The Walking Dead has added Tony-nominated actress Lauren Ridloff to the roster of AMC’s ninth season of the zombie-fighting drama. Ridloff will be the series’ first deaf actress and will play Connie.

Ridloff, who is deaf herself, recently appeared on Broadway in Children of a Lesser God, for which she received the aforementioned Tony nod. Her character will appear in multiple episodes and she communicates via American Sign Language. Connie appeared in The Walking Dead comics but was not written as deaf. The TV version is a departure from the original, but as we have seen in A Quiet Place, a deaf character in a horror-driven story can add a whole new layer of tension.

The announcement of Ridloff comes days before San Diego Comic-Con, where The Walking Dead will take the Hall H dais on July 20 at 12:15 PM. The show’s spin-off Fear the Walking Dead will precede at 11:15 AM.

The Dead super-panel will feature Andrew Lincoln, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Norman Reedus, as well as Fear‘s Alycia Debnam-Carey, Colman Domingo and Lennie James plus EPs Gale Anne Hurd, Robert Kirkman and new Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang among others. The ninth season marks the last season for Lincoln and with Jon Bernthal’s return to the series, it is expected that he might pop up on stage. The panel will be moderated by Yvette Nicole Brown.