What is No Peeking Theater?
No Peeking Theatre was founded in Jersey City by Amanda Levie in 2012 to create a new format of theatre without one crucial element: Sight.
Their mission has been to bring communities together through works that create dialogue between marginalized groups and building a platform for diverse and high quality theatre.
Audience members are blindfolded for the duration of the show and are introduced to sensory elements such as sound, taste, scent, atmosphere, and touch. These sensory elements are designed to invoke the "world of the play/story/piece". No Peeking is changing the way we experience and create live arts.
Changing Theatre For Good
Due to the structural changes and functions of No Peeking Theatre's format, we are able to create substantial opportunities in accessibility,design employment, reduce consumption and waste, intersecting multiple fine arts for our designs, and more diverse and fairer casting
Casting and "Looking the Part"
Every actor has been there. You had a stellar audition, but the role is given to someone who “looks the part”. No Peeking is changing the dynamic of auditions. No headshots are necessary, auditions are often recorded video and audio reels electronically sent, and the roles are given based on the capacity to best embody the characters needed for the production. Because the content is the most powerful force that drives each production, an actor’s ability to transform personas is more highly valued. This allows the productions to be the most honest form of conveying a story, without limiting any of us from what powerfully influences us all when creating judgement: Appearance.
No Peeking has always made it a priority to house our productions in ADA accessible theatres. When we are not able to present in such theatres, we always offer additional assistance to any audience member with a disability. we can always been reached via email and By phone. In Addition, we always have assistance Attendants at the door at the top of each show.
The nature of No Peeking was originally intended to create a more universal and autonomous way to experience theatre. Simultaneously, we have also allowed the audience to create their nuances to the story in their heads by utilizing each individual’s imagination. The same experience of theatre is provided to the seeing, blind, low vision, and disabled. This allows every audience member to absorb the exact same form of information, while still experiencing a tailor made experience of the production.
In addition, all marketing materials sent electronically are available in PDF format so it is compatible with Adobe’s "Assistive Technology" for community members and organizations for people with low vision and/or blindness. For low vision members, our marketing and advertising is done primarily with high contrast and large font.
Combining Fine Art Forms
Because No One has written for a blind, sensory, theatre form, No peeking accepts ALL GENRES AND FORMS of written work. We accept but to are not limited to accepting plays, poetry, personal narratives, fiction, creative non-fiction, songs, etc. The strength and execution of the written work is what determines its capacity to be produced by our cast and crew. Our only criteria for written work is that is must be ORIGINAL WORK.
Furthermore this has changed the qualifications for design and technical production. Since we do not focus on design elements that are rooted in spectacle, there is a limited need for lighting, costumes, sets, and makeup. In turn, No Peeking Theatre adds sensory design elements in order to immerse the audience into the “world” of the production. We have created new positions in the designs and technical crew: Scentscaper, Soundscape, Touch Tech, Taste Tech, and Atmosphere Specialist. Designers are hired based on their ability to use several fine arts disciplines that relate to their specific design position. This includes sculpting, painting, fashion, music, writing, and design.
Theatre: A Wasteful Art No More
Lighting and sound consume power. Sets are primarily built from wood, muslin, and luaun (a wood harvested from rainforests). Headshots, call sheets, scripts, posters, postcards, and playbills all consume paper and ink. In essence, theatre results in a fair amount of waste. Until now.
No Peeking Theatre inherently reduces many components of waste that have been always considered by-products of theater. Lighting design is minimal and is not required by high powered stage lights. Set design is minimal and flats are not required. Our average run of show is between 15-50% shorter than a standard theatre production, lowering consumption on a show to show basis. Marketing is done primarily through social media and email, playbills are created as an audio pre-show, and communication regarding scripts and designs are all done through shared electronic documents,greatly reducing our consuming of paper materials. Paper marketing materials are usually done in black and white, limiting the consumption of color ink. Design elements are built from previous manufactured materials rather than from scratch and are resused for multiple show runs.
No Peeking Theatre was founded and developed since 2012 and began producing its first blind play “The Shapeshifter” by Meg Merriet in 2014 and followed with a sensory poetry event entitled "Hindsight" in July 2015. The following year an immersive biopic parallel, V. Lucas Cycle premiered at Art House Productions in June 2016 in Jersey City. The V. Lucas Cycle also had its first New York City debut later that year at MIST Harlem. In February of 2017, No Peeking kicked the year off with a show of compiled written works discussing the Black Experience, entitled "BLACKOUT". Subsequently, a compilation of written pieces addressing the Latin American Experience, entitled "In Lak'Ech", premiered in June and July 2017. Shortly after, in the Fall of 2017, a horror story written for No Peeking was created. The historical horror entitled "MOTHER LEEDS" was written, produced, and performed at the Jersey City Art School in October 2018. Two months following the horror story of MOTHER LEEDS, Benedicto Figueroa was commissioned to write a spoken word piece that would be theatrical produced as a full length play. He named is "SICK LOVE". SICK LOVE was produced and premiered at SHUA Space in Jersey City in December of 2017, closing the year at 4 shows in one season. No Peeking strives to continue that level of productivity and has started the year off strong with INDIGENOUS, a compilation work that discusses the Indigenous Experience. In addition to holding the performance in two separate venues, No Peeking Theatre also accomplished raising money for a non profit organization, Indian Country Today. They were able to raise $150 for the online news platform and maintain a loyal and diverse sense of support.
In the autumn following Indigenous, No Peeking set out to create their very first comedy. In the political and social climate, the company and its members decided what we all needed was a good laugh….without taking our eyes off of our current events and the changes in our cultural awareness. And thus, “We Have Standards” was miraculously submitted. Written by Allie Kroeper this comedic satire approached discrimination in an overtly absurd way, but also presented and broke down the nuance and system by which these harmful cycles are perpetuated.
Media coverage includes Broadway World, No Proscenium, The Riverview Observer, The Star Ledger, NJ.com, the Jersey Journal, and NJTV News, The Jersey City Independent, Chicpeajc.com and NJArts.net. No Peeking Theatre has been described as “A new revolutionary type of theater,” by patron Alex Finger.