Leading Broadway director Kenny Leon will speak at the University of Louisville today. The public event, styled on “Inside the Actor’s Studio,” is sponsored by U of L’s African American Theatre Program and begins at 5 p.m. at the Playhouse on Third Street.
Leon is the co-founder and artistic director of Atlanta’s True Colors Theatre, a company dedicated to producing and preserving the diversity of African American theater.
He directed the final two Broadway productions of August Wilson’s ten-play Pittsburgh Cycle, “Gem of the Ocean” and “Radio Golf.” Leon also opened the first Broadway revival of Wilson’s “Fences,” starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, and received a Tony Award nomination for his direction. He recently remade the film “Steel Magnolias” for Lifetime with an African American cast, including Phylicia Rashad and Alfre Woodard.
In an interview for WFPL’s Strange Fruit podcast, Leon says he began his theater work after law school, teaching drama in prisons, nursing homes and with the homeless. He credits his political science background with making him a more informed and engaged artist.
“There are different roads to get to any one destination,” he says. “Not everyone is meant to study at NYU, not everyone is meant to be at Clark College in Atlanta, or in Louisville at the theater center there. So I meet the actors where they are.”