Dormez-vous? (Are you sleeping?) is a project for children and young people with Special Educational Needs, who are on the autistic spectrum or who benefit from support with communication.
It is part of Opening Out, Crying Out Loud’s commitment to developing and delivering bespoke performances and creative residencies for children on the autistic spectrum, and was developed with French company, L’Insomnante Company.
Dormez-vous? is a creative residency programme and theatre experience, that takes place in special schools for children with autism.
The interactive and highly engaging workshops are designed to give children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) the opportunity to explore creative activites. The residency is led by L’Insomnante Company and educational experts on autism, Slavka Jovanovic and Joanne Skapinker. Dormez-vous? focuses on the theme of sleeplessness. Using a range of non-verbal and visually focused workshops, the students are encouraged to express different feelings and thoughts on the subject of sleeplessness.
In the creative workshops, 100 white pillows become the students’ playmates. They become a path to walk on, a tunnel in which to hide, an artist’s easel, an unusual orchestra and a comfortable spot for a nap. A bed transforms into a screen onto which we project images; pictures of the previous day’s workshops or of the show which the group watches at the end of the project. All of the workshops are accompanied by live music, which lends rhythm to the workshops and creates a calm atmosphere.
The creative residency is designed to promote communication, socialisation, playful interaction and creative interaction, encouraging participants to find new ways to connect to the world around them.
The residency serves two purposes:
- To bring workshops into special schools to engage the children in a variety of exercises that work on gaining confidence, building on their communication skills, and learning relaxation skills;
- To prepare the students for a 30 minute theatrical performance, one that is bespoke to their residency.
To date, residencies have taken place in special schools in Poole, Cherbourg, London and Eastleigh.