thisPlace is a trauma informed dance theatre company based in Cardiff. We work with stories that arise from the body through movement, improvisation, theatre and play. In collaboration with communities, thisPlace hopes to reveal and reimagine these stories through a creative process grounded in compassion for self, others and the world.
We understand trauma as the response to deeply distressing experiences. This response is always situated in the body. So, our trauma informed approach centres on our bodies and ways in which to resist re-traumatisation.
We recognise the importance of community and the need for co-regulating with others.
We do all this by offering a place that is safe and hopeful but also a place where we can meet the challenging.
This is the foundation of our trauma informed practice but we acknowledge that we will always be learning and exploring new ways of developing this work.
What We Do
We partner with organisations and charities to develop trauma-informed projects that weave together a variety of creative practices from dance to poetry to theatre to drawing. Sometimes these projects are about devising performances. Sometimes they are about the process of being together and having space to make and move and be. See our Projects section for more information on our recent work.
To bring people into community using the arts in a relational, compassionate and trauma informed way
a world where everyone experiences a felt sense of connection
Fairness • Access • Authenticity • Compassion • Empathy
thisPlace adopts the Trauma Framework Cymru definition of a trauma-informed approach .
A Wales trauma-informed approach recognises that we all may at some point in our lives experience adversity, trauma or distress. To be trauma-informed, all individuals, communities, organisations and systems in Welsh society will understand behaviour as communication, and recognise and understand the impact of cultural, gender and historic inequalities, and social injustice and their causal link with experiences of trauma.
It is an approach where a person, family, community, organisation, service or system takes account of the widespread impact of adversity and trauma and understands potential ways of preventing, healing and overcoming this as an individual or with the support of others, including communities and services.
Collectively, we will seek to be non-judgemental, kind and compassionate, promoting resilience and strength as collective rather than individual resources. We will understand the importance of safety and trust in addressing adversity, trauma and distress.
Jain Boon (she/her) is an award-winning Trauma Informed theatre professional with over 35 years of experience of co-producing theatre that places people’s experience of adversity and trauma centre stage with the aim of reducing stigma and isolation. She is passionate about the democratisation of mental health and wellbeing and believes that the arts create a space for connection and healing.
She trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama where she now Tutors on the Young Actors Studio.
Jain has a background in theatre in education and community theatre and was Associate Director of Gwent Theatre, a company she worked with for 20 years.
As a freelancer she has many years of experience leading on theatre and creative projects. She has worked with WMC, National Theatre Wales, National Youth Theatre Wales, Sherman Theatre and continues to work with Music Theatre Wales, Re-live Theatre, Mess Up The Mess and Hijinx Theatre. She is an Arts Associate for ACW and Creative Agent and trainer for the Lead Creative Schools Scheme.
Jain is on the Board of WAHWN (Wales Arts Health and Well-being Network) and also facilitates Creative Reflective Practice sessions for the How Ya Doing/Sut Mae’n Mynd Programme. Jain is also on the steering group for Youth Arts Network Cymru.
Jain is an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and in 2019 she was included on the Pinc list: The most influential LGBT+ people in Wales.
Jain is a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner with a small private practice, SE is a pioneering body-based approach to the resolution and healing of trauma. She is currently Training in NeuroAffective Touch. NATouch is a professional somatic training that addresses emotional, relational and developmental trauma. Jain is also training as a WBF for the film and tv industry.
Mae hi’n dysgu Cymraeg
Matilda Tonkin Wells
Matilda Tonkin Wells (she/her) is a dance artist and Body Based Psychotherapist (rDMP). Her work centres on the body and how embodiment can engage with and express stories in interconnecting, revealing and healing ways.
She works both with individuals and groups in a range of different settings using integrative methods of trauma informed somatic therapy and expressive arts. She teaches movement improvisation and facilitates workshops which incorporate her somatic movement practice with martial arts and meditation. The aim of this work is to practice living sustainably with our selves, with others and with the more-than-human world.
She experiments with art making and illustration, video and creative writing. Her dance and movement practice spills into art making and writing as the environments and people she moves with spill into her dances.
Matilda is passionate about supporting the nourishment and sustainability of communities through creating spaces of belonging. Matilda has shared her work with Groundwork Collective, The London Art Therapy Centre, The University of Bangor, The DPJ Foundation, HAHAV Palliative Care Hospice, Wales Arts Therapies Advisory Forum, The JRS Refugee service, The Maya Centre, The Govan Community Project, and Unity Sisters.
Matilda holds a degree in Modern Languages from the University of Glasgow and a Masters in Dance Movement Psychotherapy from Goldsmiths College, University of London.
Mae hi hefyd yn siarad Cymraeg yn rhygl.
Perthyn - New Pathways (2023)
Perthyn means Belonging in Welsh. The Perthyn Workshops weave together theatre, movement and games with creative reflection exercises. They offer a fun and enriching space to get in touch with your creative and playful side.
Perthyn is a creative, community group for those who have experienced sexual violence. We partnered with New Pathways, a leading charity in the field of counselling and advocacy services for anyone who has been affected by rape or sexual abuse in Wales. Perthyn is aimed at those who’s therapy interventions have ended and are looking for a safe space to develop their creativity. The group aims to offer a place for overcoming barriers of shame and stigma and reduce loneliness through nurturing connection with others and building community. This was a pilot and we are working with New Pathways to further develop this project.
In partnership with New Pathways
A Light in the Dark - Goleuni yn y tywyllwch - Platfform (2023)
A Light in the Dark was a co-created performance made with a group of young people from Cardiff and the Vale.
A Light in the Dark was a co-created performance made with a group of young people from Cardiff and the Vale. We partnered with Platfform4YP to devise and develop a short performance for the Cardiff Wonderfest 2023 conference hosted by Platfform. The aim of the project was to give the young people an opportunity to have their stories and experiences around mental health to be heard. Together we worked on the idea of Glimmers - little things that keep us grounded, the remind us of a happy memory or a special person, that makes us feel like ourselves. The performance devised by the young people was a mix of recorded and live dance, movement and spoken word. They named it A light in the Dark. This was a pilot and we are working with Platfform to further develop this project.
In partnership with Platfform