Levy Lee Simon
Award winning playwright, actor, screenwriter, director, and teacher, Levy Lee Simon was born and raised in Harlem USA, and received his MFA in playwriting from The University of Iowa Playwright’s Workshop. Before attending Iowa, Levy Lee studied theatre with legendary theatre artists, Gertrude Jeanette, Ernie McClintock, Charles Turner, Nathan George, and Woodie King Jr.
Feature Films include: The Last Revolutionary (Writer/Actor/Co-Producer) Pan African Film Festival/Silicon Beach Film Festival/African Diaspora Film Festival/Bronze Lens Film Festival/Greater Cleveland Urban Film Festival and more. The Last Revolutionary is presently on Amazon Prime.com (4.5 rating) and 8.0 on IMDB. He is the writer and performer of, I AM, an epic performance piece on youtube.com, and winner of Hollywood Shorts Award for director Nefertiti Negron. Optioned screenplays include: “The Bow Wow Club,” - FOX Searchlight, and Forrest Whitaker’s Spirit Dance Production Company. (Later MTA Productions.) One Cold Night – (formally titled DAD) 40 Acres and Edmonds Productions, The Guest at Central Park West – MTA Productions, and God, the Crackhouse and the Devil. Non- optioned screenplays include: Caseload, In the Jazz Time 369, and Fallen Angels. Television pilot scripts include; Sunset Dreams, Central Avenue, and Moot an American Story.
It was at Circle Repertory LAB in NYC where Levy Lee began to explore his talent for writing and after an extremely successful production of his play, “God the Crackhouse and the Devil,” in 1994 was awarded a fellowship to the University Playwright’s Workshop. At Iowa, Levy Lee wrote several plays that put him on the map as a prolific contemporary playwright, known for raw compelling stories, authentic characters, and realistic and poetic dialogue. His play, “The Bow Wow Club,” was the 1998/99 winner of Kennedy Center Lorraine Hansberry Award for “Best Full Length Play.” The Bow Wow Club has been produced for the stage by: The Workshop Theatre-NY, The Stella Adler Theatre – LA, The National Black Theatre Festival–NC, The Karamu Theatre – Cleveland, and most recently at, The Marietta Theater in Atlanta, 2018. His award-winning trilogy, about the Haitian Revolution, “For the Love of Freedom,” was co- produced by the Robey Theatre Company, (Founded by Ben Guillory and Danny Glover) and the Greenway Arts Alliance. The trilogy was directed by acclaimed artistic director Ben Guillory, and was nominated for sixteen, (16) ‘NAACP Awards’ and an ‘Ovation Nomination,’ for “Best New Play.” In 2007, “The Guest at Central Park West,” was the recipient of three ‘Audelco Awards’ for, “Best Lead Actor” – John Marshall Jones, “Dramatic Production of the Year – The H.A.D.L.E.Y. Players, and “Best Playwright” – Levy Lee Simon,
Levy Lee plays have been produced and read by: The Circle Repertory Theatre LAB, Nuyorican Poets Café, The Negro Ensemble Company, Geffen Playhouse, Denver Center, St. Louis Black Repertory, The New Federal Theatre, The Robey Theatre Company, North Carolina Black Theatre Festival, The Workshop Theatre, Algonquin Productions, and The Marietta Theatre. Other noted plays by Simon include: Same Train, The Stuttering Preacher, DAD, Caseload, Pitbulls and Daffodils, Smell the Power, The Last Revolutionary, Gentrified Metaphor of the Drums, and more.
As an actor, he’s a former member of the prestigious: “127th Street Repertory Ensemble,” “The Negro Ensemble Company,” and, “The Circle Repertory Theatre Company.” He’s performed in over fifty productions on the New York and regional stage, highlighted with his appearance in the Pulitzer Prize winning, Tony nominated, The Kentucky Cycle, on Broadway, and he was a member of the definitive stage production of Ms. Ever’s Boys at the Barbican Theatre and Bristol Old Vic in England.
Sunset Dreams – Kevin Morrow Steel Wool Productions – TV Series - 90s Club in Hollywood
The Magnificent Dunbar Hotel – The Robey Theatre Company – A play about the Dunbar Hotel and Los Angeles in the 1930s, 40s and 50s.
Only Just a Minute - Bob Dockery Productions – A play about Dr. Martine L. King Jr.and his mentor Dr. Benjamin Mays.
College Town USA – Anonymous Content Management - TV Series
The Smoke King - Charle Holt - A play about W.E.B Dubois
Levy Lee continues his career, presently residing in LA though he still spends many months of the year in his hometown, New York City. Always looking to create great work that can make a difference in the world.
On March 30th, we were excited to have our first reading of Shelly’s song in Los Angeles. the reading was directed by writer Levy Lee Simon. Various actors from the LA area, including James Black and and Stephen Turner, read the story to an audience of 70+ people. After the reading , there was a 45 minute talk back to help refine the script and identify the parts of the script that moved people and the parts that would benefit from improvement. After the reading, the consensus was that the story was moving and needed to be told. Thanks to all that helped put on this successful reading!
In January, NJoy Productions hired Award Winning writer Levy Lee Simon to write the story “Shelly’s Song”. This is the moving story of two sisters who went through the same challenges during their up bring. In dealing with the struggles, one sister, Shelly, turned to alcohol which would ultimately take her life. It is an important story of sisters, love, and the harsh reality of the toxic results of alcohol abuse. This is an original project developed by NJoy Productions. The Company is very excited about working with this award winning writer to tell this important story.