James Leonard

James Leonard (Jim) has been acting and directing for over 50 years. He is currently enjoying his work with Paradise Playhouse because they rehearse less than 2 miles from his home in the Montclare neighborhood of Chicago AND it allow him the control over the production quality that he so desires.

His numerous acting roles include: Stanley Kowalski (A Streetcar Named Desire), Lennie (Of Mice and Men), Powers (Visit to a Small Planet), Dr. Forrest Lundeen (Caine Mutiny Court-Martial), Liliom (Liliom), Clinton
(Nude with Violin), Charlie Castle (The Big Knife), Mark Antony (Julius Caesar), Falucio (Twelfth Night), McDuff (Macbeth), Puck (A Midsummer’s Night Dream), Tommy (The Hasty Heart), Joe (The Tender Trap), El Gallo (The Fantasticks), Warren (Death of a Hired Man), Blore (Ten Little Indians), Howard (Death of a Salesman), Howard (Picnic), Carl Magnus (A Little Night Music), Danny (Night Must Fall), William Desmond Taylor (Mack and Mabel), Butler (Something’s Afoot), Lieutenant Skrack (West Side Story), Dr. Seward (Dracula), Caiphus (Jesus Christ Superstar), Jud (Oklahoma), Monsiewer (The Hostage), Roger (I Do Not Like Thee, Dr. Fell), Henry Upjohn (How He Lied to Her Husband), Father O’Shea (Red Wine of Love), Jerry Carey (A Pound on Demand), Hives (Animals Crackers), Stanley Kubiak (North Shore Blues), Bart Fallon (Spreading the News), Lou Graziano (Breaking Legs), Dwight Babcock (Mame), Anthony Kirby, Sr. (You Can’t Take It With You), Elisha J. Whitney (Anything Goes), Baptista/Harry Trevor (Kiss Me Kate), Mordcha (Fiddler on the Roof), Dwight Babcock (Auntie Mame), Bravo (The Bad Seed), Erronius (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum), Ben Weatherstaff (The Secret Garden), Christmas Present (Ebeneezer), Mr. Franklin (Children of a Lesser God), Barnaby (The Baker’s Wife), Gottfried Von Swieten (Amadeus), Gaston (Picasso at the Lapin Agile), Dan Bell (Chad Morton’s Christmas Special), Less Kennkat (Boy Get Girl), Colonel Sanders (Alive and Dead in Indiana), Reg//Minister (The Full Monty), H.C. Curry (110 in the Shade), Lt., Shrank (West Side Story), Will (Oklahoma), Pops/Cigar (Gypsy), Flasher/Principal/Store Owner (Hairspray), Doctor/Starkeeper (Carousel), Norman Thayer (On Golden Pond), Sidney Redlitch (Bell, Book, and Candle).

Jim Leonard has directed stage productions of the following: A Streetcar Named Desire (Silver Sage Theatre which he founded, Boise Idaho), A Hatful of Rain (Silver Sage Theatre), Jane Eyre (Silver Sage Theatre), Strange Gate (Silver Sage Theatre), Night of Terror (Silver Sage Theatre), Star Crost (Silver Sage Theatre), Dorian Gray (Silver Sage Theatre), Julius Caesar (Silver Sage Theatre), Caine Mutiny Court-martial (Silver Sage Theatre Guild), Night Must Fall (Act IV), You Can’t Take It With You (Act IV), Traveling Show (Act IV), The Tiger (Oak Park Theatre Guild), Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (Oak Park Theatre Guild), Curious Savage (Oak Park Theatre Guild), Come Back Little Sheba (Oak Park Village Players), Our Town (Oak Park Village Players), Stage Struck (Oak Park Village Players), Same Time Next Year (Centre Theatre, River Forest, IL), I Do Not Like Thee, Dr. Fell (Irish Theatre Guild, Chicago, IL), Say Cheese! (Irish Theatre Guild), Driving Miss Daisy (Sabre Room Dinner Playhouse), On Golden Pond (Paradise Playhouse), Bell, Book, and Candle (Paradise Playhouse).

Children’s Shows Jim has directed: The Toy Soldier, A King Was Born, the Gift, Pinnochio, Winnie The Pooh, The House at Pooh Corner, The Wizard of Oz, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Ice Castle, Nicolo and Nicolette.

Television productions Jim has directed: Caine Mutiny Court-Martial (KBOI-TV), The Tender Trap (KBOI-TV).

Commercials for TV/Radio Jim has acted or done voice overs: U. S. Products on radio, International Harvester (Industrial), Fountain Flo TV (Candace Productions), IBM Industrial film (Universal Training Systems), American Bowling Association Spring Bowl.

Jim’s Technical Experience: Tech Coordinator (stan Kenton Review USO Show), Industrial Show, Emcee & Coordinator Miss Idaho Pageant, Set Design (Stars and Stripes USO Show) and Jim has done sound, light, and set design for numerous shows.

Jim’s Education: Speech/Drama Major, Apprenticeship under Howard Headrick, Director Actors’ Workshop Tech Corporation.

Jim is a seven time “Sam Award” winner from the Village Players of Oak Park. He has worked with/or under the direction of: Stan Kenton, Rita Moreno, Homer and Jethro, John Agar, and John Russell. He has been a substitute drama instructor in the Oak Park Recreation Dept.

He has been an extra and stand in for films and TV: V.I Warshawski, U.S. Marshals, Under The Influence. He’s also acted in improvisational murdermystery party events for Amundson Enterprises, and Murder Most Fun. He was part of: VFW Operation Christmas Cheer Variety Show at Great Lakes Naval Training Center, Pendragon Players Readers Theatre traveling show: Sherlock Holmes, Edgar Allan Poe, War of the Worlds. And was in the independent film The Name of God. He is master of many dialects and impressions.