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Leon Weinstein (September 17, 1949), born Leonid Alexander Weinstein in Leningrad, USSR (now St Petersburg, Russia). Playwright, theater director and producer, author of political articles and books, including “Looking for Hugh: The Capitalist guidebook” and “Capitalism 101: My Tea Party Principles,” and a co-creator of Limited Editions Fayums.
I. Education and early years:
Leon started his career in theater while in high school. He wrote several plays and staged them with students of nearby Theater College (LGITMIK), as well as produced and directed several short films with students and faculty of The Motion Picture Engineers College (LIKI). Leon studied in LIKI for 2 years until he was transferred to the Culture University of Leningrad from which he graduated with MA in Performing Arts in 1973.
Staring 1968 Leon combined studies in the University with work as an assistant director on major film productions at the Leningrad Film Studio “Lenfilm” as well as continued to direct plays in student theaters, including award winning productions in LIIZHT.
In 1974 Leon emigrated from the USSR to Israel, where he completed a pre-doctoral study at the Department of Dramatic Arts of the Ramat Aviv University, and in 1976 organized Educational Theater for Youth of Tel Aviv. He directed six of his own plays and was twice nominated for the Best Children’s Show of the year.
In 1984-86 Leon staged two of his plays in the Jewish Museum of New York and at the Lincoln Center for The Performing Arts also in New York, and another play in The Los Angeles Theater Center in Los Angeles.
In 1986 Leon was invited to organize programs for children & youth at The National Jewish News TV/Radio Network based in Los Angeles and permanently moved to California.
III. Political activities:
In Israel Leon was actively involved in electing of a right of the center Likud coalition into Knesset (Israeli Parliament). Starting 1989 Leon began to take active part in establishing ties between Post-Soviet Russia and his newly adopted homeland – the United States of America. In 1990 he initiated sister city relations between St Petersburg and Los Angeles and co-founded several companies with operations in both countries, including Trada Enterprises, LeoMar International and Weinstein Art Management (WAM), the latter was aimed at providing venues for artists from ex-communist counties to be seen and heard on the West. One of the projects Leon initiated was re-development of the famous Gorki Park of Moscow, and turning it into a Universal Studio type theme park.
Leon is an author of numerous short stories published in American, Russian and Israeli periodical publications, and a variety of political articles defending capitalism for numerous Internet publications. In 2009 Leon published his first political novel “Looking for Hugh” and in 2011 his textbook-like “Capitalism 101: My Tea Party Principles.”