Willy Conley

Deaf artist Willy Conley will provide a presentation on his new (and first) novel, The Deaf Heart. In addition, his photography will be on display at the KSU Trumbull Link Gallery, and he will be providing a sign language performance workshop.

“Willy Conley’s debut novel, The Deaf Heart, offers a fascinating, episodic look at one deaf young man’s journey to become a professional biomedical photographer in what always will be a hearing world. Conley draws on his own background—as a playwright, photographer and member of the deaf community—to offer an insightful look into the effort that any person with a 'difference' must make, not only to overcome obstacles and prejudice, but also to help others ultimately appreciate our universal humanity.”  (Frank Van Riper, author, photographer, columnist, teacher)

Willy Conley is perhaps the most widely known Deaf playwright in the world and has been nominated for and also won numerous awards for his work as a playwright. He is also a successful actor, director, sign master, short story writer, essayist, poet, professional photographer, and (now) novelist.

He is Full Professor in Theatre Arts at Gallaudet University, in which he once served as Department Chair, only the second Deaf person to chair this department ever. He is an Associate Artist with Center Stage, an Affiliate Artist with Quest: Arts for Everyone, and an Associate member of The Dramatists Guild. He holds an M.A. in Creative Writing/Playwriting from Boston University (where he studied with Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott), and an M.F.A. in Theatre from Towson University.

In addition, something that most people do not know is that he was the first Deaf person to receive national certification as a Registered Biological Photographer—Certificate #319 for Perry L. Conley—after having graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Biomedical Photographic Communication. His training as a photographer and experiences as a medical photographer are reflected in The Deaf Heart, the novel he will be presenting, as well as in the Link Art Gallery Exhibit, "Human Sign Language". Additionally Conley—in his capacities as actor, stage director, sign master, and playwright—will be providing a two hour workshop that encourages native, intermediate, and advanced signers to explore imaginative uses of ASL for storytelling or performance on the stage.  We will do exercises that delve into and magnify our everyday use of ASL.

Willy Conley events can be found at the following link:

Conley Productions




POSTED: Wednesday, February 10, 2016 08:01 AM
Updated: Thursday, February 02, 2023 08:58 PM