Acclaimed author, activist and Academy Award winner James Lecesne to visit Merrimack Sept. 22-23

Merrimack College welcomes Academy Award winner James Lecesne to campus on September 22 and 23.

He’s scheduled to give a talk and sneak preview of his one-man show, The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey, at the Writers House, 4 p.m. Thursday Sept. 22. It’s free and open to the public.

Lecesne will then perform Absolute Brightness at the Rogers Center for the Arts on at 7:30 p.m. Friday Sept. 23 and participate in a conversation with the audience afterward. It will be the Boston-area premier of his 2015 Off-Broadway hit, which Broadway World described as a “powerful story not to be missed,” one that “shines a light on the consequence of fear and the effect one being can have on an entire community.”

Lecesne is scheduled to meet with a creative writing class and with the Gay/Straight Alliance while on campus to discuss The Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.

In Absolute Brightness, Lecesne, who authored the Academy Award-Winning film Trevor, portrays every character in a story about a small Jersey shore town where a tenaciously optimistic and flamboyant 14-year-old boy has gone missing. The New York Times calls Lecesne “a dazzling beacon of theatrical talent” whose work shimmers with suspense and wit.

Along with writing and acting, Lecesne is an activist whose film Trevor led to the creation of The Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ young people.

“Lecesne’s creations reminds us that the arts can actually be a catalyst for real change,” said the Rev. Richard Piatt, O.S.A., director of Merrimack’s Rogers Center for the Arts and professor of Practice in Theatre. “The creation of the character of Trevor, which lead to a film, novella, and eventually the foundation of an active crisis intervention and suicide prevention network, proves it. How many young adult lives were saved and changed for the better because of a single play?”

All are welcome to the free September 22 talk and short performance at the Writers House.

Tickets for the September 23 show at 7:30 p.m. are available on-line at or the the Rogers Center box office at 978-837-5355. Tickets are $5 for Merrimack College students, $10 for all other students, $20 for seniors and Merrimack employees, and $25 for all other seats.

Lecesne’s visit to Merrimack is co-sponsored by the Writers House and the Rogers Center for the Arts.


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