Oddysea: New Model of Accessible Theatre for Kids

[ Music ]>>This is Wairoa Special School
and we have students from 4 to 18 and everybody’s got a
severe intellectual disability.>>”Oddysea” is a
story of friendship. There two great mates
Turtle and Crab and together with the children who come to the show they find
a message in a bottle.>>Today the performers
are coming here to do a little mini-workshop
based around the performance
next week. They start introducing
the main characters and introducing themselves
so the performers get to know the students
and the students get to know the performers as
well as the characters.>>What we do is we
work in sensory theatres and use all the senses
touch, taste, smell, lots of hands-on storytelling
to bring the story to life. So they’re really,
really open to it and you can see light
bulbs going off.>>I think it’s really
impressive. I think it shows a real
reaching out to all sections of the community with lovely
openness I like very much.>>It’s just great when
you’ve got an event that understands the special
needs kids and makes allowances for the fact they
want to get up. They want to walk around
and they may want to talk.>>All of them you could
see accessing it and looking and responding and enjoying it.>>And then when we
go to the Opera House that in itself is
quite a major thing. It’s so lovely because
we’ll know everybody. We’ll know the props. We’ll know the characters. We’ll know the performers
so all we have to worry about is going to
the Opera House. [ Music ]>>The Opera House wants
to be open to everybody. I think it’s a really
important initiative because up until now The Opera House has
been doing a lot of modifying of existing performances. But this show is designed
specifically for children who might find it sort of
challenging to come to some of the mainstream shows. There are lots of
access requirements and this is accessible to people
with perhaps the most challenges to come into a regular show.>>I see these children
sitting down for an hour and completely immersing
themselves in the story and just I haven’t
seen that before.>>I think everybody
loves a story so for these guys it’s
really important they have that experience just really
getting caught up in the story.>>She had a magnificent
time I think. Did you like it?>>Yeah.>>Did you like when
we went to the beach? And went under the sea?>>Uh-huh.>>Yeah?>>It was really brilliant because all 14 children
had a lovely time.>>They are kids and even
though they may not be able to tell us they enjoy the shows that other kids would
enjoy as well. Sometimes they just need
a little bit of help. [ Music ]

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