- ABOUT US
GREAT LEAP, INC.
Lynn Manning was born in Fresno and raised in Los Angeles. Lynn is an award winning playwright, poet, actor, and former World Champion of Blind Judo. He has been totally blind since 1978, when he was shot in the face by an unknown attacker.
Lynn is currently serving his third year as California Arts Council's Artist In Residence with the Mark Taper Forum as part of the Taper's "Other Voices Project." As part of his residency, he conducts playwriting and storytelling workshops for the physically disabled and visually impaired. He is also a current member of The Mark Taper Forum's writer's workshop, and The Actor Studio's west coast Writers/Directors Unit. He is co-founder of the Watts Village Theater Company and also serves on the board of the Firehouse Theater Co.
The Mark Taper Forum's 2000 and 2001 "Taper Too" productions of Lynn's autobiographical one man play, WEIGHTS was critically acclaimed. The Watts Village Theater Company's World Premiere production of Lynn's THE LAST OUTPOST was equally well received in 2000. His one act plays, SHOOT, THE CONVERT, and THE COLORIZED VERSION have been produced in both Los Angeles and New York. L.A. productions of Lynn's trilogy of one acts, ON THE BLINK, and his one act double header, VISITATIONS, earned him Dramalogue Critic's Awards for playwriting (1994 and 1997, respectively). Lynn's full length ADAPTATIONS: PRIVATE BATTLE (Actor's Gang Theater, 1997) received critical acclaim; AND CENTRAL AVE. CHALK CIRCLE (Cornerstone Theater Co. 1995) received an Ovation Award for the year's Best Small Theater Production. Lynn's original full length play, LOVE IS BLIND was workshopped at The Mark taper Forum's 1996 New Works Festival and further developed at Crossroad Theater's 1998 Genesis Festival in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Lynn is currently developing a follow-up to WEIGHTS called MIDDLE PASSAGE.
While pursuing a career in the fine arts, Lynn achieved 'world class' status in competitive judo. He represented the United States in the 1988 Paralympic Games in Seoul, South Korea. Lynn went on to become the U.S. Olympic Committee's "Blind Male Athlete Of The Year" after winning the Blind Judo World Championship at the 1990 World Victory Games in Holland. He also won the first World Cup for blind judo in Italy in 1991, and took a silver medal in the 1992 Paralympics at Barcelona. Recently retired from competition, Lynn is currently Judo Representative on the Paralympic Athlete Advisory Council. He also teaches judo to blind and visually impaired students at the Braille Institute in Hollywood.
Lynn has appeared on TV shows such as Popular, Seinfeld, The Sinbad Show, and Dream On. He has been featured in commercials for Nike Shoes, Hewlett Packard, Schweppes, Bank Of America and Sprint Long Distance.
Lynn's poetry has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies: Most recently, STARING BACK (THE DISABILITY EXPERIENCE FROM THE INSIDE OUT), and GRAND PASSION, an anthology of Los Angeles poets. His solo spoken word CD, CLARITY OF VISION was released on New Alliance Records in 1994.
Manning is a featured performer with Great Leaps productions of A Slice of Rice, Frijoles and Greens.
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