Head2Head Sensory Theatre, a specialist theatre charity from Ashtead in Surrey have discovered that the current lockdown has actually enabled them to connect with a much wider audience.
The charity, which normally spends the majority of the year developing and touring shows for disabled people of all ages, has had to rethink how to reach its core audience during lockdown. After much thought they decided to put their latest show online as it was impossible to take it on the road. The decision has paid off as their specially tailored shows have now been viewed by families not only across the UK but around the world. With this in mind, the charity has decided that now is the perfect time to focus on raising funds in order to create a purpose-built hub from which to reach even more families.
Since its inception in 2006, it has been the dream of the charity and its founders to one day develop a permanent, uniquely designed base from which to produce their ground-breaking work. Head2Head are about to launch a fund raising campaign to realise this dream. A permanent base will enable the company to reach even more disabled young people who have never had the opportunity to experience the wonder of theatre in its many forms. The vision of the charity is to be able to provide an innovative, educational, arts-focussed space that will include a sensory garden, dance studio, theatre space and life skills arena (for people transitioning from special school education) as part of its remit.
“As part of our on-line performances viewers are encouraged to go on a treasure hunt to find household items that will make the show interactive and sensory. In addition, we have launched sessions hosted on Zoom that are linked to past productions and presented by familiar characters. These have been very popular with families and children have been able to explore the beach, organise a tea party and share the adventures of Mr Toad – all from the comfort and safety of their own homes. The sessions allow the children to enjoy messy multi-sensory play, songs, and chants. Activities have been supported by advance packs, so that families and children can prepare for these immersive experiences and get the most from them.
As one parent said, “We've been shielding since March and haven't been outside in 20 weeks. Things are 'going back to normal' (apparently) but we just don't feel it’s safe enough for our special family and we just can't risk it. We've been feeling very left behind and alone. We are so grateful for an exciting accessible activity to look forward to, thanks to our favourite people at Head2Head!”
For more information please visit the Head2Head website
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