About the Author
Kelly Hunter is an award-winning actor, director, and educator. As a performer she has worked for over thirty years, notably with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the highly-acclaimed Vesturport. In 2001 she created her own company - Touchstone Shakespeare Theatre - to bring Shakespeare to children with little or no access to the arts. She ran the company for four years, during which time she directed Dreams and Voices, a film which documents her work with autistic children and is available on the Routledge Performance Archive. In 2014 she directed a production of The Tempest for children with autism, which performed in Stratford upon Avon and Columbus Ohio. The show was a co-production between the Royal Shakespeare Company and Ohio State University, where her work forms the basis of a longitudinal research study. This research engages the question of whether drama – particularly Shakespeare - can break through the communicative blocks of autism and in particular whether these sensory drama games, known collectively as the Hunter Heartbeat Method can produce long term benefits for children with ASD.