The Hunter Heartbeat Method is a series of sensory games I have created for children and young people with autism. They are games that need only the human voice and body and another person to play with. These games are derived from Shakespeare’s poetic exploration of how it feels to be alive, specifically through his obsession with the eyes and the mind and with reason and love; how we see, think and feel, which forms the spine of his poetry. “Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind” (Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream) has three of these keywords in just one line.
Those with autism struggle with making themselves understood, their struggle is communicative and sensory. Through focusing on moments in Shakespeare where characters emerge through seeing, thinking and feeling, my games offer children and young people on the spectrum an opportunity to express themselves, exploring eye contact, language skills, spacial awareness, facial expressions and imaginative play. The children play the games with actors 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 children with autism.
Kelly Hunter is the Artistic Director of Flute Theatre and an award winning actor. She is the author of two books, ”Shakespeare’s Heartbeat, drama games for children with autism” and ”Cracking Shakespeare; A hands-on guide for actors and directors”.
Kelly Hunters assistant, Finlay Cormack, is trained at East 15 Acting School. On stage he played Laertes and understudied Hamlet in ETT/Flute Theatre’s production of Hamlet, was Zach in Worklight Theatre’s ”IX”, and Young Polixenes in ”The Winter’s Tale” (Aldeburgh Festival/TheCockpit). Finlay most recently played Puck in ”A Midsummer Night’s Dream" at The Orange Tree Theatre and Bridge Theatre.
This workshop is primarily for actors, dancers, directors - but also to drama teachers and others who wish to learn more about creating children's and young's performing arts with diagnoses in the autism spectrum.
Max 20 participants
Hosted by: Scenkonstprojektet Scen:se / Folkteatern Gävleborg, in collaboration with Riksteatern Barn och Unga, with support of Arvsfonden and Postkodstiftelsen