Until today more than 802 people with visual impairment have attended 36 theatrical or dance performances and 6 movies and documentaries
The program of audio description of theatrical performances, which is addressed to people with visual impairments, started experimentally in 2000 and since then it has been implemented with great success. The program aims for the verbal rendering of images during a theatrical performance. The organization implemented this pioneering program, as in Greece the description is not provided by the theaters themselves in contrast to many foreign countries.
The describer conveys in words the image of those who exist or are played on stage, the sets, the costumes, the movements of the actors and the expressions of their faces. The description takes place during the pauses that are inserted between the dialogues. The describer does not intervene when there are sound effects, any songs and music during the performance. As the receivers hear the description through headphones that are not heard to the people next to them, it is possible for people with and without vision problems to watch the show together without any other special adjustments.
Each performance is preceded by a verbal introduction of about 15 minutes, which includes what is usually presented in the printed program of each performance: information about the author, the plot of the work, the distribution of roles and other information that is deemed necessary.
Many times, and if agreed, the experience is usually enriched after the show and with a “touch tour” of the costumes and sets combined with discussion and exchange of views with the actors of the show, a process that is highly appreciated by the spectators who cannot see.
The “describer” specialist theatrologist, partner of ARTOGETHER undertakes the preparation of the audio description of each project separately. Close cooperation with the actors of the theater is required, at least four times while watching the show and a total of about 40 hours of editing the text which is then presented live during the specific performance inside a soundproof studio.
We would like to note that the describer must be able to adjust his description accordingly in the case of an unexpected event on stage. This detailed preparation is necessary and therefore it is difficult to make a successful prima vista description. The organization also provides special equipment that covers the needs of 20-40 people and the sound technician that ensures its proper operation. The ability to adjust the volume of the headphones by the users themselves even serves the hearing-impaired viewers.
The required technical equipment belongs to ARTOGETHER and is offered by the General Secretariat for Youth and the Ministry of Culture.
The success of the audio description program strongly confirms the big interest of visually impaired people in all forms of art, including those that society believes are almost excluded, which are theater and cinema, and that access to these art forms is not just desirable and possible, but mandatory for any society that respects diversity.
“Audio description of plays and cinematographic works for the visually impaired” (2008)
During 2008 we undertook the implementation of a special program called “Audio description of theatrical and cinematic works for the visually impaired”. In the framework of this program, the organization undertook the training of new describers and the approach of a new object, the cinematographic work for which there was no previous experience in Greece. Descriptions were made in four theatrical performances and for the first time, they were made in two dance performances. The most important step was made with the description of the movie “Political Cuisine” which had a very large participation and satisfied the entire audience that watched it.
Throughout the program, the contribution of the beneficiaries was valuable, who were invited to submit their opinions both at the stage of preparation and after the end of the performances at the stage of evaluation to record impressions and comments for improvement. The beneficiaries confirmed the great usefulness of the audio description, primarily for a better understanding of the work but also for its greater enjoyment, as well as for enhancing their sense of independence of the visually impaired spectators themselves.
The specific program was funded by the “Actions to support the employment of the unemployed with the active participation of Non-Governmental Organizations” and is part of the OP “Employment and Vocational Training” of the Ministry of Employment and Social Protection. The action was 80% co-financed by the European Social Fund.
Audio description of the 1st International Documentary Festival “Emotion pictures”
Following an invitation from the Hellenic Cinema Center, we undertook the audio description of the 1st International Documentary Festival on the subject of disability “Emotion pictures”. The Greek documentaries of the competition section were described, as well as the foreign language documentaries of the opening ceremony. The Festival was organized in collaboration with the General Secretariat of Communication and Information and took place at the New Benaki Museum (June 16-18, 2007).
- “Cats” – 19/5/2000 at the Elysee Theater (2 performances) with the music theater group of VSA HELLAS (30 visually impaired people in the 2 performances and other people with various disabilities)
- “Students” Grigorios Xenopoulos – 4/4/2001 at the REX theater of the National Theater. (40 visually impaired people)
- “The Girl of the Neighborhood” Nikos Hatziapostolou – 2/3/2002 at the Acropolis Theater of the National Opera (16 visually impaired)
- “Dinner With Friends” Donald Margieulis – 4/3/2003 at the Lampeti Theater (2 performances). (30 visually impaired people in the 2 performances)
- “Betrayal” by Harold Pinder – 10/3/2003 at the K. Dandoulaki Theater (2 performances). 30 visually impaired people.
