FYT’s “Romeo + Juliet” Receives National Youth Arts Awards

Firebird Youth Theater, Leo’s teen-run theater company, recently produced a stage adaptation of Romeo + Juliet, directed by Leo. In August 2017, National Youth Arts granted Firebird Youth Theater four awards and one nomination, including an award for outstanding direction.

Awards:
Benny Rendell Outstanding Lead Actor
Naomi Murphy – Outstanding Lead Actress
Leo Lion – Outstanding Director
Company – Outstanding Ensemble

Nominees:
Alioune Fall – Supporting Actor

Read more about Romeo + Juliet on Firebird's site.

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Into the Woods – Wingspan Summer Conservatory 2017

Wingspan Arts‘ Summer production of Into the Woods performed August 13th, 14th, and 15th, featuring Leo as The Baker. This innovative production of the classic musical was directed by Marissa Porto, and is Leo’s sixth Wingspan production (following The Wiz, Annie, Shrek the Musical, Romeo and Juliet, and Godspell).

Photos from dress rehearsal – August 12th

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Firebird Presents Romeo + Juliet

ROMEO + JULIET
Adapted by Leo Lion & Zoe Senese-Grossberg
Directed by Leo Lion

Romeo and Juliet is the most famous love story of all time – but who is it really about? Firebird’s answer is: “It’s about teenagers.” Grounding their production in the evocative themes of youth and growth, FYT is pulling age to the foreground with a mixed-age cast of adults and teens. This intergenerational, present-day take on the Elizabethan classic is tailored to resonate with modern teenagers and make the trials of the play’s young heroes hit close to home for the new generation.

This age-centric production is fraught with significance for the award-winning Firebird Youth Theater, which is run entirely by teenagers. ROMEO + JULIET will be the company’s fifth annual production, following last year’s world-premiere of a new adaptation of the literary classic Treasure Island. Firebird’s past two shows both received National Youth Arts awards for Direction and Ensemble. This year’s production is FYT’s first to feature adult actors. 17-year-old director Leo Lion says, “Romeo and Juliet is usually performed either with adults or with youth actors, never with both. Putting the true number of years between these children and their parents gives the story new life. We’re a teen-run company committed to creating adult-grade work – who is better suited to tell this story?”

(Visit thefirebirdproject.org/theater for show info and more.)

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NaNoWriMo 2016 Complete!

Leo is a winner of 2016's NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), having completed the first draft of a novel in 30 days. The current manuscript of the novel, which is called "After", received an Honorable Mention for Novel Writing in the 2016 Scholastic Arts & Writing Awards.

FYT’s “Treasure Island” Receives National Youth Arts Awards

Firebird Youth Theater, Leo’s teen-run theater company, recently produced a stage adaptation of Treasure Island, directed by Leo. In August 2016, National Youth Arts granted Firebird Youth Theater four awards and five nominations, including an award for outstanding direction.

Awards:

Alioune Fall Outstanding Supporting Actor
Leigh Stern – Outstanding Supporting Actress
Leo Lion – Outstanding Director
Company – Outstanding Ensemble

Nominees:

Jeremiah Burch – Supporting Actor
Julien Feret – Supporting Actor
Leo Lion – Supporting Actor
Benny Rendell – Supporting Actor
Kenzo Repola – Original Music/Sound Design

Read more about Treasure Island on Firebird’s site.

Godspell – Wingspan Summer Conservatory 2016

Wingspan Arts‘ Summer production of Godspell performed August 11th, 13th, and 14th, featuring Leo as Judas/John. This colorful, electric, and starkly relevant production of the 2011 revival of the classic musical, was directed by Valerie Issembert, and is Leo’s fifth Wingspan production (following The Wiz, Annie, Shrek the Musical, and Romeo and Juliet).

Photos from dress rehearsal – August 10th

 

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Writopia Worldwide Plays Festival – Clean Hands

Leo’s play Clean Hands was produced as part of Writopia Lab’s Worldwide Plays Festival on May 21st, 2016. The play was directed by Kristin Skye Hoffmann.

This war drama brings two enemies in close proximity. In this volatile space, the young soldier Wes is forced to consider impossible questions: what is strength and what is weakness in a war zone? Is he a killer or a kid? Can he live with either option?

 

This is Leo’s third play to be produced in the Worldwide Plays Festival. Previous productions include They Grow Up Fast and Before Barnaby (No Tears).