Explore Bio

Lelund Durond Thompson

Lelund Durond Thompson received his BFA from North Carolina A&T State University, where he was recognized with several Paul Robeson Awards for acting. Thompson received his MFA from the CASE/Cleveland Play House Actor Training Program, where he was the first African American to graduate the program. After graduation, Thompson moved to New York City where he has continued to work professionally as an actor, writer, photographer, and coach.

He was commissioned (with Dove Award®-winning producer/writer Jason Michael Webb) to write an original musical for Classical Theater of Harlem, The First Noel, which will premiere this December at the world-famous Apollo Theater. Songs that he has written can be found on the albums Love Lead the Way (Brooklyn Tabernacle, 2013), This is the Day (JB Spiritual Singers, 2010), and Wildflower, the debut album from Tshidi Manye of Disney’s The Lion King. Another collaboration with Webb (Light It Up!, recorded by vocalist, Martha Wash) was selected by Bloomingdale’s to unveil their Christmas windows in 2011.

In 2011, Thompson founded YellaFella Entertainment and began producing and directing theater in NYC (Stephen Adly Guirgis’ Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train, Laurence Maslon’s The Devine One: Sassy Swings Tokyo, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts); serving as associate producer and Director of Photography for music videos and webseries (Homegirls); writing; and helping to coach and develop talent. His work from the photography arm of YellaFella (YF Fotography) has been published in the New York Times, in Playbills for Broadway productions, and has included shoots for Ricky Martin, Daniel Radcliffe, and Perez Hilton. Thompson also serves as personal acting coach for film and television actors such as Diane Guerrero (Orange is the New Black, Jane the Virgin) and Ato Essandoh (Django Unchained, Martin Scorsese’s Vinyl).