Theatre Director's Brief Helium Arts invites applications from theatre directors to lead on the development of an immersive and multi-sensory performance project for toddlers with complex needs Creating space for family fun & giving a voice to toddlers through play and the arts, in partnership with the Jack and Jill Foundation. About the project Helium is in the process of developing an immersive and multi-sensory theatre experience for toddlers with severe intellectual and physical developmental delay who are cared for in the home, which will provide families with new ways of “attuning” to and bonding with their very young child. This project will be produced in collaboration with the nurses and families supported by the Jack and Jill Foundation and will eventually tour to families in their homes across Ireland. This is the first time that this type of theatre performance will be developed in ROI. This work will be informed by Tim Webb (Oily Cart, UK), a European leader in creating interactive & multi-sensory theatre for children w/disabilities as well as Theatre for Early Years. Tim will act as mentor to the director and support for the team. Helium will also link with Replay Theatre Company to further develop the work. The Need Life around toddlers with complex needs can be consumed with the child's intense physical needs and medical routines that must take priority. As a result, parent, child, sibling and family bonding can suffer, with little time for normal relationships to develop, and the important, relaxing benefits of fun and play often having to take a back seat. The Solution Helium Arts is developing a new interactive and immersive performance experience at home, which provides families with respite. Using music, sound, puppetry, movement and tactile environments, families will experience the benefits of relaxation, fun, and bonding while being supported in absorbing new creative and play skills to be used in everyday life in the home. Through giving space and time for relationships to flourish, toddlers' social and emotional development will also benefit. Home visits remove any stress involved with transporting medical equipment, disrupting medical routines, and trying to be somewhere on time. In general, home visits ensure that very young children access play opportunities and parents feel relaxed to enjoy and absorb new ways of 'being' with their very young child. The interactive performance will also involve siblings and the family as a whole, creating further opportunities for normality and bonding in the family home. Outcomes to include happier families; families experience normal family fun; new play ideas for families; parents more confident in play; children are more relaxed and joyful. Research to quantify outcomes will be led by a research team at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, TCD The Future Helium Arts plans to roll-out this project to 50 Jack and Jill families in three regions around the country by 2018. Funders Helium Arts are delighted to have the support of The Arts Council, The Ireland Funds, and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs in helping to fund the pilot phase of this project. Background: This project builds on Helium's past track record since 2008, working creatively with 400 parents and 400 babies and toddlers throughout a variety of settings including Early Intervention Teams, Public Health Nurse Teams, etc. Please see : http://www.helium.ie/programmes/early-years/ and Helene Hugel's Blog here: http://www.practice.ie/memberprojects/128 About Helium Arts - Helium aims to improve the quality of life for children 0-18 years living with chronic illness or at risk of illness in Ireland through award winning participatory arts programmes which provide joy, dignity, and a sense of normality to difficult medical situations. Since 2009, over 4,000 children & their families across 10 counties have benefitted from Helium's work which addresses a range of issues from the mental health of babies to social isolation among chronically ill teens. Helium is the only national arts & health company dedicated to the needs of these marginalised children. Charity number 19236. Helium is Governance Code compliant. Job Description Who can apply? We are seeking applicants who are genuinely committed to an exploratory theatre making process which is responsive to the vision of Helium Arts and the ideas of project collaborators whether that be the creative team, parents, children, nurses etc, while having the ability to deliver a piece of quality artistic work. Necessary experience Applicants are expected to be able to show the following: Strong track record of working collaboratively with children Proven track record in working as part of a team A theatre practice which is visual, physical, and cross art-form Experience of working in Arts and Early Years Ability to deliver quality artistic work Awareness of the sensitivities of the context Experience of working cross sector (for example in arts and health, arts and disability, arts and early years etc) Interest in developing your own practice within arts and health Awareness of and interest in Helium’s previous projects, particularly the legacy of Arts, Health, and Early Years work Timescale Helium is currently recruiting the director to facilitate the research and development period and creation of a pilot performance as indicated