Young people at Prior’s Court are getting a taste of Shakespeare from the comfort and safety of our site, thanks to a theatre company and video conferencing software.

The first in a series of sessions with Flute Theatre were held earlier this week, with actors performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream via Zoom for one of our young people in each performance.

Flute Theatre, which creates and performs Shakespeare productions for those affected by autism and their families, has embraced video conferencing technology during Covid-19 to provide its inclusive experiences involving sensory games.

At Prior’s Court, the arts are a crucial aspect of our curriculum to give our young people, many of whom are pre-verbal, a powerful means of communicating their needs, expressions and feelings.

Due to coronavirus-related restrictions, the usual regular visits of a theatre company to Prior’s Court have been halted, with the alternative provided by Flute Theatre a welcome addition for our young people to benefit from.

On Monday, young person Jessica was the first to take part in the Flute Theatre sessions, being encouraged to mimic the gestures and noises made by the actors during the course of the performance.

Claudio Vilella Moreno, one of our teachers who has a passion for drama, supported Jessica through the session which explores eyes, ears, hands and hearts.

Claudio said: “During the amazing performance I saw Jessica so engaged and following the instructions so well. As time went on, I could see how she grew in confidence and became totally engrossed in the session.

“The gestures and noises used through the performance are great as a way to develop a young person’s social skills. And it was brilliant how this worked so well on Zoom.

“Drama is a fantastic way for our young people to develop their communication and interpersonal skills, so after seeing how well this has worked with Jess, I am very excited to see the impact on the young people we have booked in for sessions in the coming weeks.”

Young people from Prior’s Court have previously been to live performances by Flute Theatre.

Thank you to Flute Theatre for sharing the Zoom call screengrabs.

To read more about the arts at Prior’s Court, click here.

For more information about Flute Theatre, go to https://flutetheatre.co.uk.