Unique Invisible Play Performed for Blind and Visually Impaired Children from Foundation-Sponsored Institutions

21 April 2015

In the period from February 25 to April 16, 2015, the Art, Science and Sport Charity Foundation arranged actors from the Bulgakov House Museum and Theatre to come and perform for blind and visually impaired children. The tour came under the framework of the Foundation’s Support Programme for Visually Impaired Children, in the spirit of this, a special play called Wolke for people with blindness was performed for the children.

Four children’s centres were visited during the tour. The theatre team visited the Sergiev Posad Deaf-blind Children’s Home on February 25. On March 18 Wolke was staged at Voronezh Residential School for Blind and Visually Impaired Children № 3. On April 7-8 performances were given at Orenburg Residential School No.2. On April 15-16 Wolke was shown to pupils at Novotroitsk Residential School.

The uniqueness of Wolke is that it can and should be watched with your eyes closed. This format has been specially developed for blind and visually impaired children (children without complete loss of vision wore blindfolds) by the Bulgakov House Museum and Theatre.

The perception of the performance is based on auditory, kinaesthetic and olfactory senses. The children do not just listen, they are completely immersed in the atmosphere of what is happening. For example, if a scene takes place in a cozy Christmas home, then the smell of cinnamon, tea and tangerines is in the air; if the fairy tale character is swimming in the river, then tiny water drops fall on the audience. Many blind children have problems with an asynchronous understanding of the world, where the name of the object is not associated with the object itself. A child may know what a pine cone is, but as they have never touched or seen it, they do not have a full and adequate idea of what it is. From this perspective, Wolke partially has an educational function: from time to time the children are given the opportunity to touch the objects which are being described.

Within the framework of the Support Programme for Visually Impaired Children, the Art, Science and Sport Charity Foundation cooperates with special education Children’s Homes and Residential Schools in different regions of Russia. Institutions participating in the programme receive regular assistance from the foundation to solve financial and technical issues, create a barrier-free environment for new facilities, modernize the educational process and make arrangements for leisure, diagnostics and treatment of pupils. The foundation also provides targeted support for children with loss of sight, who are brought up in foster institutions not specializing in visual problems.

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