The Limits of Language

The Limits of Language

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Post performance conversation

3:30 – 4:30pm

Central Square Theater

50 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

 Catalyst Conversations in partnership with The Nora Theatre Company, producer of Precious Little

 Co-Chair of Catalyst Collaborative, Debra Wise, Artistic Director of The Nora Theatre Company and leading actress, Lee Mikeska Gardener and Emerson College professor and speech language pathologist, Joanne Lasker will explore our capacity for language, especially the ability to convey abstract and specific meanings across a variety of means of communication: speech, sign, writing, and gesture. Each will bring to the conversation her unique point of view:

Debra Wise – her longtime interest in working across disciplines with Catalyst Collaborative @MIT.

Lee Mikeska Gardner – her vantage point of being inside the narrative as the character who is a linguist.

Joanne Lasker – whose interest and research is devoted to augmentative and alternative communication.

Lee Mikeska Gardner is in her third year as the Artistic Director of The Nora Theatre Company. In that time she has directed Her Aching Heart, Grounded, Saving Kitty (with Jennifer Coolidge) and Arcadia and performed in Emilie: The Marquise de Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight, earning an Eliot Norton award for Lead Actress, Small Theatre. She also played Claudia in the IRNE nominated Chosen Child at Boston Playwrights Theatre. Lee has a B.F.A. in the Performing Arts from George Mason University and an M.F.A. in Acting from The Catholic University of America.

Debra Wise (Artistic Director, Underground Railway Theater) co-founded URT in Oberlin with Wes Sanders. During URT’s decades as a touring company (1979-2008), she helped create over 30 new works, and toured them nationally and internationally to venues ranging from Lincoln Center to public schools; titles included Sanctuary – The Spirit of Harriet Tubman, Home is Where, InTOXICating and The Christopher Columbus Follies. She led URT collaborations with Boston Symphony Orchestra (Firebird, Creation of the World, Tempest), Boston’s Museum of Science (Aging Puzzle), New Center for Arts and Culture (Jewish Women and Their Salons), the Mary Baker Eddy Library, the MFA and the ICA (Art InterACTions), and the Cambridge Arts Council (theater in dialogue with public art). Since creating Central Square Theater with The Nora Theatre Company, Wise has focused on re-envisioning URT’s mission to grow from within its first theater home. She co-founded Catalyst Collaborative@MIT (CST’s unique science theater partnership with MIT).

Joanne P. Lasker is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Emerson College. She received her masters at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and her doctorate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in speech-language pathology. Her clinical research focuses on assessment and treatment protocols for people living with aphasia and other acquired communication disorders. Her teaching focuses on acquired neurological disorders and augmentative and alternative communication — the study of strategies and techniques to enhance communication and participation by people with limited speech and language.