The Hunter Heartbeat Method

“The Hunter Heartbeat Method is a series of sensory games that I have created for children and young people with autism to play, they are games of humanity that need only the human voice and body and another person to play with. These games are derived from Shakespeare’s poetic exploration of how it feels to be alive, specifically through his obsession with the eyes and the mind and with reason and love; how we see, think and feel, which forms the spine of his poetry throughout the whole canon. “Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind” (Helena, AMSND) has three of these keywords in just one line and Hamlet’s coining of the phrase ‘The Mind’s Eye’ can be seen as an apotheosis of this poetic exploration.Those with autism struggle with making themselves understood, their struggle is communicative and sensory – an almost superhuman effort is required to connect their eyes and mind in order to express their reason and love. Through focusing on moments in Shakespeare where characters emerge through seeing, thinking and feeling, my games offer children and young people on the spectrum an opportunity to express themselves, exploring eye contact, language skills, spacial awareness, facial expressions and imaginative play. The children play the games with actors in a safe loving space where everyone involved can begin to share common human experience. The sensory games form the basis for Flute Theatre‘s productions for children with autism.” Kelly Hunter