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From AccessAtlanta.com:

Kenny Leon, the Atlanta director who has dedicated his career to work that tears down the barriers that divide people, was nominated Tuesday for a Tony Award for “Fences.”

Leon’s best director nomination was one of 10 received by the Broadway revival of August Wilson’s drama, including nods for stars Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. “Fences” was also nominated for best revival of a play and for best scenic design, costume design, lighting design and other awards. (For a complete list of nominees, see the Tony Awards’ official Web site .)

“It’s been a very humbling experience this morning,” Leon said by cell phone as he walked down Broadway Tuesday afternoon, dry-throated and coughing from having taken so many congratulatory calls.

Since hearing about the multiple nominations, Leon, 54, said he’d thought a lot about his longtime friend and frequent collaborator Wilson, who died in 2005.

“I remember when August Wilson spent time in Atlanta, he said to me, ‘We’re not owed the awards, we’re only owed the work. If you just stay focused on the work, there’s enough richness in that that comes back to you and enough joy that comes back to you,'” Leon recounted. “So I’ve always let that guide me: Just be about the work, and I think finally the work has paid off.”

The musicals “Fela!” and “La Cage aux Folles” led Tony nominations with 11 each. Sahr Ngujah, who grew up in College Park, attended Tri-Cities High School and acted for Youth Ensemble of Atlanta, was nominated for best actor in a musical in the “Fela!” title role of Afrobeat musician Fela Kuti.

Leon had intended to fly to Atlanta on Tuesday in time for the final preview performance of Wilson’s “Jitney” by Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company at Southwest Arts Center Tuesday night. But “Fences” producers encouraged him to stay in New York, thinking it might score a few Tony nominations. Now, he plans to attend a Tony luncheon Wednesday and then jet to Atlanta in time for “Jitney’s” official opening Wednesday night.

The director said he took the “Fences” nominations as a sort of career confirmation. “From top to bottom, it says what I’ve been about: I’ve been about ensemble, I’ve been about trying to give a gift to the people that come to see [theater], I’ve been about diversity. And then to get honored by your colleagues in this way, it makes you realize that sometimes good guys do win.”

Winners of the 64th annual Tonys will be announced June 13. The ceremony will be televised by CBS from Radio City Music Hall.

Read the full story here.