Magdalena Schamberger


Magdalena has been working creatively with people living with dementia for over 20 years. She uses physical theatre and a cross-arts approach to create highly visual performances, which are equally enjoyable, stimulating and beautiful. Magdalena is committed to meaningfully engage with theatres and communities by offering training to organisations, theatre staff and artists of all art forms.

I’ll remember this for the rest of my life.

Person living with dementia

Working with Magdalena gave us confidence to reach out to people living with dementia, safe in the knowledge that we were hosting a high quality production. It was a great opportunity for us to make new connections and develop partnerships within our community – many of whom had never heard of the Barn before.

Hosting Curious Shoes was an ideal way for us to explore the issues and ideas around creating a safe, welcoming and creative environment for this type of audience and gave us opportunities to witness first-hand some of the potential challenges and indeed the magic moments that can happen.

For those in the team the opportunity to watch the performance as observers was a great way to see the difference that we as an arts organisation can make in people’s lives. I would say that hosting Curious Shoes was the catalyst for us to consider how we welcome particular audiences and how we can adapt some of the thinking to become more inclusive and accessible to all.

Thank you for inviting us to be part of this incredible experience – we learned so much and the joy on people’s faces was clear to see.

Linzy McAvoy, Learning and Engagement Manager, The Barn, Banchory

I am a Creative Collaborator, Theatre Director, consultant and Teacher.

I have a special interest in co-creating and developing high quality performances with and for people living with dementia, their loved ones and those who care for them. My aim is to challenge assumptions and change perceptions about the creative potential of people living with dementia and their contribution to society.

I have over 30 years of experience performing, directing and teaching physical theatre and clowning in the UK and internationally.  I co-founded Hearts & Minds in 1997 and remained its Artistic Director until December 2017. In this role I developed the unique and highly acclaimed Elderflowers programme for people living with dementia, which has influenced similar programmes across the globe.

In 2014, I was honoured to be awarded a Paul Hamlyn Breakthrough Fund grant to further advance my work and as a result I have created Curious Shoes and In the Light of Day, collaborative performances for people living with dementia, as well as Artful Minds and Mindful Arts, experiential training initiatives for artists of all art forms. I am currently working on the research & development of Framed, the third part of my dementia responsive trilogy.  

I was appointed Honorary Professor with the School of Health Sciences at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh in 2016 and I am proud to serve as Trustee and EDI Champion on the Board of Directors of Love Music – life enhancing music making for everyone. For more info, please visit

I am Creative Director and lead facilitator with Bold (Bringing Out Leaders in Dementia), a 5-year long social leadership project, supported by the Life Changes Trust. Bold recognises that a large number of new leaders of all ages and from all walks of life, including many persons living with dementia, are already finding their place in ‘the dementia world’. Bold is bringing different types of leader together on an equal footing and providing free leadership development opportunities across Scotland. For more information on Bold, please visit

bold Scotland logo - Brining out Leaders in Dementia