DOROTHY LEEDS Performer / Playwright / and More
Wearing multiple hats, Dorothy Leeds is a performing artist and a best selling author/speaker. Dorothy claims she does
two things well: entertain and educate. These two fields of endeavor have been part of her life since her pre-teens,
when she performed Emily in Our Town. Margaret Craske, then ballet mistress of American Ballet Theatre, was in the audience and claimed that Dorothy had more stage presence than any performer she had ever seen. This was
enough to set Dorothy dreaming of a theatrical career. As a theatre major, she was the first freshman in the history
of Northwestern University to secure a lead in a play. In college and summer stock she played roles as diverse as
Jeannie in Brigadoon and Aunt Penniman in The Heiress. Then off she went to Manhattan and started studying and
auditioning with fervor and fury. Dorothy became a song and dance gal, landing her first Broadway credit in
Stop the World I Want to Get Off. She continued honing her craft in such diverse venues as The Tonight Show,
commercials, industrial shows, films, and children’s theatre.
Retiring from the theatre, or so she thought, Leeds raised a family, started a knitwear company, and had a successful
career in advertising. Although committed to her theatrical hat, she also enjoyed her education chapeau and started
giving lectures on how to market yourself. A program director from the American Management Association attended
and convinced Dorothy to enter the world of business. As her business success grew, Dorothy donned her author hat
and wrote twelve books, including: PowerSpeak, Smart Questions, and The 7 Powers of Questions (endorsed on the
front cover by New York’s Mayor Bloomberg himself).
However, you can’t take show business out of a performer, and Dorothy’s theatrical side was always bubbling beneath
the surface. Combining her show biz background with her business savvy, she created “infotainment,” integrating
music, rhyme, engaging characters, songs, and rap in her lectures, keynotes, and workshops.
During this time, Dorothy was a featured guest on more than 250 radio stations nationwide and appeared frequently
on broadcast and cable television including: The Today Show, Good Morning America, FX, Nightly Business Report
(PBS), and The Tonight Show. She has written for and/or been featured in articles in such publications as The New
York Times, Success, The LA Times, The Daily News, Glamour, Self, USA Today, Forbes, Cosmopolitan, and Business Week.
She hosted her own radio talk show on WEHM East Hampton and co-hosted an award-winning public affairs show,
Best Talk, on Channel 11, the Super Channel in New York City.
Three years ago she awoke with the title Good Lessons from Bad Women in her head and realized this was to be her
mission. Collaborating with award-winning playwright and Lila Acheson Fellow at Julliard, Daphne Greaves, she crafted
Good Lessons from Bad Women, which premiered in 2006 at the University of Wisconsin. Since then Dorothy has
performed to enthusiastic audiences and received only exceptional reviews at performance venues like The Smoot
Theatre, Brookhaven National Labs Theatre, Harper College, and The Bronx Public Library. She is an active member of
Actor’s Equity Association, The Dramatists Guild, AFTRA, and The League of Professional Theatre Women. In addition,
she is the author of the play, Venus Di Milo Doesn’t Have Arms.
Never one to rest on her laurels, one of Dorothy’s “in progress” projects is securing corporate sponsorship for Ones Upon
a Stage, a touring festival of one-person plays. She is also at work producing a version of Good Lessons from Bad
Women with a cast consisting of well-known actresses who are seeking meaty, challenging roles in an ensemble