This project (citește în limba română) started as an idea, that turned into a wish, a necessity and only then took life. March 2017 saw the first theatre workshops for visually impaired and professional actors, a project that aims towards the integration of visually impaired into the Romanian acting community. The project will last two years and is led by director and artistic coordinator Amalia Olaru and producer Andreia Bruckner through Tandem Association. Its long term vision is to help the visually impaired to become active in the acting community in Romania. Creating an acting school for the blind is the starting point for a different mentality that promotes bilateral integration of the visually impaired. The workshops are coordinated by Amalia Olaru and include self-awareness, theater, scenic movement, speaking, singing, and writing workshops.
All the teachers have previous experience in working with the blind. At the end of seven months of workshops we will select a group composed of visually impaired and students at the National Theater Academy that will help write and perform a play. We plan for five free performances where we will invite as many persons as possible, both with and without visual impairment.
A project like this has the potential to deconstruct stereotypes about what is considered„socially functional”. We want to offer the visually impaired the opportunity to perform on stage together with sighted actors, constructing a show in which both worlds coexist. The blind, living in a world where sight is the main sense (images sell and attract), may become dependent of instruments whose purpose is to decrypt the meaning behind images, so that they can understand and circulate cultural products and thus they give up on becomingthemselves creators and to offer the sighted a vision of their own world. It may be that it is the sighted that need sometimes to close their eyes and see things from inside. The whole team of professional actors and teachers knows very well that they need to be students too in this project and to learn how to inhabit both worlds, to feel without the need to see. Who knows, maybe in the future the Theatre Universities will start accepting blind and visually impaired persons as students.