In 2016 we created Limitless, a pilot project that explored good practice in using drama and theatre methodologies with autistic children, teenagers and young adults.
Through the project, we hoped participants could discover more about their potential within a creative process whilst also developing key social, connectivity and communication experiences. This programme allowed the partners to work collaboratively to begin shifting attitudes and opportunities for autistic individuals who are interested in theatre and drama as a social opportunity, one that is creative and that also might lead to training and employment.
The pilot supported three cohorts of artists to design, deliver and evaluate new drama based workshops for autistic participants.
We placed a call out for ideas for workshops to the relatively small community of drama practitioners with some experience in this type of work. The following proposals were selected for the pilot.
THE REASON I ...
Led by theatre director Graham Eatough with professional theatre practitioners Zoe Halliday (movement), Graeme Rodgers (video), Dave Martin (sound) and Frances Poet (playwright) with participants: Emma McCaffrey, Nicola Tuxworth, Calum Macritchie, Michael Dawson.
UNDER THE SEA
Led by theatre makers Zoe Halliday and Aby Watson with musician Kim Allan in partnership with Isobel Mair School in East Renfrewshire with twenty four participants aged 7 – 11 years from three different classrooms within the school.
Led by theatre makers Thom Scullion and Murray Wasson with theatre practitioner Sarah Galloway, working with five participants aged 14 -18 years in partnership with Hope for Autism in Airdrie.
The aim of the pilot was to:
• Build skills and confidence for artists/staff in the engagement of autistic individuals in creative workshops/development and delivery of professional drama productions and curriculum.
• Develop a range of methodologies to engage autistic individuals across a series of ages, with drama devising and text approaches: try, test and evaluate.
• Test interest in and approaches to engagement of autistic individuals in developing work that tells their stories through creative writing/performance/collaboration.