Rae has been profoundly Deaf since birth, yet she has not let that get in her way of learning to become a professional mime artist, entering the Hearing world and sharing her enthusiasm of sign and body language with anyone who is interested!
After completing mime workshops with Marcel Marceau in 1969/70, Rae has been performing mime, clowning and dance since the early 1970’s, throughout Australia. She also has conducted many workshops for mothers and children of all ages. In Perth she worked extensively with Spare Parts Puppet Theatre and Children’s Activities Times Society (CATS). She also spent six weeks at a summer school in the US at Gallaudet University (at the Theatre for theDeaf in Connecticut) and competed in Taiwan in a talent competition in the mid 1990’s. In 2010 she helped set-up WA Deaf Theatre, becoming co-Artistic Director of WA Deaf Arts (WADA) in 2012.
After graduating from the WA Academy of Performing Arts in 1991, Carrie performed, taught and choreographed Contemporary, Classical and Spanish dance throughout Perth and WA. In 2003, she began to learn Australian Sign Language (Auslan), returning to complete her training in 2010, when she then joined the newly-established WA Deaf Theatre. In 2012 Julie Edmonds invited her to join with Rae Gibson to form WA Deaf Arts as Hearing and Deaf Artistic Directors. WA Deaf Arts (WADA) teaches Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing and hearing people to produce Deaf Theatre, by providing workshops, rehearsals and performances through both Performing Arts: using acting, mime, dance and percussion music, as well as Visual Arts (prop and costume making). WADA is non-for-profit and survives on small grants and fundraising achievements.
Carrie plays piano and percussion (including timpani, Djembe drums and castanets!) as well as having grown up singing in choirs. She has a natural affinity with producing signed songs, based on her knowledge of Auslan and song as well as her extensive professional experience in creating theatre, especially dance.
Hear the amazing story of Rae, a profoundly Deaf woman born in 1941… From her birth, where Drs told her parents that “Rae will be Deaf and Blind all her life”, to school life during and after WWII, with rations and Japanese’s planes soaring above the Deaf School in Mosman Park, to her courage and persistence in learning to become a performing artist in a world where sound is taken for granted. Rae’s name is now famous throughout the Deaf Communities in Australia. Many deaf children who learned drama from Rae have grown up to return to theatre in some way or another, having been so inspired by her. Those with ears that function who have been fortunate enough to view one of Rae’s performances will already know how stimulating and infectious is her way of expressing how she has met the world and what she sees. Her willingness to share her experiences through Sign and body Language and to teach anyone who wants to learn about Deaf Culture and language shines through, whilst her stories on how she became a Deaf icon are hilarious: they will make you laugh, cry and think “wow” – all at the same time!