Flute Theatre, who push the boundaries of Shakespeare performance for audiences with autism and their families across the world, return with a new series of online interactive performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream from 12 October – 12 December 2020.
This follows their celebrated version of Shakespeare’s Pericles earlier this year, created during lockdown and in response to the current COVID-19 crisis. The result of the global pandemic has meant that many autistic people have experienced and continue to experience increased isolation. Flute Theatre’s response is to create performances made by the company via Zoom to individual households for autistic individuals and their families. Neurotypical siblings and all family members are welcome to join in.
Flute Theatre has adapted their specialized games so they can be accessed and experienced online in order to continue to play with autistic individuals and their families every day. The aim is to combat isolation as well as alleviate increased fears and anxiety experienced by autistic individuals during this crisis. Please see the separate testimonials sheet to see the reaction from participants, parents and mental health practitioners who experienced the Pericles online interactive performance during lockdown.
Kelly Hunter MBE, Artistic Director of Flute Theatre said: I first created these sensory games for autistic people from A Midsummer Night’s Dream twenty years ago, when I began this work. The play’s exploration of an inverted world with eyes that hear, ears that see, hands that taste and minds that love, gave me a perfect starting place to explore the sensory world of autism and create my sensory games for autistic people. Now with Covid-19 continuing to restrict the physical proximity between actor and autistic participant, these sensory games take on a deeper resonance as I continue to adapt my work from real space to virtual. Our production, with our interactive games of dream worlds and awakenings, will offer families who are marginalized and locked away a place to combat isolation, express their deeper feelings and shine their inner lights more brightly than before.
For A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the show is experienced through sensory games that are musical, funny, and physical; each game creates a different dream, shared between actors and autistic participants. Through these dream games Flute Theatre share the eyes of Titania, the ears of Bottom, the hands of Puck and the hearts of the lovers. If a participant finds one of the dream games particularly enjoyable, they can play it with the company as long as they like.
Flute Theatre will connect to those who would like to take part via Zoom throughout the world and will adapt the show to suit individual needs. Performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream will last up to an hour, with no age limits for participation. Schools can also take part with up to three autistic individuals. To book visit www.flutetheatre.co.uk/contact
Alongside A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Flute Theatre has created a number of online resources and games to play at home for autistic individuals and their families.
Further information can be found at www.flutetheatre.co.uk/hunterheartbeatmethod/how-to-play-at-home/