in the timeline below. A further contract of engagement will be issued to realise the full production in 2016, pending a confirmed time-frame. Deadline for applications 29th August 2015, Friday Interviews for shortlisted candidates will be in Dublin on Friday the 4th of September October 8th. Thursday to participate in training workshop with Tim Webb October 29th. Thursday to assist in selecting creative team during recruitment workshop with Tim Webb 20 days from November until January 2015, exact days to be confirmed. One day a week for 8 weeks and 2 full weeks of rehearsals in January. After the pilot has been created, a second term of contractual engagement could be planned dependent on time frame, in order to realise the full production. This could take place April-May 2016 Applicants must be available for all of the above dates. Fee 20 days – divided between collaborative development and rehearsals x €175 a day = €3,500 Travel to Kildare will be paid on submission of travel receipts. Other information: The project will be developed with families located in County Kildare. Travel costs to Kildare will be provided for the creative team. Required working time in Kildare will be approx 6-8 hour day. However, dependent on where the creative team live, rehearsal days can take place in Dublin. We ask applicants to take the place of work into account when applying. Application process Applicants must submit the following: 1. CV - Maximum 2 pages 2. Documentation of previous work Please provide Maximum 6 Images Maximum 6 Video pieces These can be uploaded to Dropbox or you can provide links to Youtube, Vimeo, Flickr or another site of your choice. Please only include work that is relevant to this application. 3. Proposal In order for the selection panel to assess your suitability for the programme, we are asking applicants to submit a written response outlining your approach and methodologies as well as your aesthetic vision to lead researching and developing and finally producing the following piece of collaborative work: An interactive, multi-sensory visual performance for toddlers with complex disabilities and their families which will travel to family homes, using puppetry/object animation and music/sound. The initial creative team will consist of the performers - a musician and a puppeteer/object animator – a prop maker/crafter, a set designer and a producer. This project will be produced by Helium Arts in partnership with the Jack and Jill Foundation and supported by Kildare Arts Office. Your response should consider the project background and Helium Arts' legacy of work in this area, health and safety, artists' responsibilities, and current art practices in the area of theatre for children with profound disabilities. It is not necessary to devise or define the work but only to give us an idea of what informs your practice and how you would intend to realise this ambitious piece of work. You can draw on previous examples from your portfolio as well as concepts, theories or practices of interest to you. Your response should display both your methodology and interests as well as your understanding of context and the participants. If called to interview, you will be asked to present your response into a five minute presentation. Written responses should be no more than Max 2 pages. 4. Short Statement of interest in working with Tim Webb We are particularly seeking artists who feel that their practice would benefit from working under the mentor-ship of Tim Webb. Please include a short paragraph detailing how the opportunity of work with Tim will impact on your own practice. Oily Cart specialises in productions for children under 6 years of age, and as young as 6 months; and in theatre for young people with complex disabilities and/or autistic spectrum disorder. The company has evolved a form of theatre that is multi-sensory, addressing the senses of smell and touch and the kinaesthetic sense as much as the theatrical stand-bys of seeing and hearing. Much of their work takes place outside theatres and in specially created spaces that transform everyday reality into a dreamscape. All of their performances are highly interactive and adaptable to the requirements of each audience member, and for a considerable amount of time, the performers work in a very close-up way, often one-on-one with participants. Writer/Director Tim Webb is a founder of the company, which began work in 1981 and has more than 65 productions to its credit. Www.oilycart.org.co.uk Deadline The deadline for applications is Friday, 28th of August at 4.30pm. No applications can be accepted after this time. Applications will be accepted by email only. Please email your CV, written proposal and statement of interest to email@example.com Please upload any other media to Dropbox, Youtube, Vimeo, Flickr or another site of your choice and send us the links or notifications in the main body of your email. Once your application has been received, you should receive an email acknowledgment within 3 days. If you do not receive this, please contact Avril Carr firstname.lastname@example.org Interviews for shortlisted candidates will take place on Friday the 4th of September. Should you have any queries regarding the application process, please email email@example.com If you are very interested in applying and the above interview date is truly not achievable, please email us to discuss.