Q&A with Kenny Leon

There aren’t many American stage company directors who are able to also sport of individuals magazine Most Breathtaking status. But Kenny Leon has always were built with a knack for straddling two worlds. The Tony-nominated Atlantan has balanced high-art material such as the MLK Junior. drama The Mountaintop with mainstream fare just like a forthcoming remake of Steel Magnolias by having an all-black cast. Leon’s latest project may be the stage debut from the 1967 race issue film Guess Who’s Visiting Dinner, premiering This summer 10 to 29 in the Rialto Center and including Phylicia Rashad and Mekhi Phifer.

What’s your undertake Guess Who’s Visiting Dinner, which in the there was a time billed as “a love story of today”? It’s still occur the sixties, but we’ve the blessing of seeing it with the lens of 2012.

We’re a bit more sophisticated about race . . .I do not think we’re. We have much to discover race relations in the united states as evidenced by the expertise of getting a black president the very first time. The thing is what went down in Florida a few days ago with this kid [Trayvon Martin] being wiped out. I believe our difficulties with race really return centuries and we’ve never worked adequately with individuals issues. They still kind of haunt us. However the story is all about in addition to that. Sturdy the way you say one factor, however, you live one other way. I’ve found Guess Who’s Visiting Dinner is all about hypocrisy.

Have you got any opening-night rituals? Absolutely. I usually possess a prayer circle for whatever play I’m doing. Lots of rituals. I have a yo-yo beside me, within my left pocket, on opening night as a means of relieving stress.

You had been elevated from your grandmother, who had been used in plan to white-colored families in Tallahassee. Did The Assistance resonate along with you? I figured The Assistance was okay. I simply wish there is more variety with what we all do. That’s one story to inform. If only there have been more tales . . . I’m searching toward Quentin Tarantino’s movie Django Unchained. It’s a slave revenge story.

What’s the Southern factor you miss probably the most when you are in New You are able to? Our restaurants, our courses, our places of worship.

Illustration by David Despau

Felicia Feaster is one of our editorial contributors.
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