A truly sensational experience was had by those from the visually impaired Hispanic community in New York City and New Jersey who recently attended a sold-out, special performance of the play El coronel no tiene quien le escriba (No One Writes to the Colonel) by Nobel-Prize-winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Under the direction of Dr. María José García Vizcaíno, Montclair State University Associate Professor, a group of nine students in the university’s Spanish Translation Program produced a live audio description script of this play on May 4 at Repertorio Español, in NYC. Through audio description, the audience members are able to listen through an earphone and special receiver to a narration that describes the relevant visual elements of the performance without intruding on the dialogue of the performers. One of the students did a voice over for the script as well.
One of the unique moments of this event was the pre-show experience or tactile experience that took place before the play. In this pre-show experience, those with visual impairments were able to touch a miniature stage and key objects of the performance to give them a holistic experience of the artistic and literary component of the play.
“This was a truly rewarding experience for the students and audience alike on so many different levels: academic, professional and personal. We are looking forward to organizing more events like this,” Dr. Garcia Vizcaino noted.
Dr. María José García Vizcaíno and her audio description class were recently featured in an NPR segment.