By Ryon Horne
Atlanta super-director Kenny Leon invited his close friend Samuel L. Jackson to True Colors Theatre’s annual charity event over the weekend – then joined him on stage. They along with veteran actors Crystal Fox, Eugene Lee and Glynn Turman and read scenes from August Wilson’s “The Piano Lesson.”
Watch Jackson’s powerful monologue here:
The incredible performance came at the end of the annual golf tournament and gala weekend benefiting True Colors Theatre Company, for which Leon serves as artistic director. The event raises money for True Colors’ education programs, including the National August Wilson Monologue Competition for high school students.
Celebs at the event included Usher, Cedric the Entertainer Julius “Dr. J” Erving, Stephanie Mills and Kevin Willis.
“I want to thank every human being in this room for supporting the future,” Leon said ahead of the performance. “Our young people really are our future. Our young people need us more than ever.”
He started the annual competition after Wilson’s death due to cancer.
“I wanted to find a way to keep him alive,” Leon said. “These young people look at these roles in these plays and they find themselves.”
The talented young people who participate in the annual monologue program are able to experience travel and artistic opportunities.
“Every year we fly them – thanks to Delta – to cities like New York,” Leon said. “Then they compete on Broadway using the monologues from (Wilson’s) plays.
“Then they have a face to put on their dreams. This is about the reality of dreams for our young people.”