Arts and Culture for Early Years       May 4 – 24, 2020        

Flying Hearts

Theatre Direct and WeeFestival

at The Redwood Theatre

Join four friends as they set off on an imagination adventure through the sights, sounds, and textures of earth, water, air, and light! Flying Hearts is an Inclusive and Relaxed Performance that combines dance, theatre and music in a multi-sensory and interactive dance/theatre creation that promises a rich and stimulating arts experience for young audiences of All Abilities.

Before and after the show, children can visit the Sensory Stations to discover and interact with curious and beautiful objects inspired by the worlds of light, water, earth, and air.

Flying Hearts is the perfect experience for children in their early years and is especially welcoming for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Developmental Disabilities, General Anxiety Disorder, or any child for whom a traditional theatre experience may be not be comfortable.

Flying Hearts has a Social Story for parents or caregivers to access online. Flying Hearts – Social Story WeeFestival
Touch Tours available for audience members who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Low-Vision


Flying Hearts will tour as part of the WeeFestival on Tour initiative with performances at Hamilton’s Kinderfest, St. Catharines’ Carousel Players, Aurora Cultural Centre, and to Sioux Lookout, Kenora, and Dryden presented by Firefly Northwest!

School Performances on May 14 & 15 will include a Relaxed Audio Description to enhance access and enjoyment for children of All Abilities.

What is Relaxed Audio Description? | May 12 & 15

Relaxed Audio Description (RAD) makes Relaxed Performances more accessible for people who have differing needs when accessing cultural events via sight, understanding and/ or attention. RAD is most often used to provide access for people who are neuro-diverse and/ or with sensory sensitivities such as Autism and Tourette. The applications also include people who are Blind or partially sighted and those with a fixed or narrow visual field due to range of motion of the head, neck and/ or spine. Additionally, as young children learn about their world, a linguistically-rich environment can elevate their phonological awareness and foundational language skills.

Relaxed Audio Description is the Art of Talking Pictorially. Describers act as reporters and “tour guides” and talk about the essential, visual aspects of the event in order to help listeners understand the content, focus on the main action and deconstruct emotional responses, all of which support the telling of the story. Occasionally cues are given ahead of anything that may change suddenly or be startling.

For young audiences, the description takes on the rhythm and tone of a storybook using repetition, verbal cues and consistent tone; language and cadence that young audiences are used to. The verbal service contributes to engagement with content and provides one consistent, reliable voice throughout the show. For the RAD performances, the descriptions will be “open”, meaning the entire audience will hear them.

Audio Description by Kat Germain

The Relaxed Audio Description for Flying Hearts has been made possible through an accessibility initiative led by Theatre Passe Muraille. This project was supported through Toronto Arts Council Strategic Funding.

Created by Michelle Silagy and Lynda Hill
Direction and Dramaturgy by Lynda Hill
Choreography by Michelle Silagy
Original Music composed by Cathy Nosaty
Set Design by Jung Hye Kim
Costume Design by Jennifer Dallas
Lighting Design by Jennifer Lennon
Stage Management by Tamara Vuckovic

Featuring dance artists Jessica Runge and Jake Ramos with Allison Basha
Music performed by Lucas Penner

Show times

May 11 at 14h00
May 11 at 16h00
May 12 at 11h00
May 12 at 14h00 (Relaxed Audio Description)
May 14 at 10h00 (School Performance)
May 14 at 12h30 (School Performance)
May 15 at 10h00 (School Performance)
May 15 at 12h30 (School Performance)

About Theatre Direct and WeeFestival

Now, in its 43rd season, Theatre Direct Canada is one of the Country’s leading theatres for young audiences whose award-winning productions have reached audiences in schools and theatres across Canada and overseas. Theatre Direct’s work has been recognized with multiple Dora Mavor Moore Awards and nominations as well as 10 Chalmers Canadian Play Awards, and the Canada Council Theatre for Young Audiences Prize.

Visit the Theatre Direct and WeeFestival website

Development of Flying Hearts was generously supported by CIBC’s Children’s Foundation.
The tour of Flying Hearts is supported by the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.