Dixon Place's new production, THE ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS OF LEONARD PELKEY, will begin previews tonight, February 7th, and open on Sunday, February 22nd at 6:00 PM.

Based on his best-selling novel, the show features critically acclaimed, Emmy nominated and award-winning storyteller James Lecesne, who portrays the life and characters of a Jersey Shore town where a young boy goes missing. The play is directed by Tony Speciale, with visuals by Matthew Sandager and incidental music by Duncan Sheik, some of which will be released in his new record "Legerdemain" in April 2015. THE ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS OF LEONARD PELKEY will run through March 28th at Dixon Place (161 Chrystie Street). Tickets are $18 and can be purchased by visiting or by calling (212) 219-0736.

In THE ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS OF LEONARD PELKEY, James Lecesne portrays various characters of a small Jersey shore town as they struggle to understand the mysterious disappearance of 14-year-old Leonard Pelkey. The secrets of the townspeople are slowly brought to light and everyone is forced to examine his or her own individual life, as well as the knit of the fractured community. Adapted from Mr. Lecesne's Young Adult novel, published by Harper Collins, Absolute Brightness, this play begins with the discovery of Leonard's disappearance, followed by a criminal investigation and concludes with a trial that reveals the shocking truth.

THE ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS OF LEONARD PELKEY is written and performed by James Lecesne, and directed by Tony Speciale with visuals by Matthew Sandager and incidental music by Duncan Sheik.

James Lecesne (writer/performer) is co-founder of The Trevor Project, the only national 24-hour crisis intervention and suicide prevention Lifeline for LGBT and Questioning youth. He wrote the screenplay for the Academy Award winning short film, Trevor, which inspired the founding of the organization. James has created several solo shows including Word of Mouth, which was presented by Mike Nichols and Elaine May and directed by Eve Ensler (NY Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award) and the acclaimed One Man Band. Acting credits include Cloud 9 (Lucille Lortel), The 30th Anniversary production of Boys in the Band (Lucille Lortel), I Am My Own Wife (Hartford Stage), Motherhood Out Loud (Primary Stages) and Gore Vidal's The Best Man on Broadway. For television, he adapted Armistead Maupin's Further Tales of the City for Showtime (Emmy nomination) and was a writer for "Will and Grace". His play The Mother of Invention, which starred Linda Lavin, premiered at NY Stage and Film. His young adult novel, Absolute Brightness, published by Harper Collins, received The William Morris Award by the American Librarian Association and was nominated for The Lambda Literary Award. (

Tony Speciale (director) is the founder of Plastic Theatre where he conceived, co-authored and directed the world premiere of Unnatural Acts (CSC-Drama Desk Award Nominee; GLAAD Media Award Nominee). Other credits include: A Midsummer Night's Dream (CSC), Romeo and Juliet (ATL), Barry Manilow's Harmony (Alliance Theatre/Ahmanson Theatre), Handbook for an American Revolutionary (The Gym at Judson), Remembering Mr. Maugham (Clurman Theatre) and The Children (NYMF). Tony served as CSC's Associate Artistic Director for four seasons and is the recipient of a Princess Grace Theatre Honorarium and a Suzi Bass Award.

THE ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS OF LEONARD PELKEY will run from: Saturday, February 7th to Saturday, March 28th. The playing schedule is as follows: February 7th 9th, 14th, 19th, and March, 6th, 7th, 11th, 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st, 27th and 28th at 7:30PM, Saturday, February 21st at 2PM and Sundays, February 22nd and March 1st at 6PM. Tickets are $18 and can be purchased by calling (212) 219-0736 or by visiting

The Dixon Place Lounge is open before and after the show. Proceeds directly support Dixon Place's artists and mission.

Dixon Place is located at 161A Chrystie Street (between Rivington and Delancey), in Manhattan's Lower East Side (By subway: B/D to Grand, F to 2nd Ave, J/Z to Bowery, 6 to Spring St, M to Essex St).

Dixon Place, an incubator for performing and literary artists since 1986, is a non-profit organization committed to supporting the creative process by presenting original works of dance, theater, music, puppetry, literature, performance and visual art at all stages of development. Presenting over 700 artists each year, this local haven inspires and encourages diverse artists of all stripes and callings to take risks and push personal and professional limits. Dixon Place's foremost priorities are to serve as a safety net for artists, and to provide vivid experiences for audiences. Many artists, such as Deb Margolin, Blue Man Group, John Leguizamo, Lisa Kron, David Cale, Penny Arcade, and Reno began their careers at Dixon Place. In addition to emerging artists, Dixon Place has also been privileged to present evenings of new and experimental work by more established artists, such as -- Theater/Performance: Justin Vivian Bond, Taylor Mac, Lily Tomlin, Wallace Shawn, Craig Lucas, BD Wong, John Fleck, Kate Bornstein, Ethyl Eichelberger, Holly Hughes, Karen Finley, Kate Clinton, Peggy Shaw, Alan Cumming, Big Art Group; Literary: A.M. Homes, Rick Moody, and Oscar Huelos; Dance: Mark Dendy, Jane Comfort, Douglas Dunn, and Yoshiko Chuma; Music: Vernon Reid, Rodney Crowell, Diamanda Galas, Martha Wainwright, Loudon Wainwright, Lucy Wainwright Roche, Suzzy Roche, Maggie Roche, Rodney Crowell, Cyndi Lauper, and They Might Be Giants.

In 1989, Ellie Covan, founding director, was a recipient of a Bessie, a New York Dance and Performance Award, for her service to the community. Dixon Place received a Village Voice Obie Grant Award in 1990 and 1999. Additionally, in 1999, Dixon Place was awarded an Edwin Booth Award for Excellence in Theater.

Photo by Peter Yesley

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