Introducing: A Reimagined Midsummer Night's Dream: A Neurodiverse Re-telling

The Shakespeare Reloaded website is proud to host the products of the innovative project: 'A Reimagined Dream - Towards a Neurodiverse Telling of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream'. This exciting project was a collaboration between the Australian community organisation  SpectrumSpace, the Curtin Autism Research Group at Curtin University in Western Australia, and the creative organisations Fragmented Artists and Organic Productions. It was funded by a grant from Lotterywest. The project leaders included a SpectrumSpace administrative and management team of paid workers and volunteers and a creative team brought together by Perth-based Fragmented Artists’ director Dr Suzanne Ingelbrecht.

The project centred, celebrated and developed the creative talents and technical skills of autistic young adults from SpectrumSpace’s social groups program. The team built a group dynamic via theatre games based on the work of David Diamond and Kelly Hunter, reconceptualised A Midsummer Night's Dream in order to celebrate diversity, and produced an innovative new playscript, film and documentary.

'A Reimagined Dream' offered a fresh, creative space within which participants could express themselves through art, build skills in theatre and film technology, and use their unique voices to explore and respond to ableism in Shakespeare’s work. SpectrumSpace supported participants to develop their voices through writing, acting and communication skills. The project endeavoured to make a wider societal impact by challenging stereotypes around perceptions of autism.

A public showcase of the film process, based on the 'Reimagined Midsummer Night’s Dream' script and featuring the participants/actors in a live Q&A following the film’s premiere, was held at Fremantle Arts Centre on 5 November 2022. Subsequently, the creative team completed the full documentary and documentary short that tracked the entire process.

The Shakespeare Reloaded website is thrilled to make available the following materials which we hope will inspire others and share the joy of this wonderful project: the documentary, the film, the playscript, a Note on the Script, a Note on the Film, Educational Prompts for teaching the materials, and the Project Outcomes Report. Access all resources here.


Below are the full credits for the project:

SpectrumSpace Team
Chief Executive Officer: Helene Hansen.
Autism Specialist & Project Lead: Louise Sheehy.
Autism Specialist & Mentor: Trudi-Anne Gribble.
Project Support: Manishaa Mukundala & Christine Howarth.
Creative Team 
Director and Facilitator: Dr Suzanne Ingelbrecht (Fragmented Artists).
The neurodivergent participants/co-creators/actors for the re-writing/re-imagining process were: A J Sheehy, Charlotte Paterson, Henry Wilson, Honor Boekeman, Isabel Grace, Jen Harland, Jess Dening and Trudi-Anne Gribble. They were joined by Tom Cartwright and Jordan Azor for the Stage 3 film-making process at Victoria Hall, Fremantle following an audition process.
Film Technical Supervisor and Editor: Chris Horgan (Organic Productions).
Costume Designer: Danika Bentley.
Make-up Artist: Yvette Drager Wetherilt.
Research Team
Dr Bahareh Afsharnejad, Postdoctoral Research Associate, School of Allied Health, Curtin University.
Sessina Figueiredo, School of Allied Health, Curtin University.
Dr BrĂ­d Phillips, Research Fellow, Good Arts, Good Mental Health, School of Allied Health, University of Western Australia.
The Curtin Autism Research Group (CARG) spearheaded separate academic research into the project processes.
Explore the resources here.