littletinySPACE2 (up North)

littletinySPACE is the brainchild of director Anna Newell, and her work as one of Ireland’s leading theatremakers for young audiences, making unique theatre adventures for babies, early years and children/young people with complex needs. She created the world’s first BabyDay (2015) and helped start baby theatre in South Africa. Her work has been seen on six continents and her youngest audience member was 4 days old.

In 2022, littletinySPACE brought together a diverse interdisciplinary group of 8 artists who are well established in their own field but whose primary practice is not making work for younger audiences  – and who are interested in exploring what adventures they might dream up for audiences of babies under 1 year old. It was modelled on the Performance Corporation’s SPACE programme and developed in collaboration with SPACE facilitators Jo Mangan and Hanna Slattne with special guest facilitator, renown Early Years Research Scientist Dr Suzanne Zeedyk. Under their guidance, the artists devised various theatrical adventures for babies and tested them out with babies at Roscommon Arts Centre and Draoicht Arts Centre.

In 2023, littletinySPACE2 sees the same 8 artists head off on four different R&D projects, inspired by the adventures of their 2022 group project, curated and mentored by Anna along with Hanna and Suzanne.

The littletinySPACE2 artists in the Northern Irish cohort are Shannon Yee and Vicky Langan. Shannon is an award-winning writer, producer and former teacher; Vicky is sound & visual artist. They will be joined by NI-based performer and musician, Cat Barter. Shannon, Cat and Vicky are all parents.

Together, they are exploring how mundane, often tedious, caretaking tasks (such as dressing, changing, feeding, negotiating car seats/buggies) can be opened up into mini-moments of connection to deepen the baby/caregiver relationship, rather than be transactional activities that are simply done to babies.

Using the objects from these routine tasks (such as baby wipes, socks, buckles, baby bags, etc) as props, the artists will explore how these simple micro-shifts in attention and the use of play can subtly and simply create opportunities to deepen parent/caregiver relationships with their babies.

* littletinySPACE is supported through Anna’s Arts Council of Ireland’s Art Grant Funded 2022 & 2023 programmes of work.