As part of Imaginate’s ongoing programme of artist residencies supporting new performance ideas for young audiences, Imaginate and St Crispin’s school will host artist Ellie Griffiths from September – December 2017 in a project called FRAMES. This one-term pilot project will fund Ellie to spend time with pupils in the school with time for her own research to explore performance ideas for young, neurodiverse audiences.
Ellie has observed that a lot of young people on the autistic spectrum really seem to engage more with visuals or sound that is framed and directional so would like to play with the possibilities of framing as an aesthetic approach of making performance.
This will involve lots of creative explorations with spotlights, sensory objects, sound through tubes, viewing mini performances through tubes, making mini performances to be enjoyed through headphones and ear defenders, making one to one mini performances and finding ways to clear peripheral clutter and noise to create focused creative environments. This will involve a lot of improvisation and the use of intensive interaction as much as possible.
Ellie will start with observation in the class before beginning to respond to the pupils and their interests. She will work with Imaginate and St Crispin’s to design sessions bringing in additional professionals, such as a visual artist, in response to pupil interests.
Alongside this Ellie will be researching framing used in cinematography, dance films, and scenography to create enjoyable performance viewing experiences for this audience, that do not necessarily follow normal theatre traditions.
Ellie Griffiths is a theatre maker based in Scotland who specialises in making performance for neurodiverse audiences. You can read more about her here.
St Crispin’s School is a non-denominational special school located in southeast Edinburgh, providing education for both primary and secondary aged pupils. Their pupils have long term additional support needs, where learners require a significantly modified learning environment. Needs of learners are primarily associated with learning disability and Autism Spectrum Disorder.
The school serves a wide area with pupils travelling from all parts of the city plus a small number from surrounding areas.
They have a primary, a secondary and a senior department all working within the Curriculum for Excellence towards qualifications at SQA Access Level and from the ASDAN programme.
If you would like to talk about this project, or for further information about Imaginate's creative development work, you can contact Fiona Ferguson (Creative Development Director).