Unseen Theatre

unseenIn 2004, Blazho Nikolich, translator and patron of culture, invites people from theatre to contact the seeing-impaired community.  A connection like this was almost absent in the country until then.

Velimir Velev agrees.  He is a director, actor, professor in NATFA (The National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts, Sofia, Bulgaria), and director of VIA Theatre, Sofia.  With his help, a theatre class begins rehearsing in the school for visually impaired children Louis Braille in Sofia.  The class involves mainly children with no vision.

Mr. Velev starts to teach tem in an untraditional way, creating his own methodology for work with the blind.  It involves specific exercises and techniques, through which the blind children develop skills, previously impossible for blind people.  They learn to create art in genres that are based only on distant visual control – marionette theatre and shadow theatre.

The troupe consists of current and former students of the Louis Braille school, and professional actors from VIA Theatre.

The troupe focuses on timeless human values and ideals.  It has several performances:

“A meeting in the clouds” – the first marionette performance by people with no vision

“Colors of the dark” – a unique interactive and sensitive performance in complete darkness, where the audience participates and experiences the whole performance.  In one hour, the roles switch, the seeing become “unseeing” participants, and the blind people are their helpers and guides in the dark.

“The shadow of my soul” – the first of its kind theatre of shadows, in which blind actors, without actually seeing how light creates and changes shadows, use their bodies to “draw” shadow and light images.  It is currently performed as part of the programme of the Youth Theatre Nikolai Binev.