The performance with
the deaf-blind actors
Each of us has his own blindness and deafness
How is it possible to listen music, to read, to write, to paint, to dance, to study, to use the Internet, to work, to travel, to communicate, to love, in one word — TO LIVE,
if a person cannot see or hear?
'TOUCH-ABLES' — is a project of socio-cultural integration and rehabilitation of people with hearing and visual impairments. It unites deaf-blind people and those, who can see and hear, in the space of culture and city.
The play 'TOUCH-ABLES', inclusive Laboratories and workshops, the exhibition Touching Art and the documentary film "Word on the palm" became the basis of this great project.
The idea to create such a performance belongs to the actor and art director of the Theatre of Nations Evgeniy Mironov. The sketch play was shown on October 13, 2014 within a special programme of the International Festival- School of Contemporary Art Territory, the premiere took place on 19-20 of April 2015 on the Small stage of the Theatre of Nations in Moscow.

Play 'TOUCH-ABLES' was nominated for National Theater Award "Golden Mask" in the category "Experiment".
About the play 'TOUCH-ABLES'
One of the main problems for people with simultaneous hearing and visual impairments is the problem of communication. Apparently, seeing and hearing people are too little aware of the world of the deafblind, who, in their turn, are scarcely integrated into the society of seeing and hearing people, despite the fact that they live in the same country, city or even house.

The problem of communication is a universal issue, but for deafblind people, due to physical reasons, it is maximally aggravated.

'TOUCH-ABLES' is not just a stage production, but it is an attempt to establish a link between two worlds, to develop a communication strategy by practical consideration. On the stage both seeing and hearing people and deaf-blind heroes overcome fears, doubts, difficulties of mutual understanding. And overcoming of seemingly simple domestic problems (but difficult for the deafblind) allows to detect delicate emotional and sensual consonance with another person.

Deafblind characters of the performance belong to different generations, different social strata and different world views. Each character has their own unique language, so, they do not speak the neutralized interpreter's language. At that, a professor can talk about everyday horror and Lyosha Technician quietly narrates about his way from home to work. Skorokhodova Olga, the first Soviet deafblind woman scientist, has a special place among the characters. 'TOUCH-ABLES' is special not only because it tells stories of deafblind people, but also because deafblind heroes of stories testify about themselves on their own.

In the performance 'TOUCH-ABLES' the characters talk about mutual overcoming of broken contacts by overcoming physical ailment and loneliness, transforming it into love through the compromise with oneself and with others.

The work on the performance began in the middle of 2014. In October the sketch play was shown as part of the International Festival- School of Contemporary Art Territory. From this work a new idea has started up - to create art Laboratories on plastic, architecture, storytelling, music — which can help deafblind people to feel the beauty of the world of art, become creators and artists themselves. Thus the project 'TOUCH-ABLES' appeared as a social and cultural project for the integration of deafblind people into the culture, which includes the performance, Laboratories, the documentary film of 'Island studio' about deafblind people and the exhibition Touching Art which opened its doors to the public on April 28 at the Museum of Modern Art.

'TOUCH-ABLES' became an important creative milestone both for seeing and hearing actors, who experience such social theater work for the first time, and for the deafblind, because nobody paid attention to their problems for a long time.

After the premiere at the Theatre of Nations on April, 19-20 2015 the performance had a great success on other venues - Teatrium on Serpukhovka (Moscow), Meyerhold Center and on the New Stage of Alexandrinsky Theatre (St. Petersburg). In the nearest plans - performances on stage of Stanislavsky Electrotheatre. Also, the Deafblind Support Fund Con-nection has an intention to summarize the accumulated experience and transmit it into regions, where on the basis of regional theaters such creative groups and laboratories can work and help the deafblind to speak about themselves.

'TOUCH-ABLES' laboratories
The laboratories appeared as a necessity during the process of creative team preparation for the play 'TOUCH-ABLES' in August 2014. Neither deafblind participants nor seeing and hearing were ready for rehearsals and even simple communication. First, we carried out trainings to get acquainted, to establish a contact, to set for the worlds of each other. Participants became closer through communicative, movement and art labs and work over the play became possible. But the effect of such labs was so evident that after the work on the sketch play had been finished we realized that labs should become a constant larger project and enlarge its audience.

Labs of social and cultural integration of 'TOUCH-ABLES' are sights for communication, discoveries and mutual art of deafblind and people who can see and hear, but are open to different people and to people with other abilities.

Labs goal is to:

  • unite people who conditionally have limitations in world perception and those who do not have such limitations through common art work and actions

  • study the process of natural integration of deafblind people into the community of seeing and hearing people

  • develop methods of social and cultural adaptation for people with sensory impairments through active life and involvement into cultural context
  • create conditions for the most
In the labs you can reveal the world that seems to be inaccessible for people who can't see or hear and new world of mutual understanding, sympathy and mutual creative work in which common language is love from person to person and mutual desire to understand each other. People who perceive the world differently help us to understand this world better, wider and in all its nuances.

