Blind theater group looks to redefine experience, promote social inclusion

Latin America

An acting troupe in Mexico is attempting to change the concept of theater, shifting from a primarily visual experience to something that utilizes the body’s other senses. It promotes social inclusion and invites audience members to experience a play without seeing it.

CCTV’s Martin Markovits reports.

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Blind theater group looks to redefine experience, promote social inclusion

An acting troupe in Mexico is attempting to change the concept of theater, shifting from a primarily visual experience to something that utilizes the body’s other senses.

The Carlos Ancira theater group makes guests sit through the performance blindfolded while being bombarded with different sounds and smells. It takes an active imagination to visualize the play that is being performed in front of them.

“When we cover their eyes, it can be a little intimidating. Many people don’t expect it,” actor and doctor Pablo Moreno said. “It makes them nervous and scared. So we do this circus show to distract them so they don’t realize that they can’t see.”

This is the seventeenth year that this group has been performing plays for the blind and the general public. It has been such a success that they have been invited to showcase it all over the world.

But it is not just members of the audience that are blind. Omar Martinez, who plays the lead role of Mr. Strong in production of “The House of Desires,” lost his vision at the age of 14. But he soon found a new calling in theatre.

“Being blind and acting will always be complicated. I am fortunate because I have colleagues who help me get around. When I get to a new place I always to have to identify where to walk, how many steps I need to take,” Martinez said.

Despite these challenges, in the end he said he feels it’s worth it.

“The play breaks down these social barriers because we are uniting two groups of people who on face value are different. But in the end were not that different,” Martinez said.

Soon Martinez and the acting troupe will be taking the show on the road and are scheduled to travel to Spain later this year, staging their innovative show to a whole new audience.