Theater puppeteer Lyndon Peter Wilson has died at the age of 77.
Theater puppeteer and former artistic director of the National Theater for Children in Capital E, Lyndon Peter Wilson, has died at the age of 77.
Wilson – known as Peter – died in his sleep on March 22 at his home in PaekÄkÄriki, on the KÄpiti Coast north of Wellington.
Born in Hobart, Tasmania on December 3, 1943, Wilson secured a place at Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Arts before retiring due to costs.
After several years in various commercial radio positions, as a children’s television presenter at the Commercial Bank of Australia, then as a nurse educator, Wilson studied dance and theater with the Tasmanian Dance Company. .
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In 1970 Wilson helped found and served as artistic director of the Tasmanian Puppet Theater, a role he held until 1981.
During his time there, he established a reputation for innovation, blending dance, drama and music amidst the midst of puppet theater, and helping to support art forms like rod puppets and the black theater.
In 1973 Wilson was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to travel to Prague, Bochum, Birmingham, Moscow, Tokyo, and the United States to study and develop his art.
In 1981, alongside Cathryn Robinson and Beverly Campbell-Jackson, Wilson founded the Spare Parts Puppet Theater in Fremantle, near Perth, Western Australia.
As artistic director, he again did a lot to encourage the growth of local puppetry talent, with puppeteers from Japan, China, Czechoslovakia and the United States being invited to help create shows there. .
In 1996, Wilson left to follow Robinson to Wellington. He went on to become the founding artistic director of the National Theater for Children in Capital E, where he remained until 2010, before founding his Little Dog Barking Theater Company.
Wilson has won several international theater awards for productions created by Little Dog Barking, including at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Asia-Pacific International Puppetry Festival.
In 2013, Robinson and Wilson got married at their local church in PÄuatahanui.
His nephew, Gavin Wales, said Wilson was known for his involvement with children. Wilson was witty and defiant, Wales said.
âNo man is a prophet in his own land is a phrase that I think fits Peter well,â said Wales.
Robyn Lassey, a close friend of Wilson, said he was a “great storyteller and storyteller” from an early age.
âWhen Peter was in the mood for storytelling, nothing could stop him, nothing was sacred, no take was off limits,â she said. “He made us scream with laughter, tears streaming down our cheeks and gripping our sides until we were doubled over in pain.”
Wilson was to be made an honorary member of the International Puppetry Union in Bali in recognition of his world service to puppetry and theater.
In a statement, Capital E said they lost a close friend who created lasting works.
âHe was kind, generous with his time, inspiring and had a strong vision for children’s theater. … He will be missed as an important part of the New Zealand theater community, but also as a friend and collaborator.