Place to Wonder is led by artistic director Samantha Porciello.
Samantha has an MA in theatre for development and over the past 15 years has worked with arts centres, theatres and the United Nations Development Programme, to explore how storytelling and theatre can be used as a tool for healing and social change.
Her work has taken her to Laos South East Asia, as a theatre practitioner to work with Laos Disabled Peoples Association, Manchester Library Theatre where she designed and delivered Theatre in Education programmes to hundreds of children across Manchester and Belfast BabyDay where she designed a yearlong creative engagement programme that spanned across the whole city and contributed to the 16,000 babies, children, parents and grandparents who took part on the day.
5 years ago, Samantha set up Place to Wonder, to tell stories in unforgettable ways.
Each story or piece of theatre invites grownups to play alongside their child in an extraordinary world, led by a character who will lead them on an adventure through nature, asking them to look closer at the wonder in world around them, whether it be listening to the heart beat of a tree, lying on pods finding faces in the clouds or looking for fallen moon rocks in the grass.
The neurobiological effect of connecting to nature in this way very often results in a decrease of anxiety levels and a surge of wellbeing among audiences.
Samantha aims to create high quality storytelling and theatre that support children and their grownups to step outside our everyday busy lives, into a world where together they can see all the magic in the stars, trees, flowers and themselves.
In 2016 Samantha was selected for the Next Generation programme to share her methodology and practice at ‘On The Edge, The World Congress of Theatre for Children and Young People' and most recently was selected as the MACs Artist in Residence for Autumn 2017, where she wrote a promenade piece of theatre called ‘Dream a Little Dream’. The piece was later funded by Belfast City Council and toured parks in the summer of 2018.