Performance Artist Amanda Coogan ‘It’s in my DNA. I was brought up by two wonderful deaf people, my parents. So Irish sign language is my first language’

As heard on arena

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Performance artist, Amanda Coogan has collaborated with the Dublin Theatre of the Deaf, for a much-anticipated show in this year’s Dublin Fringe Festival ‘Talk Real Fine, Just Like a Lady’.  Amanda joined Seán Rocks on Arena to explain where it all began.

“Formally three years ago in 2014 we collaborated for Fringe 2014 and we played in the project with a piece called, “you told me to wash and clean my ears”.  Now I’m going to say for Nina Simone fans out there, Mississippi God Damn yes, we’ve taken it literally from there. This new production is called “talk real fine just like a lady so you’ll stop calling me Sister Sadie” is a continuation of that lyric. It’s a continuation of that spirit, of that agenda that notion of kind of a protest or strife or quality recognition. “

Amanda was born to two deaf parents and tells Seán that Irish Sign language was her first language. She states it was while studying at the Limerick College of Art and Design, where she found her calling to be a performance artist and claims her upbringing had influenced her decision.

“Well, it’s in my DNA. I was brought up by two wonderful deaf people, my parents. So Irish sign language is my first language”

Amanda told Seán that the audience would have to engage our body as there will be no verbal acting at all. She explained that it may challenge the front of the brain but interesting to see how people like taking things in a sensorial way, visually and aurally.

“You’ll be lead in by the hand by our comrades, part of the cast. They’ll seat you under Mrs Mark’s skirt. So you’ll have to engage your body as the audience. You’ll have to crouch and bend and then find a hole over your seat and pop your head through it. “

Talk real fine just like a lady will be performed at the Abbey Theatre.

For more from Arena, click here.

© The Listener 2017

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