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Theater without Shame, 13 blind people star in the assault on the Grand National Theater


For 13 years, a group of people with visual disabilities have been ironic about their walk through life. Within the framework of World Theater Day they will present a production on the most important stage in Peru

Members of the SinVergüenza theater company, made up of people with visual disabilities, during a rehearsal in Lima (Peru), on March 23, 2023.Angela Ponce

The 13 people who took over the roof of a building this afternoon in Miraflores (Lima) to talk about their partial or total blindness love to say that they have a point of view.

You have to see how they revel, clapping or tapping with their canes.

It's a joke they know by heart, but it continues to have the same effect on them.

Humor has saved them from themselves and the theater has offered them a new route to travel the world with less anger and regret.

There are barely hours left before Teatro sinVergüenza will perform for the first time on the most coveted stage in Peru: the Gran Teatro Nacional, a colossus of 1,500 seats that has vibrated with the voices of Plácido Domingo and Juan Diego Flórez, has been stunned by the St. Petersburg Ballet, and has allowed his heart to pierce with dramatic comedies such as

Escenas de la vida conjugal,

by Argentine Ricardo Darín.

“We are going to lose.

We have never acted in a real theater.

Are we prepared to do it?” asks Richard Picón, one of the actors, during the rehearsal.

What he says is part of the script.

Así nos vemos

is a testimonial work, where each of them is constantly questioned, and where the purpose is for the public to sway between reflection and laughter.

A public that is mostly unaware of the day-to-day life of the blind, but above all of what they are capable of.

The stereotype classifies them as beggars, masseurs and

call center

operators , but it is difficult for people to imagine them on a stage, producing art.

It all started with a workshop in December 2010, at the Blind Rehabilitation Center in Lima (CERCIL), given by Lucho Cáceres, a lawyer who was also guided by the brilliance of acting.

A face known for her multiple roles in theater, film and television.

The learning was mutual: they debuted as actors, and he as a teacher and director.

Since then, the collective creations have given birth to productions baptized with a large dose of black humor:

Blind dates


Isla Buenavista


The sky does not remove the blind


The blind man's trial


Blind case

, among others.

Lucho Caceres, director of the theater company SinVergüenza.

Angela Ponce

The first audience they faced with their fears was their family.

Then his friends joined him, and the friends of his friends.

Until word of mouth paid off.

Always at CERCIL, in an adapted room with a minimum capacity.

This was the case for a decade until in 2022, after the pandemic, they reappeared at Juliet, a commercial theater for 260 spectators.

As therapists say, they left their comfort zone.

"It was not easy at all," they repeat in chorus.

The almost full capacity of the performances has been the springboard for what they are about to experience this Wednesday under the spotlight of the Gran Teatro Nacional.

“The only thing a blind person or person with low vision needs to act as a sighted person is to know the space”, says the director, Lucho Cáceres.

His confidence in the company that he founded at the invitation of a friend from his university days —Ximena Ramírez, director of CERCIL— is full: they will only have three rehearsals on stage.

As footballers would say, field recognition.

Still, spirits are high.

They know the theatrical script inside out.

They will make a pass of two hours without frights.

“When you're on the bus and you see a blind man get on, don't cut off his attention.

Don't stay in your cloud.

Carriers are all over Peru.

They don't leave you where you want, but in another location.

A thousand pitfalls in the street, our reality is harsh.

I stumble, if you don't know, with your garbage bags”, raps César Quiñones Falcón, the Rastafarian of the group, waving his long dreads.

If transporting in Lima is usually an extreme sport for everyone, what will it be like for them?

On the track, where most drivers do not give way but rather charge, and on the sidewalk, where a passerby can be surprised by a bicycle, a scooter


even a motorcycle.

“The capital is not a disability-friendly city, but rather hostile,” says Lourdes Aquije, an ode to self-improvement, she is a social communicator from the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, and national runner-up in the 100 and 200-meter dash.

She was left in the shadows as a teenager due to medical negligence.

Detail of the cane and shoes of two of the members of the company sinVergüenza.Angela Ponce

Midway through the rehearsal, the actors—who mostly prefer to say they're just acting—discuss how they label themselves, separating themselves into those who were born blind, stayed blind, or have low vision.

The truth is that Ángela Pié is the only one of the clan whose blindness is congenital.

"While you dream of images, I dream of voices," she says.

Diversity exists: not everyone sees completely in the dark.

Some say they see lead, others flashes of light, and others just shadows.

What irritates them most are the extremes: being underestimated or overestimated.

May they magnify everything they do or treat them as incapable.

Mental health is a fundamental axis in

Así nos vemos


The work is enriched with monologues.

They tell the story of their most vulnerable episodes until the moment they accepted their condition and began to struggle with their destiny.

Like María Inés Aspilcueta, whose vision began to be robbed by fulminant juvenile glaucoma in her last years of high school.

And several years later after relearning how to live—mobilizing with her cane and reading her first braille texts—she founded her own therapy and reflexology company eight years ago.

Or as Junior Gálvez, a promising soccer player who was on the brink of making his First Division debut due to a brain tumor and who today, in addition to graduating as a physiotherapist, is one of the most confident actors in the cast.

There are those who spent up to three years locked in their rooms before taking to the streets again.

SinVergüenza members embrace during a rehearsal.

Angela Ponce

“I have fulfilled what I wanted so much.

I feel fulfilled”, says María Consuelo Guembes, better known as


, the eldest of the group.

This 76-year-old woman was born with the theater bug.

She was one of those who never missed a performance at school.

But when she grew up and wanted to study dramatic art, her parents opposed it.

She studied education, but then degenerative retinitis pigmentosa altered her plans.

“It seems incredible to me that when I could see I couldn't be an actress and now that I'm blind and at my age I'll step foot in the Grand National Theater”, she says excitedly after smoking a cigarette.

She is accompanied by the only sighted actor from Teatro sinVargüenza: her husband, Julio Márquez, a skinny man with an easy laugh who joined this adventure a few years ago.

“They have filled my life”, says the director Lucho Cáceres at the end of the rehearsal.

A visionary, he believed they were capable of acting before themselves.

The milestones will continue in 2023. In May they will have a couple of performances in Iquitos, in the Peruvian jungle.

They will go on tour for the first time.

They will continue to conquer new scenarios.

Boldly and shamelessly.

Source: elparis

All life articles on 2023-03-29

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