Special Needs and Disabilities
Creating Freedom's workshops produce surprisingly rapid outcomes with people with disabilities because the work in creating theatre and film projects goes deep into what it means to be a human being, focusing on each individual's capabilities rather than on what they can't do. Most importantly, the work doesn't feel like therapy. Participants experience joyful creation in a group evironment. As they create a theater or film production, people on the projects need to handle a variety of real-life situations, such as working with others, negotating differences of opinion, exercising self-discipline, practicing to perfect certain roles, and developing their own self-expression and self-confidence.
"With the young people who had some specific behavioral features - caused by autism and
mental health problems - it was amazing to see how their attitudes changed towards
the group of participants and towards their own activity. They went from being closed and
out of contact into an open, enjoying attitude and a willingness to share, improve and perform.
The life-skills of children with disabilities during these 5 days activity achieved a gigantic
step forward - an improvement that a psychologist like me can only dream of achieving."
Vasanta Romanovna, Lead Child Psychotherapist, Oradnoye Centre, Moscow
Please enjoy the videos, images and stories below of some of our projects. We hope to see your community here soon!
Theatre Projects with Disabled Children in Moscow and Perm, Russia
“He came home every day with shining eyes, he has opened up completely this week. He is a different boy!”
Father, talking about his son after the performance in Perm
In a groundbreaking project for Russia, we led two 7-day projects with disabled children and their parents and disability specialists. In the mornings we trained the specialists how to bring creative work with disabled children into their practice. In the afternoons we were joined by 15 children with various mental and physical disabilities and their parents, and worked as a group towards a short performance.
“This week was like a mind explosion, you have changed our lives”
Specialist, working with children
We used individual and group exercises to develop the core skills of acting and performance: imagination, movement, coordination, group understanding, listening, focus, communication and creating a character. With constant positive feedback and celebration of accomplishment, the children gained in confidence and skill, and even those who had seemed the most hard to reach or withdrawn were fully engaged by the time of performance on the final day.
“We learned how to use our imagination; with imagination, everything is a little more interesting”
Participant in workshop, Perm, Russia
Meanwhile the specialists learned how to engage creatively with children, how to draw more out of them, how to form positive, communicative relations with the parents and also how to engage more fully with their own lives.
An Explosion of Joy: Deaf/Blind Theater
The following video shows our work with deaf-blind people on a 10-week project (1 session per week). The result was an interactive performance where the audience physically followed the artists as they moved in the theatre space singing sea shanties, banging their drums and dancing against the backdrop of a desert island. Props like UV paint, drums, coconuts and sand were used to create a multi-sensory experience for both the performers and the audience demonstrating the power of non-verbal communication.
I joined Sense of Space to overcome personal barriers.The workshops gave me the confidence to deal with my sight and hearing difficultiesand not try to conceal them in order to fit in. It was a great boost being involved in a project where the focus was always on our talents rather than our disabilities.
Marcus Inniss, paticipant
I thought it was going to be just putting on a good play to entertain people blah, blah, blah; but now, I feel it’s doing something for us, I think it’s educating us. It’s a journey.
Rachel Day, participant