Theatre to present first original production of international hit “BLINDNESS”

Blindness play graphic

The Hanover College Theatre Department’s upcoming production of the international hit “BLINDNESS” will mark a world’s first for this non-traditional theatrical experience. Hanover’s theatre will present this unique audio-visual event Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 17-19.

“BLINDNESS” explores the changes to the world when a mysterious illness launches a pandemic that causes blindness and ensuing societal chaos. The immersive audio experience is based on Portuguese Nobel Prize-winner José Saramago’s 1995 novel.

The novel, which has been tailored into a movie and opera, was adapted by playwright Simon Stephens as sound installation production. First presented in August 2020 at London’s Donmar Warehouse, the production became one of the first theatrical events to return during the pandemic. Until now, all other productions around the world – including the Broadway, Toronto and West End stagings – have been identical, using the same performers and designs.

Hanover’s performance marks the first time a theatrical organization has been given the rights to use Stephen’s adaptation to create their own unique production. The audio installation production combines extensive audio technology, called binaural sound design, with stunning lighting design. Audience members, who wear headphones to hear the story unfold, will feel immersed in the Saramago’s story. The College’s presentation is directed by Gabriel Vanover, assistant professor of theatre.

Hanover’s all-student cast portrays a collection of afflicted citizens who band together during a traumatic quarantine. The group simultaneously attempts to navigate their unexplained condition, unraveling social order and the government’s clumsy attempts to confine the illness.

“BLINDNESS” will be presented at The Other Place, located between Donner Hall and Ide Hall. The production will be staged twice each evening during its three-night run. Performances will begin at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.

General admission tickets are free and available in advance. Reservations of tickets are required due to limited seating in the venue. Tickets may be printed or scanned upon entry from a barcode on a mobile device. Due to the configuration of the space and the technology used, no late seating is available for this production.

NOTE: Due to content and language, “BLINDNESS” is not suitable for children. The production contains discussion of violence and assault, intense lighting effects and strobe lights, and extensive periods of darkness.