Leo A Esses

Leo A. Esses is the author of 9 full-length plays, a play trilogy, short stories, and two novels yet to be published. His first play, “Discovery,” was selected by Playwrights Horizons as part of its staged “script-in-hand” readings series and had a public reading at the Beckett Theatre on 42nd Street in New York. It was also chosen for the Streisand Festival of New Plays, a paid subscription series of staged readings at the 300 seat Hahn Cosmopolitan Theatre in San Diego, CA.
“Discovery” depicts the crisis faced by a Catholic woman when she learns she has Jewish ancestors who were expelled from Spain in 1492 during the Spanish Inquisition. Her decision to convert to Judaism ignites a controversy amongst friends and family forcing her to choose between the most important one in her life or attaining self-fulfillment.

His second play, “An Ideal Deception,” takes the true events of Jonathan Pollard, an American accused and sentenced to life imprisonment in 1985 for spying on Israel's behalf against America, and makes a number of changes in order to dramatize the themes of sacrifice, loyalty and deception. It was first showcased in Great Neck, New York and then moved to New Jersey for an equity Showcase production. It was chosen out of 150 play submissions for a staged reading at the JET Theatre, an equity theatre, in West Bloomfield, Michigan.

Leo's third play, “J'Accuse,” was inspired by the Dreyfus Affair, the case of a Jewish Army Captain falsely accused and convicted of spying for the German Embassy in France at the end of the nineteenth century. “J'Accuse” had its first public reading in 2005 in New York. In June 2011, another reading was held in NYC.

He recently finished writing a trilogy, also inspired by a series of true events and personalities in the distant past. The first part of which had a professional reading in New York in January 2014.
Leo is an alumnus of Playwrights Horizons Theatre School. He has studied Drama with award winning playwrights Arthur Kopit, Neil Bell and Jeffrey Sweet, and fiction with Walter Miller (head of NYU Fiction Writing Program).