Kenny Leon named the 2010 Recipient of the Award for Excellence in Directing from the Drama League
2/11/2010Kenny Leon, award-winning director and Artistic Director of True Colors Theatre Company, has been named the recipient of the 2010 Julie Hansen Award for Excellence in Directing. According to the Drama League, Mr. Leon was the unanimous choice to receive this year’s honor.
The Julia Hansen Award for Excellence in Directing can be won only once in a lifetime and is given to an individual whose work over time sets new standards of directing excellence within American Theatre. This award is being given in recognition of Mr. Leon’s body of work, highlights of which include acting as artistic director of the Alliance Theatre Company and True Colors Theatre Company; "A Raisin in the Sun," "Gem of the Ocean" and "Radio Golf" on Broadway; the August Wilson Century Cycle at the Kennedy Center. His efforts to promote and revitalize the African American classics, as well as helming bold new works, has exposed a fresh generation of theatergoers to great works by Lorraine Hansberry, Toni Morrison and August Wilson.
Former recipients of this award include Daniel Sullivan, Jack O’Brien, Sir Richard Eyre, Joe Mantello, George C. Wolfe, Mike Nichols, Des McAnuff, Michael Mayer, Bartlett Sher and last year’s honoree Arthur Laurents.
The award will be presented at The Drama League’s 76th Annual Awards ceremony on Friday, May 21, 2010, at the Marriott Marquis Hotel before a distinguished audience of industry professionals and Drama League members.
Mr. Leon is currently in Atlanta directing a multi-racial interpretation of Thornton Wilder’s "Our Town" for True Colors Theatre Company. "Our Town" will run February 25 through March 21, 2010, at the Southwest Arts Center. Tickets are available at http://www.truecolorstheatre.org.
Kenny Leon (Artistic Director) is a sought-after director of stage and film. His Broadway work includes the 2004 Tony-winning revival of Lorraine Hansberry’s "A Raisin in the Sun." Leon also directed the Emmy-nominated "A Raisin in the Sun" TV movie, which aired on ABC in 2008 and received Directors Guild, Emmy and Golden Globe nominations and won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Television Movie. Other directorial credits include the Tony-nominated productions of August Wilson’s "Gem of the Ocean" and "Radio Golf," Toni Morrison’s opera "Margaret Garner" and August Wilson’s Century Cycle at the Kennedy Center, for which he was artistic director. Leon has directed extensively around the country, including the Goodman, Huntington, CTG and Public Theaters. He is also former Artistic Director of Alliance Theatre Company, where he produced the premieres of Disney’s "Elaborate Lives: The Legend of Aida," Pearl Cleage’s "Blues for an Alabama Sky" and Alfred Uhry’s "The Last Night of Ballyhoo." Leon is Founder and Artistic Director of True Colors Theatre Company, principal of KL Productions and an inspirational speaker. Leon will direct the upcoming Broadway revival of August Wilson’s "Fences" starring Denzel Washington. His TV directorial work this season includes episodes of “Private Practice” (ABC) and “Ghost Whisperer” (CBS).
True Colors Theatre Company is a national theatre company based in Atlanta, GA. Founded by Artistic Director Kenny Leon and Managing Director Jane Bishop, True Colors strives to be an important voice in the American discussion of diversity including plays and playwrights from various times, cultures and perspectives.
Photo courtesy of True Colors Theatre Company