[AI] Fw: Enthusiasts popularize theater audio description for the blind in Poland
pradeep_banakar at yahoo.co.in
Fri Feb 8 09:17:47 EST 2008
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From: "BlindNews Mailing List" <BlindNews at GeoffAndWen.com>
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Sent: Friday, February 08, 2008 6:41 AM
Subject: Enthusiasts popularize theater audio description for the blind in
> Thursday, November 22, 2007
> Enthusiasts popularize theater audio description for the blind in Poland
> By Joanna Najfeld
> Audio description is a technique which allows blind and visually impaired
> people to experience the visual arts almost like sighted persons do. A
> special additional narration track helps non-sighted theater, movie or TV
> spectators visualize what is happening on the stage or cinema screen. The
> idea seems to be catching on in Poland thanks to enthusiasts who
> popularize it.
> The idea of audio description was first tried twenty six years ago at a
> theater in Washington, DC. It was pioneered in Poland a year ago by an
> enthusiast of audio description, 27-year old Tomasz Strzyminski, a blind
> person himself, who managed to convince a cinema to organize a screening
> of a movie with audio description for the non-sighted part of the
> audience. Before Tomasz Strzymiñski lost his sight, he was a cinema lover.
> "When I became blind, I realized how much a non-sighted person misses.
> Audio description allows us - to an extent - to understand what is
> The movie screening one year ago was a success, but Tomasz Strzyminski
> wanted more and so he came to talk to the director of the puppet theater
> in Bia³ystok, Marek Waszkiel
> "One year ago he came to the theater and he started to talk to me about
> this audio description. It wasn't absolutely known for me at that moment.
> But steps by step, thanks to his energy, we decided to do it with the
> spectators, with our actors, with some people invited to the theater, on
> the base of this "Rabbit on the Moon"."
> "There is a rabbit on the moon" is the play that was shown to a group of
> sighted and blind children. Tomasz Strzymiñski again:
> "The non-sighted children had their headphones on, and could hear the
> colorful narration of the audio describer. He was telling them what was
> going on on the stage - that a little star lights up or a bicycle appears
> with a backpack on it, or a skeleton of a fish, which will swallow a
> little soldier in a while."
> This is how the kids could visualize the whole story in their minds and it
> seemed the idea really worked, says Marek Waszkiel of the Puppet Theater
> in Bia³ystok:
> "Oh, it was an enormous success! I am really so happy because it wasn't so
> easy. It was really the first time in our theater and probably the first
> time in Poland as well. And this performance is very special. It's really
> for the young children and we invited them all to a very special area, a
> kind of chapiteaux, and they felt like in the night, with all the miracles
> and funny objects. Audio description was very special, because the story
> was not linear, it was a very poetical, magical theater. Well, I am happy
> we decided to do it and the first presentation was really a big success."
> Depending on the availability of specialized equipment, the Bia³ystok
> Puppet Theater is ready to stage "There is a rabbit on the moon" at the
> National Theater in Warsaw, maybe as early as next month. And with so much
> energy of enthusiasts like Tomasz Strzymiñski who are behind the project,
> audio description is sure to spread in Poland and bring unforgettable
> experiences to many.
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