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Actress and activist Marlee Matlin headlines Naz Weekend September 23

Published July 28, 2023

Nazareth University hosts actress and activist Marlee Matlin as she headlines the University’s September 22-24 Naz Weekend. Oscar-winner Matlin is the keynote speaker when Nazareth welcomes alumni, students, families, and the community for its biggest and brightest Naz celebration complete with food trucks, live music, local artisans, athletic contests, and student performances. A Conversation with Marlee Matlin: From Oscar to The West Wing and Beyond is Saturday, September 23, at 3 p.m. in the Nazareth Arts Center’s Callahan Theater. Tickets are now on sale for the public at the Nazareth Arts Center Box Office online or by phone: 585-389-2170. Preferred seating is available to members of the Deaf and Hard-of-hearing community, with close proximity to the ASL interpreter. For details about the entire Naz Weekend:

As a renowned advocate for diversity, Matlin, who is Deaf, has a story that will challenge the audience to advocate for equity, inclusion, acceptance, and access for all people. Matlin refuses to let naysayers get in the way of her success, saying, "The only thing I can’t do is hear. The rest is there for the taking.” She strives to live a life without judgment of others — believing everybody’s different, and nobody’s perfect. 

Matlin received worldwide critical acclaim for her film debut in Children of a Lesser God at age 21. She was the youngest winner of the Academy Award for best actress and only one of four actresses to receive the honor for her film debut. She also received the Golden Globe Award for best actress in a drama. 

In 2021, Matlin was nominated again for an Oscar as executive producer for the live action short, Feeling Through. And in 2022, her film CODA swept every category it was nominated in at the 2022 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. 

Matlin has starred in numerous television projects, including Seinfeld, The West Wing, Law and Order SVU, The L Word, Switched At Birth, The Magicians and Quantico, garnering four Emmy nominations along the way. She made her Broadway debut in 2015 in the Tony-nominated revival of Spring Awakening. In 2022, Matlin became the first network television director who is Deaf for the anthology drama Accused.

In addition to her film, TV, and stage work, Matlin broke barriers on Dancing with the Stars, and in 2012, she released her first app, appropriately titled Marlee Signs, teaching American Sign Language to millions of smartphone users. She has penned three novels for children, as well as her New York Times best-selling autobiography, I’ll Scream Later.

In 1994, Marlee was appointed by President Clinton to the Corporation for National Service, and in 2010, Marlee joined President Barack Obama at White House ceremonies celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. In June 2022, Marlee was elected to the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, representing the Actors Branch.


For More Information

Nazareth Arts Center Box Office (585) 389-2170

Nazareth University is an inclusive community of inspired learners, educators, and changemakers who for nearly 100 years have been driven by a bold commitment to action, empathy, equity, and leading innovation for the common good. Impact experiences are at the heart of a Nazareth education, preparing each student to discover within themselves the potential to cultivate positive change in their life's work, in any career field, and in a world that is constantly evolving and infinitely interconnected.

Our broad academic offerings present a range of study options typical of larger universities, yet achieved in our supportive campus culture. Nearly 2,100 undergrad and 600 graduate students enroll in degree and certificate programs and engage in collaborative, transformative learning experiences, preparing for the professions and society of today and tomorrow. In a learning community that purposefully integrates liberal arts and professional programs, Nazareth University graduates are able to launch a lifetime of impactful leadership in communities and workplaces near and far.

Nazareth University hosts actress and activist Marlee Matlin as she headlines the University’s September 22-24 Naz Weekend.