Driven by a vision of an Ireland which recognises the power of human connection and the right of each and every child to experience the unique ability of the arts to create this connection, I aim to ignite the imaginations of extraordinary audiences through responsive, beautiful, connective theatre adventures made especially for them and with them.
My commitment, my passion and my mission is
- creating high quality theatre adventures for all of our children, however young they may be or however profoundly disabled they may be perceived to be.
- developing these theatre adventures in close creative consultation with these under-served audiences and the adults who live and work with them so that not only do these experiences connect with them and how they experience the world but that they are directly informed and inspired by them.
- advocating for this work and these audiences
- building networks and partnerships that extend, enrich and embed this work in our society
Connection is my lodestar
In 2012, whilst creating my very first show for children with complex needs, I was doing some creative consultation in a classroom. The response of the children I worked with over those days helped me to realise my truth about theatre that has defined my work ever since. For me, theatre is about one human being connecting with another.
Science frames my practice
Inspired by early years neuroscience, particularly by Dr Suzanne Zeedyk who I am privileged to have an advocate for my work, every single detail of how I create the work is guided by and seen through the prism of the possibilities of connection between one human being and another. This is as true for those micro moments of connection I create in a show as it is for the macro, strategic networks I create or become part of to enable and enrich my work.
Politics drives my approach
I believe in the fundamental human right of every child, however young or however profoundly disabled they might be perceived to be; to high quality arts experiences and to arts experiences that connect with them in the unique ways in which they engage with the world.
Extraordinary audiences deserve extraordinary art. And, I believe, engaging with these unique audiences with rigour, curiosity and joy produces extraordinary art.
My work is all about connecting with people where they are, both in terms of young audience members and the adults who live and work with them. I seek to marry excellence and accessibility and to create spaces of possibility where everyone feels comfortable, confident, safe and valued.
Beauty is the alchemy
Beauty delights. It is full of awe, joy and magic. It transports and transforms us in unique and profound ways. That’s why I create the very best and most beautiful arts experiences for my extraordinary audiences.
Doing theatre for babies is to explore the unknown. It goes against common sense. It’s political. It’s also necessary, I believe, because babies have a right to beauty and they’re not always exposed to it. Theatre for babies implies commitment, but a commitment that draws us in. It’s the opposite of cynicism. It’s hope in its purest form. It’s an attempt to talk with the beginning of the world.
Veronique Coté, Theatre des Confettis, Quebec
Here’s links to things I’ve been commissioned to write about my why of it…