PLAYWRIGHT AND ACTIVIST EVE ENSLER TO RECEIVE
ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS AWARD
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2015, AT THE WESTSIDE THEATRE
“DELIVERS A TOUR-DE-FORCE PERFORMANCE” (THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER)
IN HIS “MOVING SOLO PLAY” (NEW YORK POST)
THE ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS OF LEONARD PELKEY
DIRECTED BY TONY SPECIALE
(New York, NY – September 16, 2015) The producers of the critically-acclaimed new play THE ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS OF LEONARD PELKEY announced today that Tony Award winning playwright, performer and activist Eve Ensler will be the next recipient of the Absolute Brightness Award. The award, previously awarded to LGBT civil rights hero Edie Windsor and Tony Award Winner and activist Alan Cumming, is given to a unique individual who is a shining beacon in their community, and an inspiration to live as your truest self. Ms. Ensler will be given the Absolute Brightness Award after the evening performance on Wednesday, September 23, 2015, at the Westside Theatre (407 West 43 Street).
Eve Ensler is a Tony Award winning playwright, performer and activist. She authored The Vagina Monologues, which has been translated into over 48 languages and performed in over 140 countries, including a sold-out run at the Westside Theater. Ms. Ensler’s experience performing The Vagina Monologues inspired her to create V-Day, a global activist movement to stop violence against women and girls. She has devoted her life to stopping violence, envisioning a planet where women and girls will be free to thrive, rather than merely survive. Ms. Ensler was awarded the 2011 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award which recognizes an individual from the theater community who has made a substantial contribution of volunteered time and effort on behalf of humanitarian, social service or charitable organizations.
THE ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS OF LEONARD PELKEY, the much talked-about new play written and performed by James Lecesne, has scenic design by Jo Winiarski, lighting design by Matt Richards, sound design by Christian Frederickson, projection design by Aaron Rhyne, original animation & photography by Matthew Sandager, and costumes by Paul Marlow.
This “remarkable and moving” (New York Times) new play is directed by Tony Speciale, with original music by Tony Award-winning composer Duncan Sheik. Following a sold-out run at Dixon Place, THE ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS OF LEONARD PELKEY is now in performances will officially open on Monday, July 27, 2015, at the Westside Theatre.
“One of the greatest storytellers of his generation” (New York Times), James Lecesne portrays every character in a small Jersey shore town as they unravel the story of Leonard Pelkey, a tenaciously optimistic and flamboyant 14 year-old boy who goes missing. A luminous force of nature whose magic is only truly felt once he disappears, Leonard becomes the unexpected inspiration for a town as they question how they live, who they love and what they leave behind. “Absolute Brightness leaves you beaming with joy.” (New York Times).
James Lecesne wrote the screenplay for the Academy Award winning short film Trevor, which inspired the founding of the organization, The Trevor Project. Lecesne’s novel, Trevor, was just selected one of Italy’s ten must-reads for young adults, in a list that also includes Hans Christian Andersen, Roald Dahl, Nick Hornby and J.K. Rowling. 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 Award nomination) and was a writer for "Will and Grace". His play The Mother of Invention starred Linda Lavin and 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. Mr. Lecesne is a co-founder of the L.G.B.T. youth organization The Trevor Project, the only national 24-hour crisis intervention and suicide prevention Lifeline for LGBT and Questioning youth.
Tickets for THE ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS OF LEONARD PELKEY are $85, and available at Telecharge.com (212-239-6200), or at www.AbsoluteBrightness.com. THE ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS OF LEONARD PELKEY plays: Monday through Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 8pm, with matinees Wednesday and Saturday at 2pm, and Sunday at 3pm.
For every full priced and premium ticket purchased to THE ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS OF LEONARD PELKEY, the production will donate $5.00 directly to The Trevor Project.
Rush tickets will be available for $25 for patrons 25 years old, or younger. Rush tickets will be available for each performance only at the Westside Theatre box office, for that day’s performance(s), subject to availability.
THE ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS OF LEONARD PELKEY is produced by Darren Bagert, Daryl Roth, Jane Dubin, Curtis Forsythe, Michael Mayer, Diane Procter, Seaview Productions and Minerva Productions/Joshua Goodman.
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