Sign & Sing


The Universal Drum: Watch Here!

Couldn’t make our live performance of The Universal Drum? Watch below!

The Universal Drum was supported by New Music USA, made possible by annual program support and/or endowment gifts from Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Helen F. Whitaker Fund, Aaron Copland Fund for Music, New York State Council on the Arts, Rockefeller Brothers Fund & Anonymous.

Happy New Year! 2019 Update

Happy New Year! Here are a couple updates as to what SIGN & SING has been up to:

The Puffin Foundation: Funding has been made possible for The Universal Drum by the Puffin Foundation. Thank you for the support!

New Music USA: Funding has been made possible for The Universal Drum by New Music USA. Thank you for the support!

Other News:

SIGN & SING, Inc. has submitted for 501c3 status. We are currently fiscally sponsored by Fractured Atlas, but we hope to soon be our own non-profit organization!

Projects in the Works:

SIGN & SING currently has a couple projects in the works, collaborating with Deaf artists around the world. Stay tuned for more soon!

One Month Until The Universal Drum Workshop!

Thanks to Sarah Cuneo, here is the beautiful design for our poster for the upcoming workshop:

Universal Drum Gang.jpg

Also, we've cast the workshop! We'd like to formally introduce, in clockwise order:

Malik Paris, Deaf actor and ASL performer

Heather Jones, Mezzo-soprano and vocal performer

Karl Ronneburg, Percussionist

Dylan Greene, Percussionist

Andrew Morrill, Deaf actor and ASL performer

Francesca Federico, Soprano and vocal performer

Looking forward to starting rehearsals this January!

The Universal Drum: Willy Conley, Gallaudet, & New Music!

SIGN & SING is thrilled to partner with Willy Conley to produce his work, The Universal Drum, with music! We will be presenting a performance workshop of our progress on Saturday, January 13, 2018 in New York! More information about the first performance can be found here.

Willy Conley is a Deaf American playwright and theater professor at Gallaudet University. This fall, he is teaching "Sign Language Translation for the Stage," and The Universal Drum is the class's midterm assignment.

From Willy Conley: "The poem was commissioned by Imagination Stage for their Deaf Access Company, which consisted of high school aged Deaf and hearing actors. The company wanted a short, creative piece to put together on the road which would introduce them to prospective audiences about who they were as a group. I love drums, and I saw parallels and metaphors between them and this company. I created an opening that is somewhat reminiscent of "Stomp!" and their work. Later, The Universal Drum was produced by Arbos - Company for Music and Theatre in Vienna, Austria (a Deaf-hearing theatre company).

I really like the idea of live singing and drumming accompanying the ASL expression of my poem. The main thing that would be important to me for Sign and Sing to produce this would be that the piece be visual, ASL-centric (not ASL following the singing but vice-versa), and is Deaf-audience- friendly."

Gallaudet Visit SIGN & SING

The assignment was to create an ASL interpretation of Conley's poem. Lucia Cavalier, Gideon Firl, Jacinda Baldwin-Gomez, Carrie Suggs, Trent Harper, Chuck Kalu, Thandiwe Dunn, and Angela Reel all wrote beautiful interpretations of Conley's poem, under his guidance. Thank you for your hard work!

Universal Drum Image.jpg

Our next step in the process is the musical creation. SIGN & SING is working with composer Brad Balliett to maintain the ASL-centricity of the piece while incorporating music (specifically percussion) in a theatrical performance.

Want more information? Contact us at