Kenny Leon is no stranger to Broadway. From winning a Tony Award in 2014 for Best Director of a Play for “A Raisin in the Sun” to Broadway credits including “Fences,” “Hairspray Live!” and “The Wiz Live!” Leon has become one of America’s most beloved theater and television directors.
He is artistic director of his eponymous True Colors Theatre Company in Atlanta and was artistic director of the Alliance Theatre for 11 years.
Leon’s latest literary accomplishment, “Take You Wherever You Go: A Memoir,” is about the people who shaped him. Today, a far cry from his humble beginnings, he is now a powerhouse of talent and looks forward to returning to Atlanta.
With a foreword by Samuel L. Jackson and endorsements from Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett and Harvey Fierstein, Leon celebrates the wisdom learned from the pillars in his life.
He credits his Grandma Mamie, who set his life’s purpose towards dreaming large.
“She made sure I knew I could do whatever I set my mind to do. The anchors and lessons in my life have been from three sources: my grandmother, my mother and iconic playwright August Wilson,” he said.
“This book is my way of telling you, as my Grandma told me, that you can do whatever you need to do. The only limits are the ones you set yourself. You have all you need in you right now. I grew up poor … I ended up on Broadway. I am interested in how I can help future generations. We’ve all been dealt hands in life, but life is about how you play that hand.”
About appearing at the Book Festival, he added, “I have a strong connection to the Atlanta Jewish community. To me, it’s like coming home.”
Kenny Leon appears at 12 p.m. Sun., Nov. 18, In Conversation with CNN’s Holly Firfer.