Peter is highly regarded for his incomparable contribution to the changing face of puppetry in Australia over the past 35 years.
Peter began in puppetry in 1975 and in 1977 co-founded Handspan Theatre in Melbourne, Australia. His continued association with Handspan over 18 years realised many major international successes including Secrets, Four Little Girls, Cho Cho San and Smalls. In 1985, Peter attended a 3-month ‘stage’ at the L’Institut International de la Marionette in Charleville Mezierres France, under the direction of Philippe Genty. His association with internationally acclaimed Director in Nigel Triffitt included The Fall of Singapore, Mommas Little Horror Show and Moby Dick.
In 1993, Peter moved to Canberra to take on the position of Artistic Director for Company Skylark. National/international tours included Wake Baby, Twinkle Twinkle Little Fish, Inside Dry Water andThe Hobbit. In October 1995, Peter was presented with the Canberra Times ‘Artist of the Year’ Award, to celebrate his commitment to performing arts. In 1997, Peter was awarded the highly prestigious Sidney Myer Individual Performing Artist of the Year award for his contribution to puppetry. In 2000, Peter directed the Naturesegment for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Opening Ceremony.
As associate Director and Puppeteer, Peter once again hit the national/international touring circuit, 2000-2002 with the widely acclaimed The Theft of Sita. Peter was awarded an Asia Link in 2001/2, undertaking a 3-month residency in Japan. In 2002, Peter was awarded a Senior Creative Fellows position at the Victorian Arts Centre in Melbourne. He was also presented in the same year with the prestigious Australia Council Fellowship. Peter directed the first National Puppetry and Animatronics Summit in Melbourne in 2002.
In 2003, Peter directedtwo successful works in Japan with Theatre Kazenoko and Unrinko Gekidan. A World of Paper went onto acclaimed international success. In August 2004, Currency Press launched The Space Between, written by Peter in association with Geoffrey Milne. The book details the development of the Art of Puppet and Visual theatre in Australia over the past 30 years.
Peter developed the first Post Graduate Diploma and Masters in Puppetry program for the Victorian College of the Arts in 2004.He directed The Red Treefor Out of the Box Festival in Brisbane in June 2004. He directed Rivers of Light for Australia’s National Day at World Expo in Nagoya in 2005 along with the Australia’s Farewell Concert.Peter was Director of Puppetry for the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony. He was also Segment Director and Director of Animation for the 2006 Asian Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies held in Doha, Qatar, December 2006.
Peter directed Citrawarna 2007/2008/2009 in Kuala Lumpur for the 50th Anniversary of Independence celebrations. Peter Directed The Dragon Childfor the ‘China Children’s Art Theatre’, 2008 in Beijing. The work has had international acclaim including New York, Melbourne, Hanoi and Mexico.Peter DirectedBali Agungfor Bali Safari and Marine Park-2010. He was consultant Puppetry Director on How to Train Your Dragon- Global Creatures-2012.
He is currently directing The Flying Orchestra for 2012 Out of the Box Festival at QPAC. Peter returns to Beijing in June 2012 to direct Cho Cho San for the China National Theatre.
Marius de Vries
Composer and Arranger