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Blind theater:

the group that makes art accessible

Rafael Bahia

Vigo Fernández Rendón, Getty Images / Illustration: Helton Gomes

Focused on people with visual impairments, Argentine theater group Empacho takes art to the other senses

 

The show has started and the curtains are closed. The audience isn’t here to see a performance; they are here to experience it. This is what the plays by Argentine theater company Empacho Teatro a Ciegas are like. The group was created six years ago by directors Brenda Rosencovich and María Agustina Muñoz. They were inspired by the 8-year-old son of a colleague. They decided to create a play that would dialogue with everyone, including him, who was blind.

 

It was such a big hit that they spent five years performing in Córdoba. They wanted to take the project to other audiences. To make it happen, they sold everything: their personal assets and the cultural center they had bought. Their successful tour has been to eight countries in South America and is going to Central America and Mexico.

 

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For the seven children’s and adults’ plays they have conceived so far, the audience is welcomed at the entrance hall, where people who can see are blindfolded. What happens next is an experience for the four senses – participants are taken to different sets, exploring flavors and scents or stepping on Mars. “You’re an active spectator. You’ll hear, but also eat, touch, and move constantly,” explains Brenda.

 

For the director, the plays are much more than just an inclusion tool. “The objective of this work is to spread solidarity and empathy,” she states. It’s as if blindfolding people would help them see.

 

To learn more about the group’s schedule and discover where they are performing, follow Empacho Teatro a Ciegas on Facebook.