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March 14, 2003

Looking for signs

From: Goshen College Record - 14 Mar 2003

Contributed by Marquitte_Polite on Friday March 14, @ 11:39AM

Two deaf performers entertained an audience without speaking in a show called "Feed Your Eyes, Mind and Spirit" in the Reith Recital Hall on Feb. 27.

Internationally known Comedian Peter Cook and Danish actor Jorgen Nielson used sign language. Cook used American Sign Language (ASL) and Nielson used Danish Sign Language (DSL). The words they signed were interpreted into English.

Cook opened the show using ASL, mime and dance to tell stories, and in these stories, he imitated the ways that deaf people see hearing people and the way that hearing people see deaf people.

Nielson, who is famous for telling Hans Christian Anderson stories, got the audience to respond to his performance by groaning to the story of the Ugly Duckling and laughing at the Bull Named Ferdinand who loved to smell flowers.

Stephanie Hirschler, a first-year deaf interpretation major who heads the ASL club on campus, said she was inspired by the performance. "It was exciting to see the things I had learned in Deaf Culture class become a reality. I think the performance was empowering to the deaf community members," Hirschler said.

"ASL is such a visually stimulating language. It uses eyes and hands to communicate. Deaf people came from all over to be entertained in their own language and to connect with other deaf people in the neighboring community," said Jessica Iverson, a first- year who is considering a minor in ASL.

"I was glad to see high school students from all over the state present," said Myron Yoder, director of the American Sign Language Interpreter Training Program. "There were 20 students from Indianapolis, over 30 from Penn High School and 20 from Ferry Heights. It was good turn-out from the deaf community as well," said Yoder.

There will be another opportunity to see "Feed Your Eyes, Mind and Spirit" on Saturday, April 5 from 1 p.m.-3p.m. Featuring the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) players, the event will be held in the Administration Building in room 28. Advanced ticket purchase is recommended since there is limited seating.

©2001 Goshen College Record