Feature Article - Terrapin
Contributed by Alicia James, Terrapin
A puppet-based theatre company, Terrapin is recognised as one of Australia’s premier visual theatre companies. Founded in 1991, Terrapin Theatre creates productions that draw on the best of contemporary and traditional techniques, always striving to explore the unimagined.
Terrapin’s productions are developed collaboratively by puppeteers, designers, writers, directors and composers. The company’s work explores a wide variety of puppetry styles and hybrid art forms. The diverse repertoire includes both original works and adaptations of well-known books, such as their 1998 production of The BFG, adapted from Roald Dahl’s novel. The combination of new ideas and traditional skills has come to fruition in recent years with the company’s increased success and profile, in its home State of Tasmania, across Australia and internationally.
Works by the company include small touring productions that travel to children in their schools and large in-theatre works for both family and adult audiences. In 1998, almost 90,000 people of all ages enjoyed Terrapin’s unique brand of entertainment. Of these, 21,000 were audiences in Sri Lanka, Malaysia, South Korea and Taiwan who experienced Terrapin’s work during three international tours mounted by the company. The success of these overseas tours testifies to puppetry’s ability to transcend language and cultural boundaries.