Whoosh!

An interactive sensory space adventure for young explorers with disabilities

WHOOSH! is an immersive work that puts children with disabilities at the centre of action. Kids board a stunning custom-built spaceship to co-pilot an interstellar adventure.

New recruits take up their own tech stations, taste real space food, propel through hyperdrive, crash-land, and explore a strange uncharted planet. Characters and audience work as a team to repair the ship and return to Earth. This highly tailored production is suitable for children with a broad range of access needs aged 5years+, including those with multiple and complex needs and those on the autism spectrum. 

With an impressive set and pioneering use of technology, including a new digital app to deliver pre-show materials, this is Sensorium Theatre’s most ambitious production to date. 

Almost as important as the performance itself are the preparatory materials made available through Sensorium Theatre digital app which audience members are encouraged to download prior to the show for free. This is an important tool in helping children become familiar with the story, characters, songs and storytelling methods used in the performance. 

About the Company

Sensorium Theatre, established in 2010 by co-Artistic Directors Michelle Hovane and Francis Italiano, is Australia’s only company creating work for young audiences with multiple and complex disabilities and those on the autism spectrum. 

Based in Perth, Western Australia, we create performances which delight and inspire by creating high quality hands-on theatre that invites children to touch, taste, smell, hear, feel and see stories unfold around them within a specially designed immersive sensory environment. The intentionally small audiences are onstage with the artists who continually adapt their performance to connect with individual learning abilities and communication style of each child. This way, each child becomes an active participant in the storytelling experience. 

Our first production The Jub Jub Tree toured throughout Western Australia, performing in schools right around the state. We then partnered with Performing Lines WA to create Helpmann Award-nominated production Oddysea, which has toured extensively around Australia, including to the Arts Centre Melbourne, DreamBig and Awesome festivals, and to the Sydney Opera House, who hailed the 2015 season as a landmark in accessible programming. In early 2018 we finished creating and piloted new interactive space adventure Whoosh!, before touring Oddysea to Lincoln Center Education’s Big Umbrella Festival in New York and The Artground, Singapore. In addition to performing, we facilitate workshops and professional learning for artists and venues and run sensory storytelling workshops for parents and educators. 

“The company has a wonderful rapport with their audiences and meets every individual right where they are” – Peg Schuler-Armstrong, Lincoln Center Education 

Credits

Artistic Directors Michelle Hovane & Francis Italiano

Assistant Director Bec Bradley 

Performers Jamie David, Jessica Harlond-Kenny, Kylie Bywaters, Mike Moshos and Daisy Sanders 

Composer/Sound Designer Jamie David

Digital & Technology Designer Steve Berrick 

Set Designer Matthew McVeigh 

Dramaturg James Berlyn 

Costume Designer Cherie Hewson 

 

Digital App

Sensorium Theatre’s new digital app is free to download and provides audience members with pre-show preparatory materials. Take a sneak peek:

Web version

iPads/iPhones (Apple Store)

Android devices (Google Play):

 

 

Artforms

Children / Family, Participatory / Interactive

Audience

Special needs audiences: 5yrs+ Mainstream audiences: 5-9yrs

Duration

60 minutes, no interval

Company Contacts

Carol Millner
gm@sensoriumtheatre.com.au
Office 5, Level 1, King Street Arts Centre, 357-365 Murray Street, Perth
PO Box 7251, Cloisters Square, WA 6850



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Technical

Venue Format

Whoosh! Is a self-contained production that is designed to go into any kind of large space (theatre stage, rehearsal room, big hall). No special lighting or blackout is required. The floor space must be even, clean and empty.

Considerations

Preferable Stage Dimensions: 14m length x 10m width x 4m height

Minimum Performance area: 13m length x 8m width x 3.5m height

Audience Size: Up to 14 children, plus their carers, for a maximum of 28 people per show

Other Venue Requirements: Indoor foyer space needed for audience to remove shoes and be introduced to performance