True Colors Theatre Company Founding Artistic Director Kenny Leon has announced that he is stepping down from the helm at the Atlanta-based theatre. Director, playwright, and producer Jamil Jude, currently True Colors' associate artistic director, will be the company's next artistic director at the beginning of the 2019–2020 season.
Leon, who is a Tony Award-winning Broadway and film director, founded True Colors in 2002 with Managing Director Jane Bishop. The company's mission is to celebrate the rich tradition of black storytelling while giving voice to new artists of all cultures.
Jude is the co-founder of The New Griots Festival, which is dedicated to celebrating and advancing the careers of emerging Black artists in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Prior to joining True Colors, he served as the artistic programming associate at Park Square Theatre in St. Paul, Minnesota. He has served as the National New Play Network (NNPN) Producer in Residence at Minneapolis’ Mixed Blood Theatre Company and remains an affiliated artist with NNPN. Before joining the staff at Mixed Blood, Jude served as a New Play Producing Fellow at Arena Stage in Washington, DC, and co-founded Colored People’s Theatre.
Prior to co-founding True Colors, Leon served 11 years as artistic director of The Alliance Theatre, where he produced the premieres of Disney’s Elaborate Lives: The Legend of Aida, Pearl Cleage’s Blues for an Alabama Sky, and Alfred Uhry’s The Last Night of Ballyhoo. Other directorial credits include Toni Morrison’s opera Margaret Garner, the world premiere of Flashdance: The Musical, and the complete August Wilson Century Cycle at the Kennedy Center.
See the announcement from True Colors below.