Immersive and Interactive: Accessibility Theatre and LivingBodiesObjects

Podcast with Amelia DeFalco and Steve Byrne about Interplay Theater

Harold and Maude

The Wellcome-funded project LivingBodiesObjects: Technologies and the Spaces of Health is currently partnering with Interplay National Sensory Theatre, an innovative theatre company that employs sensory engagement in ways that highlight the audience’s embodiment as much as the performers’. LBO and Interplay are exploring techniques and technologies for developing sensory theatre to its fullest, most inclusive potential. We are currently co-developing a sensory theatre experience inspired by robot care fiction, such as Kazuo Ishiguro’s 2021 novel Klara and the Sun, that explores the continuity across our title terms (LivingBodiesObjects), challenges human/technology distinctions, and imagines how technologies might re-shape human health and wellbeing.

 

Listen to the podcast on Soundcloud:

 

PaintAmelia DeFalco is Professor of Contemporary Literature in the School of English, University of Leeds and Co-PI on LivingBodiesObjects. Her research focuses on contemporary cultural depictions of ageing, care, and the posthuman. She is author of Curious Kin in Fictions of Posthuman Care (Oxford University Press, 2023), Imagining Care: Responsibility, Dependency, and Canadian Literature (University of Toronto Press, 2016) and Uncanny Subjects: Aging in Contemporary Narrative (Ohio State University Press, 2010), and co-editor of Ethics and Affects in the Fiction of Alice Munro (Palgrave, 2018) and a forthcoming Special Issue of Senses and Society on the theme of affective technotouch. In 2021 she developed the exhibition ‘Can Robots Care?’ for the Thackray Museum of Medicine as part of her project Imagining Posthuman Care and is currently writing a book on robot fictions.

Paint 2Steve Byrne is the Artistic Director of interplay Theatre, developing and pioneering sensory theatre with and for young people with learning disabilities across the UK. He is a graduate of University of London Goldsmiths College and has worked extensively as director and composer for companies such as the National Theatre, DV8, Liverpool Everyman Theatre, Birmingham Rep, West Yorkshire Playhouse, and his work has toured Germany, Japan and the US. He is the writer of ‘This Land the Story of Woody Guthrie,’ ‘Gepetto’s Wish’ and adapted ‘Precious Bane’ by Mary Webb.

 

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