On Our Shelves Now
Full Length Play
Cast: 1 man
One actor portrays every character in a small Jersey Shore town as he unravels the story of Leonard Pelkey, a tenaciously optimistic and flamboyant fourteen-year-old boy who goes missing. A luminous force of nature whose magic is only truly felt once he is gone, Leonard becomes an unexpected inspiration as the town’s citizens question how they live, who they love, and what they leave behind.
About the Author
JAMES LECESNE has been ranked by the NYTimes as "among of the most talented solo performers of his (or any) generation," and he's been at it for over 25 years. His most recent solo play, THE ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS OF LEONARD PELKEY opened Off Broadway at The Westside Theater and received rave reviews. Mr. Lecesne wrote the screenplay for the Academy Award Winning short film, TREVOR, which went on to inspire the founding of The Trevor Project, the only nationwide 24-hour suicide prevention helpline for LGBT and, Questioning youth. James is also the founder of The After The Storm Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to offering support to community centers in New Orleans that are working with youth and the arts. Following Hurricane Katrina, James organized a group of artists to travel to New Orleans, and he produced the feature length documentary directed by Hilla Medalia, After The Storm, which spotlights the lives and struggles of twelve young adults who are living in the storm-ravaged city. As a writer James adapted Armistead Maupin’s FURTHER TALES OF THE CITY as a mini series for SHOWTIME (Emmy nomination) and wrote one of the final episodes of the TV series, WILL & GRACE. He created the stage play, THE ROAD HOME: Stories of the Children of War, a play based on interviews with survivors of wars in Tibet, Bosnia and Cambodia and presented at the International Peace Conference at The Hague. His play THE MOTHER OF INVENTION, starring Linda Lavin and directed by Michael Wilson, premiered at New York Stage & Film. James has taught at The NYU School of Continuing Education, The New School, The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and The New York Film Academy. He was a Distinguished Guest Speaker at The Heller Graduate School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, where his Pro-Seminar“Sharing the Truth: Effective Storytelling for Social Justice Activists” included 30 participants from 11 countries. And he has been a featured speaker about issues related to LGBT Youth at organizations and corporations such as Nike, Johnson & Johnson and Deutche Bank. His young adult novel, ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS, was published by Harper Collins and was awarded The William Morris Award by the American Librarian Association and was nominated for a The Lambda Literary Award. His novella TREVOR was published by Seven Stores Press in 2012. Also available - THE LETTER Q: Queer Writer's Notes to Their Younger Selves, edited with Sarah Moon and published by Scholastic in 2012.
“…leave[s] you beaming with joy…a superlative solo show…Mr. Lecesne is a writer of wit and keen observational skills, who here unfolds a dark tale that shimmers with the needling suspense you associate with the best police procedurals…Perhaps most remarkably, he’s the rare artist who doesn’t shy away from sentimentality…you may find yourself choking back a tear or two…” —The New York Times.
“…moving…[Lecesne] delivers a message of acceptance without being preachy. Intimate and affectionate, ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS is about the difference one person can make—and perhaps, with any luck, one show.” —New York Post.
“…shines with humanity…an affecting and entertaining testament to the beauty of a world in which difference is celebrated rather than denigrated.” —Los Angeles Times.