Sensory Theatre Symposium

Published: 21 January 2024
Reporter: Sandra Giorgetti

Interplay Theatre’s 2024 Sensory Theatre Symposium

Leeds-based Interplay Theatre is producing a Sensory Theatre Symposium on 1 February to be held at Leeds Playhouse, which is also supporting the event and which will also be available online.

The day-long event will feature artists, programmers and companies who specialise in work for learning disabled audiences, as well as audience members, looking at various aspects of producing sensory work, and will be valuable for those looking to learn more about sensory theatre and the practise of creating performances for those with sensory needs.

Participants include:

  • Artist, researcher and industry leader in Sensory Theatre practice Jeremy Harrison,
  • Mind the Gap artist JoAnne Haines,
  • Lead artist of Tenterhooks Diane Thornton,
  • Joint artistic directors of Frozen Light, Lucy Garland and Amber Onat Gregory.

Attendees with PMLD (profound multiple learning disability) and/or complex needs can experience the symposium through all the senses, with interactive installations, shows and sensory sessions. There will be three performances of Interplay Theatre’s show My Life with The Wave, a story of friendship beneath the waves which uses music, movement, digital technology and physical interaction to help engage audiences in a multi-sensory accessible and inclusive performance.

Kirsty Pennycook, the new Artistic Director at Interplay Theatre, said, “we are really looking forward to the symposium to share practice with other artists and companies, and welcome in venues and programmers from across the UK. With the support of Leeds Playhouse, we are ensuring that this day is accessible to people with learning disabilities and sensory needs, and their presence on our panels will be instrumental.”

Interplay Theatre’s 2024 Sensory Theatre Symposium takes place on 1 February between 10 and 4pm at Leeds Playhouse. Tickets prices are NPO/large organisations £60, independent artists £30, digital tickets £10. Digital participation will be via a monitored Zoom stream, which means national and international participants can contribute live.

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