D&D satellite: How do we engage artists & Autism Spectrum Disorder in the room?

18 May 2017

D&D satellite: How do we engage artists & Autism Spectrum Disorder in the room?

ND2 – Floor 1, 1 Triton Square, Regents Place, NW1 3HG

6:30 - 10:00 pm

An invitation from Griffyn Gilligan:

Hello! I’m an actor and theatre maker with ASD: Autism Spectrum Disorder. More and more companies and venues are thinking about being accessible to audiences with autism - holding relaxed performances, creating visual guides, and creating work specifically for young people with autism.  These steps are just the beginning of some great things. 

But, where do makers and artists with autism fit in? 


How do we hold practices and making rooms that have space for makers with ASD to engage fully in the work?


How does the industry and our language shut out makers? 


How can we make work for audiences with ASD when so many making processes themselves are inaccessible? 


What insights, modes of working, and styles of communication could enhance and embolden our work just by understanding and welcoming neurodiversity into the room?


Autism is a condition that affects how the brain processes information - everything from the rules of an improv exercise to the level of light in a room. It affects everyone uniquely. So, while there are common challenges, there are no blanket answers to any of these questions. No definite solutions or any surefire way to support every/any individual with autism.


I think that incredibly few practices are accessible, let alone supportive, to artists with autism. And even fewer rooms are having conversations about how and why to work with artists with ASD. Too often, impulsivity, highly-social networking, intuition, and working in the unknown are taken as the hallmarks of a rigorous creative process. When that lens dominates the conversation, there’s very little language or space left for artists with ASD to create, discuss their work, or even introduce themselves. I believe a lot of really talented artists are being pushed away and into critical or academic roles, or away from theatre entirely, simply because there is a communication difference we haven’t really begun to look at. 


Maybe you are already thinking about this in your practice?

Maybe you think creative rooms are already really accessible?

Maybe you have loads of ideas on what to do and no one to share them with?

Maybe you really don’t know much about ASD or you’re really nervous about getting it wrong? Maybe you are an artist with ASD and you’ve had a similar experience and want to vent? 

Or, maybe you have ASD and you totally disagree with me!



In any case, please come along to listen, rant, propose, scheme, dream, hope, worry, ask and share.



I want to hear your stories and thoughts. I want us to make that list of questions a lot longer, and then maybe begin to answer a few of them together. I want to meet you and I want you to meet each other. And, hopefully, we can take some thoughts and conversations back to our own lives and practices, and go from there.

Our free satellite D&D, this month hosted by the New Diorama Theatre's ND2 space.

This event is fully wheelchair-accessible. For more information on what to expect at a Devoted & Disgruntled event, or for any other Access queries, please contact us on or call 020 7240 4556.

This event is FREE but we'd be very grateful if you could register on Eventbrite so that we have an idea of numbers.






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