Cover art for podcast ATW - Downstage Center

ATW - Downstage Center

357 EpisodesProduced by American Theatre WingWebsite

The American Theatre Wing presents Downstage Center a weekly theatrical interview show, featuring the top artists working in theatre, both on and Off-Broadway and around the country.


Kenny Leon (#270) - May, 2010

"Fences" director Kenny Leon discusses his long association with August Wilson, both personally and professionally, dating back to Leon's 1987 NEA Directing Fellowship which first introduced him to Wilson and continuing through his direction of nine of the ten plays in Wilson's "Century Cycle" -- including five separate productions of "Fences" -- as well as the Broadway debuts of "Gem of the Ocean" and "Radio Golf". He also discusses his rise from an impoverished childhood in Florida to his high school rebellion against a drama club which only cast African-Americans in subservient roles to his pursuit of a political science degree in college; how he rose to the position of artistic director of Atlanta's Alliance Theatre and his efforts there to integrate the audiences and the artistic work; his decision almost immediately after leaving the Alliance to found his own company, True Colors, in Atlanta which would dedicate itself to diversity but with African-American dramatic literature at its center; whether despite his acclaimed work on Broadway he feels that he's not in the running for work beyond the African-American canon; and what projects he'll be working on next, notably Katori Hall's Olivier Award-winning play about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., "The Mountaintop", and why he expects and hopes it will generate controversy over its portrayal of the famed civil rights leader. Original air date - May 26, 2010.

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