POSTPONED: East Midlands SEND School Arts Network

  • Thursday 24th March 2022 at 4:00pm - 5:15pm
  • Free

PLEASE NOTE THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED. Please contact artsmark@mightycreatives.streamstudio2.co.uk to find out more.


In discussion: Exploring nonverbal physical theatre practice with Open Theatre


The East Midlands SEND School Arts Network was launched to create peer mentoring and review opportunities, to share practice, provide CPD, and to foster better connectivity to the arts and cultural sector across the region.  Over the last few years we have toured the region and more recently online to share ideas, partners and provided practical professional development opportunities.

Gather new ideas, get inspired, and connect with other teachers and creative partners from across the East Midlands

This event will focus on a presentation from Open Theatre and their nonverbal physical theatre practice, which they use to collaborate with young people with learning disabilities, creating quality art that reflects and celebrates their unique creativity. Open Theatre currently works in over 20 special schools in Birmingham and Coventry in year-round long-term and sustained engagements with the young people in those schools. The practice involves play, simple props, music and movement, is a highly adaptive and individual-focused process, and supports the development of the creativity and learning of the young people involved.

Open Theatre works within a collaborative partnership model – partnerships with some of the schools they work with have been in existence for well over 10 years. Alongside this Open Theatre has initiated and maintained partnerships with a wide range of other arts organisations in each city to encourage the inclusion of young people with learning disabilities in their range of activities and to work collaboratively to support the transition of those young people into adult life and to develop appropriate career opportunities for them.

At this network event Richard Hayhow, Director of Open Theatre, will share examples of their practice and their work with schools and invite you to think about how this practice could support your students and school.

There will also be opportunities for discussion and an opportunity to get some advice and support/planning support for development of your arts and cultural provision from our specialist team.

This network is open to any school from across the East Midlands.

We hope you are able to join us!


Thursday 24th March 


Start 4:00pm – 5:15pm finish

Please log in at least 5 minutes before the start time


This event will be held on Zoom. Those that are booked on will receive an invitation & guidance document prior to the session.

Additional Information

Richard Hayhow has been Director of Open Theatre for 30 years. Open Theatre aims to place the creativity of young people with learning disabilities at the centre of the cultural life of Birmingham and Coventry. As part of this aim, Richard set up The Shysters, a company of actors with learning disabilities, in partnership with the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry in 1997. Through the development of a unique nonverbal physical theatre practice, the company gained a national reputation for the ground-breaking quality of its performance work ‘on the borderlines of theatre, dance and mime’.

For the past fifteen years Richard has been forging long-term creative collaborations with special schools in the West Midlands region, to examine and maximise the impact the nonverbal physical theatre practice can have on children’s learning and development and on young people’s transition into adult life. Open Theatre currently has a team of 15 practitioners working all year round in 20 special schools.