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ASL student group to spend silent night showcasing talent

Some students learned the American Sign Language alphabet in elementary school, but that’s as far as they took it. Others, however, are brave enough to perform in front of others at talent shows.

The Ohio State ASL Club will host its first Silent Talent Night at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Lazenby Hall. Admission is free.

Alex Childs, a third-year in theatre and ASL Club president, said there will be students from all ASL course levels offered at OSU, students from other schools who will be visiting campus for the event, and residents from local nursing homes.

Interpretive level students from Ohio University Lancaster branch, Sinclair Community College and high school students from the Ohio School for the Deaf will be participating with OSU students.

Nicole Johnson, a first-year in psychology and criminology, said she is excited to get in front of everyone to sign the lyrics to Bruno Mars’ “It Will Rain” as the music plays in the background.

Johnson said she has been practicing for nine weeks for the talent show.

Other styles of acts include jokes, stories and poetry, Childs said.

One popular style of poetry that will be performed is called a “name poem,” where someone creates a poem using the letters from a word and incorporates them with signing, Childs said.

Sarah Blue, a fourth-year in speech and hearing sciences and ASL Club secretary, said she is happy with how the show is turning out.

Blue said it started as something smaller, but grew into a larger production.

“The ambition is really big,” she said.

Childs and Blue will be performing together at the talent show. Childs said he is not nervous about their performance of Frank Loesser’s “Baby It’s Cold Outside.”

“I’m a theatre major, so performance is kind of my thing,” Childs said.

Childs has worked with other ASL Club members to come up with the idea for the silent talent show.

Emily Blake, a fifth-year in prosthetics and ASL Club treasurer, said the idea came up last summer, but members did not start coordinating it until the start of Autumn Quarter.

The inspiration for the show came from YouTube videos and various translations of songs into sign language.

“We wanted to show an artistic side of ASL instead of the technical stuff we are always learning,” Childs said.

There will be no prizes or winnings for the show.

“We wanted it to be an exhibition of arts, rather than a competition,” Childs said.

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