Peter W. Loosli
First NamePeter W.
BirthHilterfingen, Canton of Bern, Switzerland (1919)
DeathOttikon, Canton of Zürich, Switzerland (2011)
Swiss actor, puppeteer and puppet theatre director. Peter W. Loosli started his life in the theatre as a professionally trained actor at the Schauspielhaus Zürich (Zürich Playhouse, also known as Pfauenbühne). After having worked extensively in the theatre, for radio broadcasts, in films and on television, Loosli’s interest turned to puppets. In 1948, he founded the Looslis Puppentheater (Loosli Puppet Theatre), together with his wife Trudi, and for over fifty years, their company captivated a public of children and adults.
With the production of Der kleine Prinz (The Little Prince, 1955), adapted from the story by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Peter Loosli initiated a new way of performing puppetry in Switzerland. In this innovative production, Loosli performed on stage with the puppets rather than remaining “invisible” to audiences, and he used a mixed variety of techniques in the show – string puppets, masks, visible manipulator and narrator – that would thereafter become standard practice in puppet theatres.
The Little Prince has been performed over five thousand times in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Hungary and Russia. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry has become the most played French author in the German-speaking world. Because of his role in promoting this French classic tale for children and adults, Peter W. Loosli was recognized by the French Minister of Culture in 1996 and awarded the title, “Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres”.