Blended Delivery Research and Development Summer Project 2021
During the summer and autumn of 2021 we were lucky enough to gain the support of our funders to take some time to explore ways of COVID proofing our work going forward especially the creative delivery. We experimented and explored new ways of working within COVID limitations while focusing on researching and developing a blended delivery approach to new work and projects where online offers would be combined with live work to enhance what we are able to deliver in these somewhat restricted times. We pleased to be able to develop new methodologies and practises that will enhance our work even once the pandemic has passed. Work included developing and testing door step performances, COVID secure outdoor performances, developing our online delivery as we translated what we do in real time to digital, exploring online delivery methods and the development of an interactive sensory film. The online interactive sensory film- Squirrel and The Midnight Forest will soon be available and can be found on our website with tickets available through Eventbrite.
An Online Inclusive Play Skills Training & Creative Empowerment Initiative for Parents and Professionals during COVID 2020-2021
During all the lock downs to date due to Covid our team ran a very successful online inclusive play skills support initiative for isolated SEND families in the South East and further afield in the UK and beyond. We provided 15 short course online via Zoom supporting families and professionals with inclusive play skills ideas, methodologies and structures. The hands on courses and online resources explored why we play, the benefits of play for a child, new techniques and play structures.
These were complemented by one to one telephone and Zoom support and a Facebook support group. Central to this service were the online inclusive play skills resource pages that we developed especially covering areas such as inclusive play, multisensory play, sensory storytelling and inclusive music with the aim of supporting families through this difficult period.
Relaxed Cinema at The Oska Bright Film Festival
New improved relaxed cinema...
We worked with our new team members (neuro diverse artists from Carousel) to devise a new improved relaxed cinema event as part of the Oska Bright Film Festival. The festival is an international award winning festival of short films made by or featuring people with a learning disability. Our relaxed cinema sessions were for families showing a series of under the sea films. We added to what you might usually expect from a relaxed cinema event by incorporating play and performance elements and we had a lot of fun with the families who came along.
"We’ve never taken him to the cinema before, we loved it so much we came back twice in one day.. So inspiring, thank you!" Parent
"We had a great time. Its great having a space where everyone can be themselves and concentrate in the way that’s natural for them." Young person with SEN
Otherworld - Immersive Sensory Theatre & Playspace
A different journey everytime.......
Otherworld was an inclusive immersive sensory theatre and play project. It had the ability to combine interactive storytelling, puppets, music, audio and video multimedia all in a magically themed installation. Participants followed our performers and play specialists into our exciting immersive and interactive themed environment.
"A great success, really good!’"- Pippa Smith, Learning, Access and Participation Manager at Brighton Dome
Each person became an adventurer in their own unforgettable story. Each individual traveller was encouraged to explore the space and participate fully.
Whilst Otherworld welcomed everyone, it was designed specifically for children and young people with complex additional needs. Every visit to Otherworld was unique, constantly adapting, as we encompassed all levels of disability. Otherworld was accessed by both school groups and family groups.
Otherworld was a four year project between 2012 and 2016 and provided over 6000 opportunities for children and young people to participate in the arts.
The project continues to be available for commissioning and events around the UK:
Otherworld is specifically designed to work for different levels of ability and is equally accessible to all young people and their families and friends. All participants are able to share a creative experience, allowing a level playing field for new relationships and interactions to be developed through play, co-creation and fun.
We are a self-contained production with the ability to construct and deconstruct the space. We supply expert and skilled front of house, technicians, facilitators and performers who are all DBS cleared. A presenter’s pack is available upon request.
Otherworld can be reconfigured for a variety of settings in theatres, halls, art centers and festivals.
Otherworld can be accessed by family groups, school groups, respite care providers, special interest groups and individuals and can be easily adapted for different age groups. Otherworld is a touring participatory arts programme we offer 3 to 5 days residencies, each venue or event becoming a hub for different groups and individuals to visit one of our four 1 hour shows a day.
- an interactive and immersive theatre and play experience
- an interactive cinema experience
- arts workshops
The performances are aimed and tailored to children and adolescents with complex needs and SLD, but open to all. The environment specifically caters for the physical needs of participants, creating a safe, secure and creative space. We have worked closely with MENCAP, Scope, Autism Sussex, advocacy charities such as Amaze and parent groups in developing Otherworld.
Otherworld is tailored to the needs of each individual participant. As well as enjoying a stimulating creative experience, they benefit by:
- Building trusting relationships
- Developing communications skills, verbal and non-verbal
- Expressing and exploring feelings
- Developing social interaction skills, such as turn-taking and leading
- Listening and observing
- Developing artistic and creative skills
- Improving self-image and confidence
- Working with their imagination
- Creating opportunities and skills for self-advocacy
- Working safely, with clear boundaries
- Most importantly, having fun
Here is what people have said about Otherworld:
“…real sense of wonder……such a joy …pure play and fun” -Parent
“Twenty out of ten it was excellent, we’d love to come again” – Downs View school Teacher.
“I was bowled over by Otherworld. You have created something beautiful, a place of safety where children can be themselves and experience a real sense of wonder. The environment, with its colourful installations, music, lights and video projections, create a genuine 'otherworld' in which anything can - and does - happen. You and the rest of the team are incredible – such total commitment, responsiveness and empathy. The personal interactions with the children were breathtaking.” – Parent
"This was a excellent positive interactive show, thank you." - Pebbles, Brighton Parents Group
“xx has seen the immersive theatre and it blew her (and me) away!” – Parent
"The first place that we can all go together and play and it's so much fun!"(sibling)
"I would highly recommend Otherworld to any school or college mainstream or specialist. Absolutely stunning stuff." (Teacher)
“The immersive theatre show was amazing awesome and out of this world!" – Parent
Otherworld is an exciting, artistic collaboration involving Same Sky and Different Planet Arts.
Between 2013-2016 Otherworld’s expert team of theatre facilitators, story makers, musicians and play therapists reached over 4500 children, young people and their families in Otherworld performances across Sussex and delivered over 420 inclusive workshops.
The show pilot project premiered at the Brighton Dome Theatre and sold out in a matter of hours, with demand exceeding availability five times over. Otherworld has toured successfully around the South East of England at theatres, festivals and schools including The Corn Exchange Brighton, The Old Covered Market Theatre, The Brighton Fringe, Paddington Arts Centre, Chailey Heritage School, Palatine School Worthing and St Johns College Seaford
For bookings or inquiries about the work that we do please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone us on 07711717634.
It has been generously funded by the National Lottery, through the Reaching Communities Fund, Unity Theatre and The Fresh Leaf Foundation.