Mayor’s Office of Communications
55 Trinity Avenue, Suite 2500 • Atlanta, Georgia 30303
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 29, 2017
Mayor Kasim Reed Recognizes Kenny Leon for Earning Prestigious Award from the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation
‘Mr. Abbott’ Award recognizes artists for extraordinary contributions
ATLANTA– Mayor Kasim Reed recognized Tony Award-winning director Kenny Leon today for receiving the 2016-2017 “Mr. Abbott” Award. Presented by the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation (SDC Foundation), the “Mr. Abbott” Award is named after the late director George Abbott, and annually celebrates an artist’s extraordinary contributions to the field. The award was presented to Leon at the foundation’s annual gala on March 27, 2017.
“I am proud that the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation presented Kenny Leon with this prestigious award,” said Mayor Reed. “For more than 40 years, Kenny Leon has been devoted to creating rich and engaging work that displays originality and outstanding storylines, while bringing artists and audiences together around important topics. Leon’s craft is immeasurable, and his commitment to the arts has enriched Atlanta’s cultural legacy.”
Leon’s Broadway credits include the 2014 revival of A Raisin in the Sun, The Mountaintop, Stick Fly, and the 2010 revival of August Wilson’s Fences. He is also the co-founder of True Colors Theatre Company in Atlanta, where he serves as artistic director. True Colors Theater Company is committed to producing world premiere plays by diverse playwrights, and preserving African-American classics. True Colors Theater Company presents plays at the Southwest Arts Center, Theatrical Outfit’s Balzer Theatre, Porter Sanford III Performing Arts Center and the Rialto Center.
In addition, the company hosts its signature August Wilson Monologue Competition, a national educational program exposing high school students across the United States to the works of playwright August Wilson. The program began in Atlanta and has now spread to Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Pittsburgh, Portland
and Seattle, allowing students to compete in region
by reciting monologues
from August Wilson’s works.
Prior to co-founding True Colors Theater Company, Leon 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.
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