Theatre puts on a sense sensation for nursery visit
As part of its Artsfest celebrations, the Arena Theatre at the University of Wolverhampton opened its doors to Bromley Specialist Nursery to allow children aged between 3 and 5 the chance to experience live theatre and performance for the first time.
The nursery, based in Pensnett, Dudley, provides education for children with specialist needs ranging from learning difficulties and autism to children who are deaf and blind or have profound physical disabilities. The nursery celebrates the differences in children’s cultures and lifestyles and actively promotes equality for all.
The visit to the Arena Theatre allowed children to experience a live performance for the first time and the theatre also created a sensory soft play environment in the studio that the children could use throughout the day.
Lynne Richards, Teacher–In –Charge at Bromley Specialist Nursery, said: “The theatre staff spent a long time with myself and the team at Bromley to find out about the needs of our children. Not only did they enable us to see the show but in addition they facilitated a totally sensory session in their studio space. During this session the children were able to access soft play with additional lighting, oral and visual stimulus.
“It was so refreshing to find a venue which adapted to meet the needs of the children rather than expecting the children to adapt to a different environment than the one they are used to. Nothing has been a barrier for the Arena team – their attitude to access and inclusion is inspiring!”
The children watched a performance of The Very Magic Flute, staged by the Krazy Kat Theatre Company – a brand new take on Mozart’s classic opera which has been created to be enjoyed by children aged 3 to 7 alongside their parents and carers. It features puppets, magical transformations and fully integrated sign language.
As well as the group from Bromley Specialist Nursery the show was enjoyed by over 250 people from local schools, nurseries and organisations that cater for those with disabilities.
Kinny Gardner, Artistic Director at the Krazy Kat Theatre Company, said: “I love watching deaf children enjoy the same show as their hearing friend or their hearing brother or sister. They get the same laughs because it’s not about the language, it’s about the visual. That’s what gets me out of bed in the morning, developing the sign language, developing the visual side of the work.”
The Arena Theatre has been recognised nationally for its commitment to access and inclusion and is one of the leading venues in the country for supporting deaf and disabled artists and theatregoers.
Artsfest 2016 runs until June 24th in Wolverhampton, Walsall, Lichfield and Stafford. For more Artsfest listings or to discover other ways of getting involved visit: www.wlv.ac.uk/artsfest
For more information regarding Artsfest please email Fran Richards – Artsfest Co-Ordinator firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01902 321 321 for media enquiries please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 322003/322736
Date Issued: 31st May 2016