Deaf illusionist to perform magic show at PSD on Friday

Sam Sandler isn’t your ordinary illusionist. Then again, the students he is performing for Friday night aren’t your ordinary students. At 7 p.m., the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (PSD) will host The Hilarious Magic of Sam Sandler show as it did last year.

This year’s show is a fundraiser for Partnership Action Team for Community, Home and School, or PATCHS, the school’s alumni association. Proceeds will help send families to the biannual conference for families of deaf children to Arizona next year and fund other social and educational activities throughout the academic year.

Sandler, a world-renowned illusionist who has performed more than 6,000 live shows, lost his hearing to a genetic disease called Progressive Hearing Loss in 2009. He is believed to be the only full-time deaf illusionist in the United States.

Ruth Cella, director of development and public relations for PSD, said Sandler is dedicated to promoting deafness and the deaf culture through his performances. This is evident in Sandler’s feature show, Silent Magic, a 50-minute educational show filled with magic, comedy, illusions and audience participation.

“The show is accessible to hearing people,” Cella said. “There is not a great deal of sign language since it’s a magic show.”

During his performances, he informs his audiences about his life and how he became deaf. Because he was not born deaf, his speech is as perfect as that of a hearing person.

“He is going to have more illusion than he did last year,” said Tina Pakis, PSD’s family involvement coordinator. “It was a good show last year, but it’s going to be even bigger this year.”

PSD is a specialized educational service for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. It serves a wide spectrum of hearing loss to students with cochlear implants, hearing aids, hearing loss and profound deafness.

Tickets for the show are $5 for students and$7 for adults. For more information, visit or

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal