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September 5, 2003

A Lesson Learned Through Theater

From: WCAX, VT - Sep 5, 2003

Burlington, Vermont - September 5, 2003

Terrylene may very well be the most famous actress you've never heard from. She says, "I am one of the few deaf actors in the world."

The fourth-generation deaf person in her family, the mute performer has appeared in a number of movies, such as Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers, as well as TV shows including E.R. While she's a well-known role model in the deaf community for making inroads in mainstream entertainment, that's not the reason she's in the spotlight in Vermont.

Terrylene's here for the local premiere of her one-woman show called "In the Now." In it, she comes to terms with her own experiences as a victim of childhood sexual abuse. She hopes the lessons from it come across loud and clear.

Terrylene says, "People think it's a heavy, sad issue and something to avoid. But after the show, they leave saying, 'My God, I understand it.' They understand how someone can recover from an experience like that. You can go through it and heal."

Terrylene wants her message to empower her audience to speak out against violence committed against them. The actress explains, "My hope is they'll walk away from this performance a changed person, and not be afraid to discuss the issue of sex abuse with children. The more we can talk about it with children, the more we can empower ourselves and our children."

Terrylene has a performance of "In the Now" scheduled for Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. at UVM's Royall Tyler theater. It's an important lesson learned through theater. One that speaks volumes, even if the performer doesn't.

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