- “The Gallery” work of the music-theater group of VSA hellas – May 2003 at the k. Dandoulaki Theater. (10 people with vision problems and others with various disabilities)
- “In the Cuckoo’s Nest” – 18/12/2003 at the neo rialto theater (22 visually impaired people)
- “In the Cuckoo’s Nest” – 27/1/2004 in New Rialto as a university course in the department of specialization and training in issues of visually impaired people. It was attended by 26 students of the University and 6 people with visual impairments.
- “Hamlet” by W. Shakespeare – 11/1/2004 at the REX theater of the National. (23 visually impaired people)
- “Uncle Vania” Anton Chekhov 28/2/2004 New Greek Theater G. Armeni (19 people with vision problems)
- “Romeo and Juliet” by W. Shakespeare (adaptation) – 9/5/2004 by the music-theater group of VSA HELLAS at the New World Theater. (5 people with vision problems as well as people with other disabilities)
- “In the Land of Birds” Birds by Aristophanes – Adaptation – 27/1/04 at the children’s hangout of the National Theater in REX. (14 children with visual impairments)
- Description of Dora Stratou’s Folk Dances for 12 French teenagers with visual impairment – May 2004 – at the indoor theater of D. Stratou in Plaka
- “The Lead Soldier” description of a puppet show at the “Center for Education and Rehabilitation of Blind Children” – 26/5/2004. 17 children with vision problems.
- “Mom I Fly” in the special show for young and old at the Nea Poreia Theater – 5/12/2004. (13 blind people, as well as people with other disabilities)
- “The Godchild” (Vaptistikos) Theofrastos Sakellaridis – 14/1/05 at the Acropolis Theater of the National Opera. (21 visually impaired people)
- “The Three Sisters” Anton Chekhov – 2/2/2005 at the K. Dandoulaki Theater. (23 visually impaired people)
- “Where Is This Bus Going?” Lakis Lazopoulos – 19/3/2005 at the Bretania Theater. (18 people with vision problems)
- “The Chalk Circle” Bertolt Brecht – 20/4/2005 at the KAPPA theater of the National (20 people with vision problems)
- “Fiddler On The Roof” Veaki Theater (22 visually impaired people)
- “Prosecution Witness” – 8/3/2006 at the Katia Dandoulaki Theater 18 people with vision problems
- “King Lear” – 5/4/2006 at the National Theater (REX) (25 visually impaired people)
- “Carnival’s End” -9/4/2006 at the Lampeti Theater (19 visually impaired people)
- “Tartufos” -10/12/2006 at the Alpha Theater (21 visually impaired people)
- “Henry IV” – 17/12/2006 at the National Theater (REX) (24 people with vision problems)
- “Dancing In Silence” -11/2/2007, 14/2/2007 at the Veaki Theater (45 people with visual impairments)
- “Blood Wedding” Federico Garcia Lorca – 28/3/2007 at the National Theater (KAPPA) (19 visually impaired people)
- “Don Juan at Soho” – 20/1/2008 at the Chora Theater (29 visually impaired people)
- “Two crazy crazy producers” – 9/4/2008 at the Aliki Theater (17 people with vision problems)
- “The Storm” William Shakespeare – 13/4/2008 at the National Theater (KAPPA) (20 people with vision problems)
- “ID No 121” (dance) – 4/6/2008 at the Alkmini Theater (5 visually impaired people)
- “The Voice Of The Whale” (dance, pilot production with dance performances by visually impaired people) – 26/6/2008 at the Alkmini Theater (8 visually impaired people)
- “Tita – Lou” – 2/12/2008 at the Rages Theater (13 people with visual impairments
- “The Matchmaker” (VSA Performance) – 30/11/2008 at the ALTERA PARS Theater (5 people)
- “The Miracle of Annie Sullivan” – 14/2/2009, 22/2/2009 (45 visually impaired people) at the Alpha Theater
- “Meet Market” – 8/4/2009 (11 visually impaired people) at the Roes Theater
DESCRIPTION OF CINEMA WORKS AND DOCUMENTARIES
- “A Touch of Spice” (Politiki Kouzina) Film – 15/10/2008 (37 visually impaired people) Lighthouse for the Blind in Greece
- 5 documentaries about disability – Emotion Pictures Festival – 16 – 18 / 6/2007 (23 people with visual impairments) at the Benaki Museum on Piraeus Street