Waseda Day @ UoB: Shakespeare for People with Autism and Special Needs

Aston Webb (R6 on campus map) - WG12
Arts and Law, International, Lectures Talks and Workshops, Students
Wednesday 4th March 2020 (14:00-17:00)
Download the date to your calendar (.ics file)

The Shakespeare Institute, General Enquiries: shakespeare@bham.ac.uk

Waseda University Logo
Waseda University logo

As part of Waseda Day at the University of Birmingham there will be an open session on: Shakespeare for people with autism and special needs: The Potential of developing the Hunter Heartbeat Method in Japan and other Asian countries.

The session will be led by:
Kelly Hunter MBE. Artistic Director Flute Theatre
Norifumi Hida, Assistant Professor at the Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum, Waseda
Professor Michael Dobson. Director, Shakespeare Institute

The topic of session
In this session, we will explore the how we can use Shakespeare to  highlight the similarities between nations, rather than focusing on differences.

Japan has promoted inclusive arts intensively toward the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games for the past few years, and more artists in Japan have come to increase an interest in this kind of work. However, they struggle to work with people with autism and other disabilities for lack of knowledge and skills of disability arts or inclusive arts. For this reason, the Theatre Museum organised a workshop about theatre for children and young people with autism.

Through showing footage of  the actors playing the games, we will analyse how the Japanese participants received the Hunter Heartbeat Method during the workshop and how they applied the method to their practices.  Through that, we will discuss the potential of developing the Hunter Heartbeat Method in Asian countries.

The Hunter Heartbeat Method is a series of sensory drama games based on the essence of Shakespeare, created by Kelly Hunter MBE, for people with autism.  These unique games are derived from Shakespeare’s poetic exploration of how it feels to be alive.  Through focusing on moments in Shakespeare where characters emerge through seeing, thinking and feeling, the games offer people on the autism spectrum an opportunity to express themselves; exploring eye contact, language skills, spacial awareness, facial expressions and imaginative play. The games are played  in a safe loving space where everyone involved can begin to share common human experience. These sensory games form the basis for Flute Theatre’s productions for people with autism and their families.

EnpakuFlute Theatre logo