Spectrum Theatre, Sheffield is...
...a theatre group, formed in 2016. Together, its members have a range of experience of the autistic spectrum and of theatre work.
It’s ‘integrated’ – some members are on the spectrum, some aren’t, some are younger, some are older, some very experienced in theatre, some less so.
It’s a charitable organisation – all its members are volunteers.
What we aim to do.
Our charitable aims are:
- to provide performance arts opportunities for young people and others on the autistic spectrum, as part of integrated groups.
- through performing to a variety of audiences in a variety of venues, to help more and more people understand the spectrum and appreciate the abilities of those on it.
Who are we?
We started small in number, wanting to create a strong core around which we could increase membership.
There are now 30 people meeting regularly for rehearsals as we develop material during 2018 for new productions later in the year.
New members came in response to our performances of ‘In Someone Else’s Shoes’ at High Storrs School and at the Library Theatre in March 2017. The balance of this integrated group has been maintained.
We are receiving regular requests for more information from people who are interested in joining us! If you are - see the Contacts section.
The group is coordinated by Andy Gardiner. He was a mainstream secondary head teacher in Sheffield who also taught theatre and drama. After retiring he taught in a special needs college dedicated to those on the autistic spectrum. With others, he devised plays for integrated staff / student groups, taking them into schools and theatres in the city. This experience, and the people involved with him in it, inspired the founding of Spectrum Theatre, Sheffield.
Working with other groups
We are keen to work with others.
Twice in 2016, we supported Brantwood Specialist School as it began to develop its drama and theatre work. The result was a short-devised piece ’ Everyone’s got a Story’ and a short Christmas Pantomime. Spectrum’s support of the school continues.
In early 2017, we worked with Sparkle Sheffield as we presented our showcase performance at the Library Theatre.
As a result of this Library Theatre performance:
a number of new members have come from SAPAG (Sheffield Asperger's Parent Action Group),
our performance of '... Shoes' in July 2017 at the University Drama Studio, was commissioned by the University of Sheffield's Medical School,
our last performance of '... Shoes', at the Park Academy in Sheffield, was commissioned by the Springs & Park Academies.
Our most recent performance was our own adaptation of 'A Christmas Carol' in December 2017, again at the Library Theatre, which ran for 3 nights and had a wonderful reception from the audience, as well as raising money for 2 local charities.