Leonard Conolly has authored over fifty articles and reviews for British and North American journals. He was professor of English at Trent University in Peterborough until his retirement in 2012 (after serving as its President and Vice-Chancellor, 1994-97), and previously was Associate Vice-President Academic and chairman of the Drama Department at the University of Guelph.
He has served as the President of the Association for Canadian Theatre Research (1977-79), President of The World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre (1989-93), and is General Editor for The Selected Correspondance of Bernard Shaw (U. of Toronto P, 2002).
He founded the theatre archives at the University of Guelph, the largest collection of Canadian theatre archives available, and one of the world's most important collections of Bernard Shaw material, which are named after him. He also co-founded the journals Essays in Theatre and Nineteenth Century Theatre.
In February, 2000, he was appointed a Corresponding Scholar of the Academy of the Shaw Festival, and in 2011 published a comprehensive illustrated history of the Festival (The Shaw Festival: The First Fifty Years,Oxford University Press).
Among his works (many of which have served as source for the Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia on the WWW) are: The Censorship of English Drama 1737-1824 (1976); English Drama and Theatre 1800-1900 (with J.P. Wearing, 1978); Theatrical Touring and Founding in North America (1982); Canadian Drama and the Critics (1987; revised 1996); English-Canadian Theatre (with Eugene Benson, 1987); Oxford Companion to Canadian Theatre (with Eugene Benson, 1989); Encyclopedia of Post-colonial Literatures in English; Vols. I-II (with Eugene Benson, 1994); A critical study of Bernard Shaw and Barry Jackson (2002), and Bernard Shaw and the BBC (U of Toronto P, 2009).
He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2002. In 2014 he was awarded the CATR/ACRT Lifetime Achievement Award for his significant contribution to CanadianTheatre Studies in championing the archival collection and preservation of the Canadian theatrical heritage.