Theater News

Socially Distanced Audio Production of Blindness Planning Off-Broadway Run This Fall

The acclaimed Donmar Warehouse piece, based on Nobel laureate José Saramago’s novel, is written by Simon Stephens.

A moment from Blindness at the Donmar Warehouse
A moment from Blindness at the Donmar Warehouse
(© Helen Maybanks)

The socially distanced Donmar Warehouse production of Simon Stephens's Blindness, adapted from the novel by Nobel laureate José Saramago, will receive its off-Broadway debut at the Daryl Roth Theatre. It is hoping to open later this fall, pending the approval of city and state officials.

Blindness stars the voice of Juliet Stevenson and tells the story of a world changed forever by a global pandemic. The production, which opened in London in August, is directed by Walter Meierjohann and has immersive binaural sound design by Ben and Max Ringham, scenic design by Lizzie Clachan, lighting by Jessica Hung Han Yun, and production consultancy by Hannah Thompson.

Just as it was presented at the Donmar, attendees in New York will hear the narrative unfolding around them through binaural headphone technology while surrounded by immersive lighting and atmospheric design and experience together, safely, the importance of community in our present moment and a reminder of the hopeful end that lies ahead.

The venue will accommodate seating that's six-feet apart, with headphones sanitized between each performance. The theater's staff will receive Covid compliance training. Everyone who enters the building will have their temperature taken upon arrival and will be required to wear masks at all times. Tickets will be sold to a limited number of attendees per showing, with ample time for sanitization in between. The production runs 75 minutes.

Separate productions of Blindness are also planned to open in the coming months at Washington, DC's Shakespeare Theatre Company and Toronto's Princess of Wales Theatre.