APH Press Release
APH Readers Theater Troupe Presents a Festival of New Plays
Louisville, Kentucky (March 2, 2015) – The Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) will offer two free performances of four new plays. The plays resulted from a series of playwriting workshops taught by Kentucky playwright and poet Constance Alexander at the Museum last fall.
- Friday, March 13 at 7:00 p.m.
- Saturday, March 14 at 1:00 pm.
All the plays are presented as Readers Theater. There are no sets, no special lighting, and minimal costumes and props. The actors, who are all blind or visually impaired, read from embossed braille scripts. They use gestures appropriate for their characters and intonation appropriate for their characters’ words. This is the fourth year for APH Readers Theater. The troupe performed The Miracle Worker in 2012, Much Ado About Nothing in 2013, and the Curious Savage in 2014. This is the first year members of the group have written the plays, themselves.
About the Plays
- In The Dogalog, playwright Rick Roderick introduces Chief, a guide dog for the blind whose brain possesses an overly developed “speech center.” Chief has plenty to say to his human companion, interspersed with meditations on squirrels and treats. A comedy, the play nonetheless carries a poignant message about the intimate relationship between a blind person and a guide dog. Roderick, who is working his fourth guide dog, Quattro, worked for many years at the Kentucky Office of the Blind and currently runs a small braille transcribing business.
- Hero, a two-person play by Barbara Henning, explores the relationship between an actress and the character she presents on stage. Hero, a minor character in the Shakespeare play Much Ado About Nothing, emerges as a complex sixteenth century woman with decidedly different opinions than her twenty-first century counterpart. Henning is a musician as well as a writer, and often performs at public and private events, including the APH Museum.
- A Fire’s Definition, by Madelyn Loyd explores the effects of bullying on two high school students and the relationship they forge because of it. Madelyn is a sophomore student at the Kentucky School for the Blind.
- Dave Trevino’s The Message That Wasn’t There is a perplexing murder mystery, eventually solved by a resourceful amateur detective whose blindness is an advantage in this particular case. Trevino recently moved to Louisville from Nashville, where his career was quite similar to that of his main character. Cast members are from Jefferson and other Kentucky Counties. Many of the performers from the earlier productions are involved again this year. Most use braille on a regular basis in their personal and/or professional lives.
About the Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind
The Museum, where visitors experience hands-on history, is open Monday through Saturday. It is located on the second floor of the American Printing House for the Blind, 1839 Frankfort Avenue, Louisville, Kentucky. Admission is free. Regular hours are 8:30am to 4:30pm, Monday-Friday and 10:00am to 3:00pm on Saturday. Visitors can write in braille, see the first book embossed for blind readers, see a piano used by Stevie Wonder when he was a student at Michigan School for the Blind, play a computer game designed for blind students, and much more. More information at www.aph.org/museum or call (502) 895-2405, ext. 365, weekdays.
About the American Printing House for the Blind
The American Printing House for the Blind, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is the world’s largest company devoted solely to researching, developing, and manufacturing products for people who are blind or visually impaired. Founded in 1858, it is the oldest organization of its kind in the United States. Under the 1879 federal Act to Promote the Education of the Blind, APH is the official supplier of educational materials for visually impaired students in the U.S. who are working at less than college level.
APH manufactures textbooks and magazines in braille, large print, recorded, and digital formats. APH also makes hundreds of educational, recreational, and daily living products. APH’s fully-accessible web site (www.aph.org) features information about APH products and services, online ordering of products, and free information on a wide variety of blindness-related topics.
The American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. is located at 1839 Frankfort Avenue in Louisville, Kentucky. For more information, call (502) 895-2405 or log on to www.aph.org