wisdom in caring for the land, the sky, the rivers and the sea.