Welcome to The Impossible is Only the Untried: a Prologue Podcast
with Mandy E. MacLean – documenting the W. Ross Macdonald Project!
Prologue Performing Arts has partnered with the W. Ross Macdonald School for the Blind to explore how the arts community can support and present new and engaging performing arts initiatives for young audiences with vision loss and low vision, while also mentoring and learning from the young people throughout the creative process. Students will be leaders in defining how the arts community can further their engagement with young people with vision loss. Through this audio journal, Project Coordinator Mandy E. MacLean will document the project sharing experiences, learnings, photos, and audio recordings.
My name is Mandy E. MacLean and I am thrilled to start this grand adventure, learn alongside this incredible team, and ask lots of big questions! About me: I am a Mad artist, proud Maritimer; I have driven a Military tank, and will eat every baked good you put in front of me. Mandy is also the Operations & Outreach Coordinator of Storytelling Toronto.
Episode One – The Project
Episode One – The Project
February 16th, 2023
Dear listeners and readers,
Thank you for joining us for this first episode of The Impossible is Only the Untried : a Prologue Podcast with Mandy E. MacLean.
What is the W. Ross Macdonald X Prologue Performing Arts Collaboration? Can we figure out a way to include visual disabilities from the initial concept of a piece of theatre all the way through to performance? Can we create theatre for everyone? Tune in every month to find out more!
Listen to the episode on Buzzsprout or click the audio player below.
Transcript of Episode One – The Project: February 16th, 2023
Our gallant captain has come out there. Let us greet here as so brave an officer, and so gallant a seaman deserves. Good morning. Good morning. I hope you’re quite well! …
What you just heard was a recording from 1955. And students at the W. Ross Macdonald School for the Blind in Brantford, Ontario, performing a selection of H M S Pinafore, the classic musical. 1955. It’s a really long time ago, but now we’re in 2023 and the world is completely different.
My name is Mandy E. MacLean I am a professional artist living downtown Toronto. I am five foot six I’m 35 years old. I use the pronouns she/her. I have blonde hair. It’s kind of dark blonde, and I have my full vision. It’s evening time and I’m recording this, sitting on a gray loveseat. I’m gonna have to go to bed soon because tomorrow morning I’m gonna go out to the school in Brantford for my second day.
I’m excited to be the Project Coordinator of this collaboration between the W. Ross School and this wonderful arts organization called Prologue Performing Arts. And thank you so much to the Canada Council for giving us the opportunity to explore this. Join me on this journey and listen with us. Every month I’m gonna tell you about what we’re working on, what we’re discovering, and what we are experiencing, and what questions are coming up, and how the teachers and kids are responding to this project.
You’re gonna hear interviews with industry professionals, students, and the teaching staff at W. Ross, and of course, you’re gonna hear all about this amazing end of the year project we’re creating that’s gonna happen in May! The end of the year showcase for the W. Ross Macdonald School. The intention of it is to figure out a way to include visual disabilities from the initial concept of a piece of theatre all the way through to performance and make sure that we’re creating theatre for everyone that includes the people on the stage and off the stage in the audience.
It’s big. It’s really big, but sometimes it’s gonna need to be really specific. How does lighting work? How does sensory theatre aid this experiment? How do we create moments where all audience members can feel invested and engaged in our work? How does tech play a huge role in that? How do we make this with a group of young people who are fully in charge and leading every decision we make, these kids are the reason we’re doing this, and so they should be leading it.
As of right now, I’ve only had one day, tomorrow’s day two, and even though these questions feel really, really big, I’m gonna do my best at every opportunity to approach them with an open heart and joy because I’m excited to figure out ways to make theatre different… and maybe even better, especially in a room with wonderful, amazing young people that are so cool.
It’s 2023… we’re a long way from 1955, so let’s figure out a way to make theatre in 2023 that includes everybody!
Join us for the next episode where I let you know what it was like to lose my sight during my orientation of mobility training at the school. They put me under simulation and it led to so many questions and wild things to think about.
Follow us to find out when the next episode’s gonna be in hear more online and on social media…@prologuearts.
It’s all for tonight! But we’re gonna listen to this recording again because I think it’s incredible…. here we go….
The W. Ross MacDonald and Prologue Performing Arts Collaboration is supported by
The Canada Council for the Arts and the Arthur and Audrey Cutten Foundation.