Film – “Leafman” receives Gold Key in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

Leafman, a short student film directed by Dan Allen, stars Leo as the titular being of nature. The film is produced by KnightFilms and was released on YouTube in fall of 2015. In February of 2016, the film received a Regional Gold Key in the annual Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Its gold status means that the film is now going into the national level competition – hopefully, more on this soon.

Film – “Orpheus and the Scapegoat” Released.

A 12-minute mockumentary short directed by Leo is now available on YouTube. The film is produced by KnightFilms, an innovative “improv-filmmaking” studio created by Leo and fellow filmmaker Dan Allen.

The film, starring both Knightfilms founders in the unlikely pairing of a pretentious film director and a literal goat, is a self-described “exploration of the human condition” – commenting on issues of discrimination, crooked artistic agendas, and the struggle that follows a loss of balance.

FYT’s “Alice” Receives National Youth Arts Awards

Firebird Youth Theater, Leo’s teen-run theater company, recently produced a stage adaptation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, directed by Leo. In August 2015, National Youth Arts granted Firebird Youth Theater three awards and two nominations, including an award for outstanding direction.

Awards:

Leigh Stern – Outstanding Lead Actress
Leo Lion – Outstanding Director
Company – Outstanding Ensemble

Nominees:

Alioune Fall – Supporting Actor
Kaiulani Lee – Supporting Actress

Read more about “Alice” on Firebird’s site.

FYT at NYA Ceremony. Photo by Joanne Rendell

Romeo and Juliet – Wingspan Summer Conservatory 2015

Wingspan Arts‘ Summer production of Romeo and Juliet performed August 13th, 15th, and 16th, featuring Leo as Mercutio, Friar Laurence, and the Apothecary. The play, an imaginative ensemble production with a cast of 12 teenagers, was directed by Valerie Issembert, and is Leo’s fourth Wingspan production (following The Wiz, Annie, and Shrek the Musical).

Photos from final dress rehearsal – August 12th

FYT’s “Alice’s Adventures of Wonderland” – DVD for Sale

Alice Cover2Firebird Youth Theater, Leo’s teen-run theater company, recently produced a stage adaptation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, directed by Leo.

The DVD video recording of the production is for sale, at $20 a copy. Email Firebird at firebird.stage@gmail.com to order yours today!

“Alice” is a transformative theatrical adventure, brought to life by a versatile ensemble and artfully crafted visuals. Creating Wonderland, envisioned in a new, yet familiar light, the show seeks to bring out the child in every audience member, inviting them to explore their imagination to the fullest.

FYT Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Huffington Post

In Spring of 2015, Leo directed a stage production of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with Firebird Youth Theater, a teen-run theater company he founded in 2013, and for which he serves as Artistic Director. The script was an original adaptation of the classic novel of the same name by Lewis Carroll, adapted for the stage by Leo and Thomas Pflanz. The play performed April 17th-19th, 2015, at Roy Arias Theatre, Stage II.

An article by Joanne Rendell about the production was published on Huffington Posts’s Education Section on May 26th, 2015. Visit the article at the link below:

Bringing the Wonder Back to Alice

Firebird’s Alice – Photo by Joanne Rendell

Write A Play! NYC – Ties

Leo’s short play Ties is a finalist in Young Playwrights Inc.’s “Write a Play! NYC” Playwriting Competition 2015. This is Leo’s second play to receive a finalist title in this competition, the first being his full-length play The Internet Island Project, which made the finalists in 2014.

Ties is a stinging and cathartic play, about a very young boy who suffers a great loss. The script tackles the poignant and deeply relevant question of how children can come to terms with the mortality of those around them.

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Exhibit Closes

The Regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art closes on May 17th. The exhibit featured both Leo Lion’s gold-key winning works: Backdoor (Photography) and Old News (Flash Fiction)

Old News was previously published by Imagine Magazine (2014), winning 2nd place Imagine Magazine’s Creative Minds Fiction Contest in 2014.

And although the exhibit is now closed, Backdoor will continue to be part of the “Selected Student Artworks” gallery on the museum website.

“Backdoor” received a Reigonal Gold Key from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and was exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Young Playwrights Inc. – Unplug (Reading)

On May 16th, Young Playwrights Inc held this year’s last series of staged readings, a program which was the culmination of 2014-2015’s Advanced Playwriting Workshop, in which Leo participated. The evening opened with a staged reading of Leo’s play, Unplug.

Unplug is a short one-act science-fiction play that explores the poignant relationship between a machine and her creator, raising dark and difficult questions about humanity and the right to understanding.

Writopia Worldwide Plays Festival – They Grow Up Fast

Leo’s play They Grow Up Fast was produced as part of Writopia Lab’s Worldwide Plays Festival on May 13th. The play was directed by Robert Gonyo of Co-Op Theatre East. Performances took place off-Broadway at the June Havoc Theater.

They Grow Up Fast is a cathartic one-act play about a woman’s struggle with time, motherhood, and responsibility. A deeply emotional play that throws linear time and storytelling to the wind as Anne loses herself in a life of constant stress and disorientation.

05_Writers

Five playwrights whose works were featured at the Worldwide Plays Festival on May 13th in the 8PM program.

This is Leo’s second play to be produced in the Worldwide Plays Festival. In 2014, his play Before Barnaby (No Tears) was also performed at the June Havoc Theater. Before Barnaby was directed by Edward Elefterion of Rabbit Hole Ensemble.