Flute Theatre hosts international events for autistic individuals and their families

Harriet Clifford
Monday, March 15, 2021

In celebration of World Autism Awareness Week (29 March–4 April), Flute Theatre is to present five days of interactive performances with autistic individuals and their families from India, the USA, Spain, Peru and the UK.

The team will perform their online A Midsummer Night’s Dream with one family, while audiences can watch as a silent observer. After each performance there will be an Open House Session where families from around the world can share their experiences and hopes for the future.

The schedule for A Midsummer Night’s Dream is as follows:
29 March – performance in India
30 March – performance in the UK
31 March – performance in the USA
1 April – performance in Barcelona, Spain

On 2 April, which is World Autism Awareness Day, Flute Theatre’s performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Open House session will come from Teatro La Plaza in Lima, Peru.

Additionally, the theatre will be hosting a 24-hour ‘Live Heartbeats’ session on social media shared by Flute’s international company across the UK, US, Peru, Spain, India and Japan. The Heartbeats are devised to provide a safe womb-like environment to help calm nerves, anxiety and panic attacks.

Flute Theatre will also launch its Tempest Project with Teatro La Plaza in Peru. Collaboratively, the theatres will create an online adapted production of The Tempest for autistic individuals and their families. Like the two other adaptations created in response to coronavirus, the production will use the Hunter Heartbeat Method created by Flute Theatre artistic director Kelly Hunter MBE.

Kelly Hunter said: ‘Since the pandemic began a year ago, we have adapted our unique productions of Shakespeare for autistic individuals to be accessible online. Our ambition for this week is to bring these families together to consolidate a community network of strength and hope allowing this marginalised population to feel connected, known and loved.

‘As we emerge from the pandemic, no-one should return to the isolationism and bigotry that has been shown so clearly to besiege autistic people. We are using theatre to bring about social change that can empower the autistic community to feel resilient and respected.’