As a working artist, I want to give other artists and venues the information and savvy they need in order to entertain audiences and receive compensation commiserate with their talent.
I believe, like my Grandmother told me, “Anything worth doing, is worth doing well.” I continually push to the next level of performance, the next level of learning about this thing called art. Much like in the struggle for equality, you never spike the ball. There is always something you didn’t know, or haven’t tried.
Leslie M. Scott-Jones, born in 1973 in Charlottesville, Virginia. Ms. Scott-Jones is a woman of African, Irish, and Native American heritage that she has traced back to the late 1700’s. She is a director, writer, singer, actress, and producer of art.
She studied theater education at VCU and Theatre Administration at Howard University. Leslie has been writing, acting and directing since her teens. The world premiere of her first play, which she wrote, produced and directed, Desire Moments was part of the 2014 Capital Fringe Festival. She has gone on to write several plays, novellas, and short stories which can all be found on Amazon. Book Ends, her first full length novel, hit the shelves Valentine’s Day Weekend 2016.
Leslie has been active in Charlottesville community theater for over ten years. In 2009 she played Emilia in Shakespeare’s Othello at Four County Players. In 2010 she played Esther in Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage at Live Arts, was part of an ensemble improv cast in a devised piece called Child Bearing Hipsters and No Sex Please, We’re British at Play On!. From 2011 to 2015 Leslie worked mostly on devised theater and staged readings, pausing in 2012 to direct For Colored Girls… by Ntozake Shange at Play On!.
She became the Artistic Director of the Charlottesville Players Guild, an all Black theatre company in 2016. In 2019 she played Queen Gertrude in her own adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet called Hambone. Under the leadership of Dr. Andrea Douglas, the Executive Director of the Jefferson School African-American Heritage Center which the Guild calls home, CPG has embarked on a mission to produce all ten of August Wilson’s Century Cycle. Leslie has starred in Fences playing the part of Rose, directed Jitney, stage managed The Piano Lesson and produced Joe Turner’s Come and Gone by August Wilson. She played Louise in Seven Guitars by August Wilson which ran in November 2017 with UVa.’s Drama Department. In 2019 she directed The Royale by Marco Ramirez at Live Arts.
Not limiting herself to fiction, Leslie has written reviews and thought pieces for CNN, Cville Weekly and Vinegar Hill Magazine as well as writing a contributing essay for a study guide to Ifa Bayeza’s work Benevolence for the 2019 Penumbra Theatre Festival.
Leslie is the CEO & founder of EugeneMartin LLC, an artist development firm in Charlottesville, Va., which focuses on empowering artists with the tools they need to take their art to the next level. EugeneMartin is producing a limited fictional series podcast called GROUNDS which is the story of five Black professors at a predominantly white university. It highlights the struggles and joys of Black academia. You may find her other writing on Amazon.
Leslie currently resides in Charlottesville, Virginia. She is mother of two children and Mimi to two grandsons.