Inclusive workshops
  1. CLAY CINEMA

    After preliminary preparation for modelling participants (deafblind and people who see and hear) together create stories, emotions and situations using soft ceramic clay.
  2. AROME PAINTING (BLIND PAINTING) – BLUE SMELLS LIKE THE SEA
    After preliminary discussion of color-aroma associations participants choose aromas they will use for painting and paint with their eyes closed using aroma paints
  3. WU-XING CHINEESE PAINTING
  4. MUSICAL LABS
    • imaginative perception of music ( 'Daphnis and Chloe' ) – from a story to perception of musical images though vibration (piano, marimba)
    • musical journey around the world (instrument marimba) – through rhythm and vibration participants perceive sceneries, faces, legends of different countries, uniting in common dance "Barracuda hunting fish", "Serbian dances", "Desert", "Fire"
    • Hang-therapy
      Regaining balance by instrument vibration. Searching for their own melody. Composing a melody together.
  5. BRAIDING
    A Deafblind actress of the play 'TOUCH-ABLES' teaches how to braid hair
  6. ACTING SKILLS from the actors of 'TOUCH-ABLES'
    Deafblind participants and those who can see and hear play the same scene in parallel by different means.
  7. STORYTELLING
    Each participant (deafblind and seeing and hearing) receives a task, they need to tell each other stories or retell personal stories, changing them. Through retelling and perception of personal stories from aside participants can overcome fears, barriers and complexes
  8. MOVEMENT AND CONTACT THERAPY
    Participants fulfill a number of tasks to establish contact, create plastic pictures and scenes. They learn to feel the partner, communicate on non-verbal level.
  9. FINGERSPELLING AND SIGN LANGUAGE
    Open workshops and express-courses on sign language and fingerspelling
Schedule
Not scheduled in nearest future.
From the first minute you don't realize that the lead actors are deaf-blind people. They are heroes, and other actors only help them tell their stories — how they live in the world of constant silence and darkness.
Channel One
"Touchables" is the dream of those who can't hear and can't see that comes to life and becomes the reality.
Russia 1
There is an icon — Softener of Evil Hearts. This performance for the sighted and hearing - softening the hearts of healthy people.
MK
Ingeborga Dapkūnaitė
Producer
I think that this play isn't so much about attracting attention to the problem, but about a dialogue, communication. Generally, this is probably the first performance in my experience, where deafblind and seeing and hearing actors are on the stage and in the audience. And I want to believe that after our play people with two sensory impairments will be able to go to the theater more often, and it will become more accessible for them.
Yevgeny Mironov
Author of the idea
We enjoy the sun and the voice of the sea without thinking that somebody is unable to experience it. And when we come across such people we feel pity and awkward. They know this world by touch and smell and when our paths cross and they understand they are different, 'other', they feel lonely and miserrable. It is unjust. There is no 'us' and 'them'. There are people who must teach each other to look at the world in a new way.
Ruslan Malikov
Director
This play tells that it's necessary to touch, that the world of the deafblind and those, who can see and hear, must meet. Since childhood a person must understand and accept that there are different people and different problems.
Dmitry Polikanov
The President of the Deaf-blind
Support Fund Con-nection
We wanted to show that the deafblind and those, who can see and hear, can demonstrate their talents on one stage — and our performance 'TOUCH-ABLES' was born. For us it's an important project which we want to scale up and move to the regions. The theater was found to be the most simple and accessible means of art therapy as well as a tool for telling about the problems of the deafblind. At the same time theater helps people with two sensory impairments to look at their lives, their prospects and their future in a more positive way.
Viktoria Avdeyeva
Executive Producer
I am happy and lucky to work on this project called 'TOUCH-ABLES'. For me it is not just a project about deafblindness, but the space of humanity, pure and honest communication, connection. Day by day I am getting more and more inspired with the results of our work: the deafblind actors have become freer and hearing and seeing actors and interpreters-volunteers have become more open and attentive.
The world has become a better place.
Irina Povolotskaya
Poet and a deafblind actress
In the play I'm the same as in real life. I didn't have any problems communicating with the actors of the Theater of Nations, because I have lived among seeing and hearing people since my childhood. I realized that stage is the same world, and I began to perceive it differently. I can't see, but I have arms and legs, and it means that I can touch and feel the space.
Creative team
Автор идеи
Евгений Миронов
Продюсер
Ингеборга Дапкунайте
Режиссер
Руслан Маликов
Режиссер по пластике
Евгений Кулагин
Художник-постановщик
Екатерина Джагарова
Драматург
Марина Крапивина
Actors
Ингеборга Дапкунайте, Анатолий Белый
Евгений Цыганов, Инга Оболдина
Альберт Филозов, Ольга Яковлева,
Егор Бероев, Ольга Сутулова
Елена Морозова, Дмитрий Бероев
Ирина Поволоцкая, Алена Капустьян
Алексей Горелов, Вера Лыженкова
Александр Сильянов, Вадим Плевако
Светлана Щукина, Ольга Лапшина
Анна Ковальчук, Екатерина Волкова
Кирилл Быркин, Олег Савцов
Рустам Ахмадеев, Илона Гайшун
Екатерина Сахно, Михаил Видякин
Юлия Хамитова, Алексей Овсянников
Константин Кожевников, Роман Евдокимов

Administrative team
Руководитель проекта
Дмитрий Поликанов
Исполнительный продюсер
Виктория Авдеева
Менеджер проекта
Елизавета Щукина

Creative team
Actors
Administrative team
Our partners

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