BLIND NESS: The Irresistible Light of Encounter

Theater, Puppetry, Circus

About the Production

BLIND NESS: The Irresistible Light of Encounter is a multidisciplinary theater piece about Belgium’s brutal colonial exploitation of the Congo in the 19th Century and its reverberations into the present. Using text, movement, performance and puppetry, BLIND NESS intercuts the dramatic narrative of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, told through shadow puppetry, with the real-life figures of King Leopold II of Belgium, who acquired the Belgian Congo as a personal colony, and courageous activists, such as Roger Casement, Edmund Dene Morel, William Sheppard and others, who orchestrated one of the first global mass-media human rights campaigns to reveal and stop his abuses.

Production Team And Cast

Conceived by

Ping Chong

Directed by

Ping Chong and Michael Rohd

Written by

Ping Chong and Michael Rohd, developed in collaboration with Bobby Bermea, Jeff Randall, and Burke Walker


Ping Chong

Lighting Design

Randy Ward

Costume Design

Stefani Mar

Set and Production Design

Randy Ward

Sound Design

Steve Zapytowshki Sr.

Stage Manager

Courtney Golden


Bobby Bermea, Jeff Randall, Michael Rohd, Burke Walker, Hollis Hayden Jr., Caleb Sekeres, Amanda Soden, Yolanda Davis, Kaitlyn Black, Angeline W. Burmeister, Grace Connolly, Leona Fabanich, Nick Horton, Ernie Gonzalez, David Jenkins, Terrell Richardson Jr. and Jennifer Rose

Performance History


Kent State University School of Theatre and Dance, Kent, OH (April 2004)


La MaMa E.T.C., New York, NY (June 2004)


Rockefeller Foundation Multi Arts Production Program

The Jim Henson Foundation

Roe Green

Related Media

Making of Blind Ness mini-documentary (2004)
BLIND NESS Postcard (2004)