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Tony Winner Kenny Leon Set for Q&A at Spelman College Tonight


Spelman College and True Colors Theatre Company have announced a conversation with Tony Award-winning Director Kenny Leon this evening, September 8, 2016, at 7:30 p.m. in the Baldwin Burroughs Theater at Spelman College. The Q&A with Leon will be moderated by Spelman Department of Drama Chair Aku Kadogo.

Leon won the 2014 Tony Award for the revival of "A Raisin in the Sun" and became only the third African American to win this award. He was the first African-American director to have two shows running simultaneously in 2011 with his productions of Katori Hall's "The Mountaintop" and Lydia Diamond's "Stick Fly." Leon received the Julia Hansen Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Drama League of New York in 2010. Leon's next project is reuniting with NBC to direct "Hairspray LIVE!" which airs December 7, 2016.

The conversation with Leon will be held at the Fine Arts Building. The event is free and open to the public and doors open at 7 p.m.. GPS Address: 440 Westview Drive, SW, Atlanta, GA 30310.


A Conversation with Kenny Leon

Presented by Spelman College and True Colors Theatre Company

Moderated by Aku Kadogo

Spelman College Fine Arts Building

Baldwin Burroughs Theater

440 Westview Drive, SW, Atlanta, GA 30310

September 8, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.

Free and Open to the Public

Kenny Leon is a Tony Award-winning Broadway and film director. His Broadway credits include the 2014 revival of A Raisin in the Sun (Tony Award Winner for Best Direction of a Play and Best Revival), The Mountaintop starring Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett, Stick Fly produced by Alicia Keys, August Wilson's Fences (which garnered ten Tony nominations and won three Tony Awards including Best Revival), the 2004 revival of A Raisin in the Sun with Sean P. Diddy Combs, Gem of the Ocean, Radio Golf and the 2014 premiere of Holler if You Hear Me, a new musical created using the music of Tupac Shakur. Leon's recent film and tv work includes "The Wiz LIVE!" for NBC, "In My Dreams" for HallMark Hall of Fame, "The Watsons go to Birmingham" for Walden Media and Hallmark, and the Sony and Lifetime TV adaptation of "Steel Magnolias". Leon was awarded the 2010 Julia Hansen Award for Excellence in Directing by the Drama League of New York. Prior to co-founding True Colors Theatre Company, he served 11 years as Artistic Director of the ALLIANCE THEATRE, 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. Other directorial credits include Toni Morrison's opera Margaret Garner, the world premiere of Flashdance: The Musical, and the complete August Wilson Century Cycle at the Kennedy Center. He has directed extensively throughout the US, including Chicago's Goodman Theatre, Boston's Huntington Theatre, Baltimore's Center Stage, Los Angeles' Center Theatre Group and New York's Public Theatre. He served as the 2014 Denzel Washington Endowed Chair of Theatre at Fordham University. Mr. Leon is an alumni of Clark Atlanta University. Up next Leon is directing "Hairspray LIVE!" for NBC which airs on December 7, 2016 at 8 PM.

Aku Kadogo is an international theatre director, choreographer, performer, educator and cultural arts curator. Kadogo has directed and created theatre works in Australia, Korea, Europe and the United States. This multi-faceted artist directs highly energetic, imaginative, original theatre works. For the Adelaide and Perth International festivals, she devised and directed Ochre & Dust (2000) working with indigenous women of the Central Australian desert. For the Art & About Festival in Sydney, Australia, she devised and collaborated with Detroit visual artist Tyree Guyton on Singing for that Country (2004). She was the director of the Black Theatre Program at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI., where she conducted arts residencies, directed works by Ruby Dee, Langston Hughes, August Wilson, Will Power, Chris Tysh and Djanet Sears and developed a Performance Studies course. Kadogo was a guest faculty member on the Musical Theatre faculty at Yongin University in Yongin, South Korea (2011-2013). There, she devised original works in Korean and directed large-scale musicals. She also worked with professional companies LATT Children's Theatre, SADARI and REM. In 2014, she was Spelman College Distinguished Visiting Professor and now serves on faculty. Producing several events, she premiered a work in progress of Jessica Care Moore's Afrofuturistic Choreopoem: Salt City, presented Heidelberg TV by Tyree Guyton and was in conversation with performance artist/artistic director Marc "Bamuthi" Joseph. She has been an associate choreographer on RENT touring Australia, China and the United States. As a performer, Kadogo has worked in film, television and stage, making her career debut in the original Broadway production of for colored girls who considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf. Her interdisciplinary practice is ongoing. Kadogo was one of 11 artists chosen for the first Taubman Institute Arts & Science exhibition (2014) at MOCAD (Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit). She is contributing to an anthology on Afro-centric directors to be published by Routledge (2016). Kadogo holds a Bachelor of Arts from Gallatin School of Individualized Study, New York University.

True Colors Theatre Company is a National Theatre Company based in Atlanta, GA. Lead by Artistic Director Kenny Leon, and Managing Director Jennifer Dwyer McEwen, True Colors mission is grounded and centered in the rich canon of African American classics with a strong commitment to diverse new voices. True Colors strives to be an important voice in the American discussion of diversity including plays and playwrights from various times, cultures and perspectives. True Colors' next shows are David Auburn's Proof directed by Tess Malis Kincaid in October 2016 and Ike Holter's Exit Strategy in February 2017 directed by John Dillon.

Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a highly selective, liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, the College's picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Outstanding alumnae include Children's Defense Fund Founder Marian Wright Edelman; Sam's Club CEO Rosalind Brewer, Broadway producer Alia Jones, former Acting Surgeon General and Spelman's first alumna President Audrey Forbes Manley, Harvard professor EveLynn Hammonds, author Pearl Cleage and actress LaTanya Richardson Jackson. For more information, visit

Photo Credit: Walter McBride

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