Lauren Ridloff + Dr. Jennie Pyers
The Power of Sign Language
Saturday, April 27, 2019
6:00 PM–7:30 PM Sold Out
How do signed languages expand our brains, our development, and our world?
Science suggests learning multiple languages, including signed languages, positively affects the plasticity of our brains. Teacher turned actress Lauren Ridloff has explored signed language in the classroom, on stage, and on screen, garnering a Tony nomination for lead actress for her exceptional performance in Children of a Lesser God. She is joined by Dr. Jennie Pyers, a developmental psychologist who works on new emerging sign languages and sign language acquisition. Together they will explore how using a signed language might shape how we think—while allowing for heightened connection across cultures and the sharing of experiences.
ASL interpretation will be available.
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About the Speakers
Lauren Ridloff was nominated for a Tony Award in 2018 for Lead Actress in a Play for her Broadway debut in Children of A Lesser God. She was called a “sensational find” by Ben Brantley of the New York Times and credited with a “blistering, knockout professional debut performance” by the Times’ Jesse Green. Ridloff then guested on 10 episodes of the huge AMC hit The Walking Dead. She also appeared in the Todd Haynes Palme D’Or”“nominated 2017 film, Wonderstruck. A former Miss Deaf America, Lauren is of African-American and Mexican descent. The Chicago native resides with her husband and two sons in Brooklyn.
Dr. Jennie Pyers is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Wellesley College. Her research explores the nature of the relationship between language and thought. By investigating the language and cognitive development of language-deprived deaf children and of learners of an emerging sign language in Nicaragua, she has shown that language acquisition plays a critical role in our ability to reason about other people. Raised by Deaf parents, she is a fluent signer of American Sign Language. She holds an AB in Art History from Smith College and a PhD in Developmental Psychology from the University of California at Berkeley. She completed her postdoctoral training at the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences and the University of California, San Diego. Her research is funded by the James S. McDonnell Foundation and the National Institute of Deafness and Communication Disorders.
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Member Tickets: $16.00
Student Tickets: $14.00
For select programs the museum offers $14 student-rate tickets. These tickets are available in advance of the event and can be purchased online, over the phone, or at the front desk. Tickets must be redeemed in person with the presentation of a student ID. Limited to one ticket per student ID.