Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Child of Deaf Parents

Llyssa Callsen brings her one-woman show to The Vox Box this month

By Russ Bickerstaff
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Like professional sports, motivational speaking is a kind of performance art not often associated with more traditional artistic work. The challenge of turning personal experiences and insights into an inspirational package for groups of strangers all over the country sounds kind of soul-crushing. Like any art form, motivational speaking is bogged-down with people who honestly haven’t accomplished much outside the art form. It’s difficult to feel inspired by someone who may not have had much success in life beyond the lecture circuit.

Liysa Callsen has what so many others in her field lack—an actual story behind the speech. She’s a CODA—a Child of Deaf Adults. When she was twelve, she had to tell her mother via sign language that she was going to have to have her brain operated on. That story alone sounds deeply fascinating. Given the right kind of physical presence, that kind of life experience could be deeply moving onstage.

This month, Llysa Callsen brings her one-woman show Codadiva to Lisa Golda’s studio space The Vox Box. The show is performed both in English and American Sign Language. Callsen brings her spoken word to the Vox Box on March 26th.

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