Sensory theatre enthralls children

Sensorium Theatre members perform The Jub Jub Tree.
Sensorium Theatre members perform The Jub Jub Tree.

Led by Michelle Hovane and Francis Italiano, Sensorium Theatre is the only company in Australia dedicated to making theatre for children with special needs.

Mr Italiano said the performance was unique because it addressed an audience which was missing out on high quality performing arts experiences.

‘Sensory theatre is a totally interactive way of performative story-telling that’s particularly magical for kids because it is theatre as a hands-on experience,’ he said. ‘It’s a whole immersive experience.

‘It’s about finding as many ways into the story as possible.

‘Children can touch, taste, smell, hear and see the story unfold around them, giving them a real opportunity to get caught up in the story which they otherwise wouldn’t be able to.

‘Sometimes a response can be as subtle as one of the kids blinking vigorously or reaching out to touch your hand when that’s not something they’d readily do.’

Mr Italiano said through workshops over two-week residencies, The Jub Jub Tree performers got to know the children and were often amazed at the level of their engagement after working with them.