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Kenny Leon

Tony Award-Winning Broadway Film Director & Producer; Co-Founder of True Colors Theater Company

Tony Award-Winning Broadway Film Director & Producer; Co-Founder of True Colors Theater Company

Travels From Travels From:
Atlanta, GA, USA
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Kenny Leon Biography

Kenny Leon is a Tony Award-winning, premiere director on Broadway whose directorial credits span an incomparable range of work from classic theatre to drama, comedy, opera, musicals, musical revues and film.

Leon won the 2014 Tony for Best Director for the Broadway revival of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin In The Sun, garnering two more Tony wins for Best Play Revival and Best Featured Actress for Sophie Okonedo. He also directed Holler If Ya Hear Me, the first hip-hop musical to hit Broadway, featuring the music of Tupac Shakur, with the Gold Co. producing.

In 2015, he directed The Wiz! Live for NBC; and, In My Dreams for Hallmark Hall of Fame starring Katherine McPhee, and The Watsons go to Birmingham for Walden Media and Hallmark in 2013.

In October 2012, Leon brought together a stellar cast for the made-for-television remake of Steel Magnolias, to premier on the Lifetime Television Network. The film opened to 6.5 million viewers, making it Lifetime’s third most-watched original telecast ever. Among Women 25-54, Steel Magnolias has become Lifetime’s most-watched movie in network history with 2.5 million viewers. This new version directed by Leon, starred Queen Latifah, Phylicia Rashad, Alfre Woodard, Condola Rashad and Jill Scott.

In 2011, Leon became the first African-American director to have concurrent shows on Broadway with The Mountaintop and Stick Fly. In The Mountaintop, written by Katori Hall, Samuel L. Jackson starred as Dr. Martin Luther King opposite Angela Bassett, who played a maid awed by the civil rights leader. Stick Fly, a dysfunctional-family comedy produced by Alicia Keys, featured Dule Hill, Mekhi Phifer and Condola Rashad.

In 2010, Leon directed the Broadway revival of August Wilson’s Fences, starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. The play was a huge critical and box-office success, having garnered 10 Tony Nominations including “Best Director,” the most nominations ever for a play revival. Fences set box office records and received the Tony Award for “Best Revival of a Play,” “Best Actor” and “Best Actress.”

Leon’s additional Broadway credits include the Tony Award-nominated plays Radio Golf (2007) and Gem of the Ocean (2004), both by August Wilson. He also directed Swimming Upstream, featuring women of New Orleans and the impact of Hurricane Katrina on their lives and city, and Breaking the Silence, a United Nations event aimed at bringing awareness to child abduction across the globe.

In 2004, Leon made his Broadway debut with the 2004 Tony Award-winning revival of Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun, starring Sean P. Diddy Combs, Phylicia Rashad and Audra McDonald. Leon received a Drama Desk Award nomination for “Outstanding Director of a Play” before reuniting the cast in 2008 to direct the television adaptation, which aired on ABC to 12.7 million viewers. Leon was nominated for “Best Director” by the DGA for this television version, which also received Emmy and Golden Globe nominations in addition to three NAACP Image Award wins.

Building on a career in regional theatre (Arena Stage, Milwaukee Rep, Huntington Theatre, L.A.’s Center Theatre, the Public, Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, among others), and after leading Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre for 11 years, Leon founded Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company in 2002. Based in Atlanta, GA, the Company is dedicated to diversity and the preservation of African-American classics.

Through True Colors, Leon produces the August Wilson Monologue Competition, an annual competition currently in eight major cities providing workshops and training to hundreds of teenagers. Regional winners receive mentoring and coaching alongside free travel and board to New York City, to participate in the Competition Finals at the August Wilson Theatre on Broadway performing monologues from August Wilson’s Century Cycle before a panel of judges. First, second and third place winners receive scholarships and all finalists receive hardbound book sets of August Wilson’s plays.

Leon is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University and holds honorary doctorates from Roosevelt University and several other institutions. He has been a featured speaker for arts organizations, awards shows, corporate and political groups, churches, and universities including Yale University, Northwestern University and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Leon’s diverse body of projects in theater and film requires him to split time between Atlanta, Los Angeles, and New York.

Kenny Leon Videos

  • Wise Words from My Grandmother | Kenny Leon | Goalcast
    One of Broadway's leading directors, Kenny Leon delivers a compelling series of lessons his hero once shared with him. ► Watch all Goalcast...
  • Kenny Leon: From Miccosukee Road to Broadway
    Pat Collins invites Kenny Leon to discuss his successful career as an Director/Actor and his enduring friendships with Samuel L. Jackson and Denzel...
  • Phylicia Rashad and Kenny Leon on Their Special Relationship
    Phylicia Rashad calls Kenny Leon "her director." Find out why in these highlights from the Chicago Ideas event "Kenny Leon: In Conversation with...

FAQs on booking Kenny Leon

  • How do I book Kenny Leon to speak at my event?

    Our experienced booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure speakers like Kenny Leon for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment since 2002. Click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page to check availability for Kenny Leon, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get speaking fee information and check availability for Kenny Leon or any other speaker of your choice.
  • What are the speaker fees for Kenny Leon

    Speaking fees for Kenny Leon, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Kenny Leon are for live events and for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Kenny Leon, click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.
  • What topics does Kenny Leon speak about?

    Kenny Leon is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include Arts & Humanities, Celebrity Headliners, Diversity Speakers, Entertainers, Producers and Directors.
  • Where does Kenny Leon travel from?

    Kenny Leon generally travels from Atlanta, GA, USA, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. For more details, please contact an AAE Booking agent.
  • Who is Kenny Leon’s agent?

    AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully booked keynote speakers like Kenny Leon for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Kenny Leon for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service speaker booking agency?

    AAE Speakers Bureau is a full-service speaker booking agency, meaning we can completely manage the speaker’s or celebrity’s engagement with your organization from the time of booking your speaker through the event’s completion. We provide all of the services you need to host Kenny Leon or any other speaker of your choice, including offer negotiation, contractual assistance, accounting and billing, and event speaker travel and logistics services. When you book a speaker with us, we manage the process of hosting a speaker for you as an extension of your team. Our goal is to give our clients peace of mind and a best-in-class service experience when booking a speaker with us.
  • Why is AAE Speakers Bureau different from other booking agencies?

    If you’re looking for the best, unbiased speaker recommendations, paired with a top-notch customer service experience, you’re in the right place. At AAE Speakers Bureau, we exclusively represent the interests of our clients - professional organizations, companies, universities, and associations. We intentionally do not represent the speakers we feature or book. That is so we can present our clients with the broadest and best performing set of speaker options in the market today, and we can make these recommendations without any obligation to promote a specific speaker over another. This is why when our agents suggest a speaker for your event, you can be assured that they are of the highest quality with a history of proven success with our other clients.

Kenny Leon is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Kenny Leon for your event is available upon request. Kenny Leon generally travels from Atlanta, GA, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Anika Noni Rose, Alfre Woodard, Daveed Diggs, F. Gary Gray and Katori Hall. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Kenny Leon for an upcoming live or virtual event.

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