James Lecesne has been ranked by the NYTimes as "among of the most talented solo performers of his (or any) generation," and he's been at it for over 25 years. His solo play, THE ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS OF LEONARD PELKEY opened Off Broadway at The Westside Theater and received rave reviews. James wrote the screenplay for the Academy Award Winning short film, TREVOR, which went on to inspire the founding of The Trevor Project, the only nationwide 24-hour suicide prevention helpline for LGBT and, Questioning youth. He is also the founder of The After The Storm Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to offering support to community centers in New Orleans that are working with youth and the arts. Following Hurricane Katrina, he organized a group of artists to travel to New Orleans, and he produced the feature length documentary directed by Hilla Medalia, After The Storm, which spotlights the lives and struggles of twelve young adults who are living in the storm-ravaged city.
An actor as well as a writer, James' solo show WORD OF MOUTH was presented Off Broadway by Mike Nichols and Elaine May and directed by Eve Ensler; he was awarded the NY Drama Desk Award and the Outer Critics Circle Award for best solo performance as well as the LA Theater Weekly Award. He also wrote the book for the musical ONE MAN BAND, with music and lyrics by Larry Hochman and Marc Eliot. His play THE MOTHER OF INVENTION premiered Off Broadway at The Abgingdon Theater in NYC.
James adapted Armistead Maupin’s FURTHER TALES OF THE CITY as a mini series for SHOWTIME (Emmy nomination) and wrote one of the final episodes of the TV series, WILL & GRACE. He created the stage play, THE ROAD HOME: Stories of the Children of War, a play based on interviews with survivors of wars in Tibet, Bosnia and Cambodia and presented at the International Peace Conference at The Hague. His play THE MOTHER OF INVENTION, premiered at The Abingdon Theater in February 2017. James has taught at The NYU School of Continuing Education, The New School, The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and The New York Film Academy. He was a Distinguished Guest Speaker at The Heller Graduate School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, where his Pro-Seminar “Sharing the Truth: Effective Storytelling for Social Justice Activists” included 30 participants from 11 countries.
He has been a featured speaker about issues related to LGBT Youth at organizations and corporations such as Nike, Johnson & Johnson, Twitter and many others.
His young adult novel, ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS, was published by Harper Collins and was awarded The William Morris Award by the American Librarian Association and was nominated for a The Lambda Literary Award. His novella TREVOR was published by Seven Stores Press in 2012. Also available - THE LETTER Q: Queer Writer's Notes to Their Younger Selves, edited with Sarah Moon and published by Scholastic in 2012.
Acting credits include the original NYC production of CLOUD 9 by Caryl Churchill; EXTRAORDINARY MEASURES, written and directed by Eve Ensler; the 30th anniversary production of BOYS IN THE BAND by Mart Crowley; the 2013 Broadway production of THE BEST MAN; and the Pulitzer Prize winning play, I AM MY OWN WIFE at Hartford Stage Company. Other productions at Hartford Stage include THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP with Varla Jean Merman, directed by Michael Wilson and the world premiere of MOTHERHOOD OUT LOUD, which went on to be presented at Primary Stages, directed by Lisa Peterson.