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William Marks
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ATLANTA (January 12, 2022)  – Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company announced today it has received a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support the second year of the historic Atlanta theater company’s  “The Drinking Gourd: Black Writers at Work,” a program that focuses resources on the development and production of work by Black playwrights.

The NEA grant is a part of its national initiative to co-commission and co-develop new plays and to build a pipeline of Black playwrights to be produced on the American theater stage.  True Colors Theatre received a similar award last year.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to once again present The Drinking Gourd program which aligns with our mission to raise the visibility of contemporary Black playwrights,” said True Colors Artistic Director Jamil Jude.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts projects like this one from Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company that help support the community’s creative economy,” said NEA Acting Chair Ann Eilers.

Last year, True Colors used a $50,000 grant to support the world premiere of “Good Bad People” by Rachel Lynett, a rising playwright whose Afro-Latinx perspective shapes the play’s content and characters. In “Good Bad People,” June returns home in the aftermath of her brother’s fatal shooting by police. June is suddenly forced into the spotlight and must decide which is more important: making amends with her family or standing up for her brother’s life.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, True Colors was unable to produce a live reading in 2021, but it created a program called “Inside Look” that invited donors and special friends of the theatre into the creative process. Guests sat in on a virtual production design meeting with the creative team, a table read, a rehearsal and the final Zoom presentation. At each session, Jude hosted a “Talkback” about the experience.

For more information on True Colors Theatre Company please visit: For more information on other projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement, visit

About Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company

Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company is a nonprofit regional theater company based in Atlanta, GA. True Colors Theatre Company’s mission is to celebrate the rich tradition of Black storytelling while giving voice to bold artists from all cultures. We add dimension and relevance to our work on the stage through community events and education programming. The vision of Artistic Director Jamil Jude is for the company to “thrive at the intersection of artistic excellence and civic engagement.” For more information on True Colors, visit