Little Dog Barking Theatre

Peter Wilson established Little Dog Barking Theatre is 2010 with the vision for the company to create original theatre productions specifically for our very young audiences. This has been successfully achieved for over 10 years; where the thrill and magic of live theatre has been taken into hundreds of Primary Schools and Early Childhood Centres.

Our productions are aimed at Early Childhood and Lower Primary School aged groups (generally 2-8 years). We make the performances intimate and accessible by bringing them to your location. This means smaller audiences and children are in their familiar environments creating greater opportunity for participation in the performances.


Peter Wilson was the founding artistic director of the Capital E National Theatre for Children; Whilst with them he created many popular early childhood programs including Farm at the End of the Road, Seasons, On Our Street and Songs of the Sea.

For Little Dog Barking he has created Party Pigs & a Sausage went for a Walk, Little Kowhai Tree, Paper Shaper, Paper Plays, Duck Death and the Tulip, The Pond and Rupert 

**The Vulnerable Children Act 2014 – all actors, technicians, Director and back office staff are all police checked**

Our Team

Peter Wilson - Founder


Peter Wilson sadly passed on the 22nd March 2021

Peter was the Founder and Artistic Director of Little Dog Barking Theatre Company. 

He trained as a classical dancer but after seeing visiting English Mime and Puppet Artist, Cilli Wang, became fascinated with the possibilities of puppet theatre. Determined to know more, study took him to the Puk Theatre of Tokyo, The Bunraku Theatre, National Theatre of Japan, The Central Puppet Theatres of Prague and Moscow and the Cannon Hill Puppet Theatre in the UK. Returning to Australia in 1973 he founded the Tasmanian Puppet Theatre and after ten years at the helm as Artistic Director was appointed Artist in Residence at Curtin University in Western Australia. This was followed by the critically acclaimed production of Doctor Faustus for the 1981 Festival of Perth. Staying on in Perth, Western Australian he established the Spare Parts Theatre and within a short period of time the Company was touring nationally across Australia and internationally to Japan, China, Korea, USA, Canada and Singapore. He has collaborated to create new work with artists from around Australia and internationally from Japan, China, USA and the Czech Republic.

In 1997 he moved to New Zealand where he was appointed Artistic Director of Capital E National Theatre for Children, he remained with the company for 13 years. His commitment to high quality work for children is a testament now to that company’s reputation. Peter has created work as a freelance Director/Devisor for the Shanghai Puppet Theatre, Drak Theatre in the Czech Republic, Handspan Theatre, Java Dance Company, Sydney Metropolitan Opera Company, Footnote Dance and the Marionette Theatre of Australia.

In 2014, his production of Paper Shaper was awarded “Best Foreign Drama “at the First Asian/Pacific Puppet Festival in Nanchong, China and The Company’s production of Duck, Death and the Tulip was awarded “Outstanding Theatre Production” at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
In 2015, he has been invited to direct his play “Children of the Dragon” in Shanghai and to teach senior students at the Shanghai Performing Arts Academy. 

Kenny King- Actor/Puppeteer


Kenny King is an award winning puppeteer and actor. Trained at Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School, Kenny has been a professional performer for over 15 years. He began his puppetry career at Capital E National Theatre for Children under the tutelage of Peter Wilson. They have enjoyed a fruitful professional relationship ever since. In 2010 Kenny won the inaugural Chapman Tripp Critics Choice Award for his puppetry in Capital E’s “End Game”. Kenny is also an accomplished improviser, having worked for The Improvisors, Wellingtons longest running professional improv troupe since 2005. 

Manuel Solomon - Actor/Puppeteer

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Manuel Solomon is currently an Auckland based actor, dancer and choreographer, of Samoan, German, Pākehā, and Māori descent. Graduate of acting from Toi Whakaari:NZ Drama school, class of 2012.

 Passionate about using movement to tell stories, Manny has been working in the industry since leaving drama school as a dancer/choreographer and actor in works like “Spring awakening” ‘Tiki Taane Mahuta’ and “The Undertow” among others.

Manuel is grateful to be a part of the little dog barking whānau and is very excited to bring his love and passion for movement and story telling to our young rangatahi across the motu.

Laurel Mitchell - Actor/Puppeteer 

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Laurel Mitchell is an actor and comedian, currently based in Wellington. She has just completed her undergraduate degree with a major in Theatre as well as Classical Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. This has driven a love for folk tales and the reimaging of old stories particularly in Children's Theatre. She also has a love for shows that educate, with a recent credit including 'Celestial Nobodies' a polylogue from the perspective of  different planets, each tackling a different social issue. This has developed a love of performances that are creative and funny, with a grounding in education

Jacqueline Coats - Director 

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Jacqueline has an MTA in Directing from Victoria University of Wellington/Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School and was recently awarded a postgraduate diploma in Arts Education Management from the University of Leeds. Over her career, she has worked as a director, restage director or assistant director for many theatres, opera companies, festivals, and orchestras around NZ. She has a particular passion for creating work for and with young people.

Hayley Collett - Producer