The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey, produced by School of Theatre Alum and award-winning Broadway Producer Darren Bagert (BFA Music Theatre, 1992), has been nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance. Absolute Brightness was written and performed by James Lecesne, directed by Tony Speciale, and featured original music by Duncan Sheik. The Drama Desk Awards “honor outstanding achievement by professional theater artists on Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway. What sets Drama Desk Awards apart is that they are voted on and bestowed by theater critics, journalists, editors and publishers covering theater, without any vested interest in the results.”
Absolute Brightness is “about the disappearance of Leonard Pelkey, a 14-year-old boy who dared to be different, and the small New Jersey town that will never be the same with out him.” Absolute Brightness has already won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Solo Performance and the Off Broadway Alliance Award for Best Solo Performance. Critics are also raving about Absolute Brightness – Forbes called it “Life-Changing Entertainment!” and the New York Times said it “Leaves You Beaming With Joy!”
Since graduating, Bagert has gone on to produce hit Broadway shows such as The Color Purple, An American in Paris (Tony Award Nominee), Hughie, Side Show, Of Mice and Men, The Glass Menagerie (Tony Award Nominee), Gore Vidal’s The Best Man (Tony Award nominee for both productions), Company (Tony Award winner), Sweeney Todd (Tony Award nominee), Frozen (Tony Award nominee), Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Tony Award winner), among others. His Off-Broadway credits include Buyer & Cellar and My name Is Asher Lev.