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In 1948, the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind sponsored the formation of a theatrical group for blind and vision impaired actors. About fifteen years after its founding, in or around 1963, the Glenvale Players won its first award, Best Production of a Canadian Play, presented at the Central Ontario Drama League Festival.
Earlier in our history, we presented plays written and directed by Gregory Heyn, who had a real vision for bringing together blind and sighted performers.
The Glenvale Players have begun participating in events such as the London Fringe Festival, and we have been featured on CBC radio’s “Radio One” and “Out Front”, CBC TV’s “Moving On” and in a documentary on disability arts, produced by the Picasso Project in affiliation with SNIFF Inc. and the Toronto Theatre Alliance.
More importantly, Glenvale membership has tripled over the last two years, and we are producing original works written by our own members.
As well as producing original work, Glenvale has participated in workshops such as the Picasso Project’s “Shakespearean Scene Study” in June of 2003, and members have been selected to participate in various writing workshops and to perform with other theatre companies.
In March 2004, the group presented Kelly MacDonald’s “Down From Here”, a crime thriller that was first presented at the Village Playhouse in Toronto, and then enjoyed a successful run at the London Fringe Festival in mid-summer.