Tour of Invisible Plays Takes Place in 10 Regions of Russia in 2015

26 November 2015

On 24 November 2015 the final event of a large theatre tour took place, organised by the Art, Science and Sport Charity Foundation as part of the Support Programme for Visually Impaired Children. This time the pupils of the Kostroma Region Residential School for Blind and Visually Impaired Children got to know Carl, the brave, young main character of Wolke, a unique play performed by Bulgakov House Museum and Theatre.

The tour of the Invisible Plays theatre project took place over two stages. The spring tour was arranged for special-care institutions in 4 cities: Voronezh, Novotroitsk, Orenburg and Sergiyev Posad. As part of the autumn tour the Bulgakov House Museum and Theatre visited 8 cities: Vladimir, Ivanovo, Korolev, Kostroma, Meshchovsk, Ryazan, Saratov and Tambov. In total the project united 840 blind and visually impaired children from 10 regions of the Russian Federation.

The unique nature of the performance is reflected in its format. Wolke should be experienced with closed eyes. Before the play begins, its actors and director stage an interactive master class which prepares the audience for the invisible world of sounds, words and smells. Then everyone, including sighted and visually impaired children, put on light excluding blindfolds in order to feel the special atmosphere of the Invisible Plays or, professionally speaking, focus on auditory, kinaesthetic and olfactory sensations together with the viewers with total blindness. If a character is near the river in summer, these are water splashes, if it’s New Year in the play, you will smell the scent of Christmas trees and tangerines. Nightingale song, the creaking of gates, the crunch of snow, the rustle of grass — it all helps a child’s imagination to get the most vivid emotions and full information.

“At the end, when the children ask with surprise and delight how we represented rain or the rumble of a railway station, and you start revealing all the magic, they can’t stop asking questions and you understand what this project is all about”, said Jaroslav Zhalnin, theatre actor.

Another element of the performance is also its artistic design. This is a story with fairy tale elements about boy, Carl, who has a physical condition (he has no hair) and who overcomes difficulties and performs his first grown-up action, setting a good example to follow.

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