[AI] Fw: Enthusiasts popularize theater audio description for the blind in Poland

Pradeep banakar pradeep_banakar at yahoo.co.in
Fri Feb 8 09:17:47 EST 2008

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "BlindNews Mailing List" <BlindNews at GeoffAndWen.com>
To: <BlindNews at FreeLists.org>
Sent: Friday, February 08, 2008 6:41 AM
Subject: Enthusiasts popularize theater audio description for the blind in 

> polskieradio
> 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 
> happening."
> 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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