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Kenny Leon – Director

How did theater director Kenny Leon go from role-playing with the homeless to directing award-winning shows on Broadway? State of the Arts looks at the extraordinary career of Kenny Leon, who began as an actor and then found his true calling when he became artistic director of Atlanta's Alliance Theatre in 1990. Over the next eleven years he would direct ground-breaking plays, including Ms. Evers' Boys by David Feldshuh, and master-works by the late Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson. Passionate about the ideals of diversity, cultural inclusion, and the preservation of black theatrical classics, Leon founded the True Colors Theatre Company in 2001, which has a dual base in Washington, DC and Atlanta.

State of the Arts got a chance to watch Leon at work as he directed the world premiere of the musical Rejoice during the July, 2006 National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta. We talked with some of Leon's friends and colleagues about his meteoric rise to the top, including Tony-winning actress Phylicia Rashad, Theatrical Outfit's artistic director Tom Key, and Rejoice playwright Cheryl West.

Visit the True Colors Theatre Company's website.