As New York regulations begin to allow performance venues to reopen their doors, Off-Broadway’s Daryl Roth Theatre welcomes audiences back to its space beginning April 2 for the socially distanced sound and light experience Blindness. The open-ended engagement marks one of the first live, ticketed events to open in New York City since the coronavirus shutdown.
Inspired by José Saramago’s dystopian novel and adapted by Simon Stephens, the piece charts perhaps familiar territory—a sudden global pandemic—that leaves its victims without sight. Audiences experience the story, as narrated by Olivier winner Juliet Stevenson, through binaural headphone technology while immersed in an atmospheric design.
After debuting at London’s Donmar Warehouse in August last year, producer Daryl Roth announced she would bring the show to her namesake venue pending the approval of public health protocols. The opening is made possible as part of New York’s “Flex Venues” program, which allows spaces that can accommodate socially distanced configurations to resume performances beginning April 2. Per state regulations, audience capacity is limited to either 33 percent capacity or up to 100 people.
Blindness’ myriad safety protocols include temperature checks, mask requirements, two-person pod seating arrangements, enhanced ventilation, and routine sanitization.
The Walter Meierjohann-helmed production features sound design by Ben and Max Ringham, lighting by Jessica Hung Han Yun, and additional designs by Lizzie Clachan. Additional creatives in the U.S. include Markus Potter (associate director), Chris Cronin (associate sound designer), and Gina Scherr (associate lighting designer).
Separate productions are also on the horizon at Mexico City’s Teatro De Los Insurgentes, Washington, D.C.’s Shakespeare Theatre Company, and Toronto’s Princess of Wales Theatre.
Tickets for the New York City run are on sale at BlindnessEvent.com.