with Sensorium Theatre (2019)

“Hop on board our spaceship and get ready for blast off!

Calling all budding astronauts!  Become a pilot, engineer or navigator as we whoosh across the galaxy on an interstellar adventure for the whole family.

Join our crew to explore outer space, taste space food, experience hyperdrive and travel all the way to the mysterious Planet X. We’ll have to work as a team to repair the ship and return to Earth.

Whoosh! is a new interactive multi-sensory adventure that puts children with disabilities in the Captain’s Chair! This highly-tailored production is suitable for children with a broad range of access needs aged 5+, including those with multiple and complex needs and those on the autism spectrum.

With an impressive set and pioneering use of technology, including a new digital app to deliver pre-show materials, this is Sensorium Theatre’s most ambitious production to date. Developed over three years, we’ve refined our delivery model to increase audience agency and overall capacity while maintaining intimate session sizes.”

from Sensorium Theatre

photos by Sarah Walker & Dan Grant

Concept & Story: Sensorium Theatre (Francis Italiano & Michelle Hovane)
Composer: Jamie David
Set Design: Matt McVeigh
Technology & Lighting: Steve Berrick

June 2019: Arts Centre Melbourne
August 2019: Sydney Opera House

Whoosh! was epic. So. Many. Things.

The main ship had 10 control panels, which provided interactive engagement for the audience. They also had LEDs inside and on the back to provide most of the interior lighting, driven via Artnet from MadMapper. The panels included an 80s rotary telephone with voice changer and visualiser using a Raspberry Pi, and an instrument triggered by touching 3D printed conductive plastic triangles.

Outside on Planet X (where the ship crash lands), the audience discover a group of glowing orbs. The orbs are cast in translucent silicon, and contain a Teensy 3.2, Prop Shield, ESP8266 and speaker and LEDs. They are glowing are purring and then receive synced triggers from QLab to play through a series of colour patterns and sounds.

The Energy Core is the heart of the ship, a rolling centrepiece with oversized arcade buttons for group interactions (the buttons are reminiscent of Switch assistive devices). The crew greet the audience in the foyer with the EC playing songs and everyone is invited to join the crew and press the button. Once all buttons are triggered the EC is taken into the ship, with new crew (audience) following along.