Lee Summers trained as an actor at HBCU Tennessee State University, performing leading roles in classic works ranging from Molière to Ibsen to Tennessee Williams and more. Since then, Summers has worked in major American repertory theatres, performed numerous roles for daytime and primetime TV, including Blue Bloods, Boardwalk Empire, New York Undercover, and Law and Order, and appeared in films such as Malcolm X, directed by Spike Lee. As a musical theatre performer, Summers made his Broadway debut in the original Dreamgirls; he later reprised his role in the Dreamgirls 20th Anniversary Concert alongside Audra McDonald, Billy Porter, Heather Headley, Adriane Lenox, and other Broadway notables.
Summers has also appeared in numerous Off-Broadway productions, including On Kentucky Avenue, for which he was nominated for the 2018 AUDELCO award for Best Supporting Actor. Summers has toured the US and Europe and has also performed at Carnegie Hall.
As an award-winning director, Summers has directed musicals for the National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) and the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) along with countless New York and regional theatres, including Milwaukee Repertory, Urban Stages, The Cell Theatre, New World Stages, Aaron Davis Hall, Flushing Town Hall, and many others. Most recently, Summers directed student short films for Molloy College, while in 2020, he served as adjunct faculty and guest artist director/conceiver of an original virtual revue for NYU Steinhardt’s Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions.
As a lyricist, librettist, and composer, Summers’ works have won many awards and competitions, including selection for presentation by NAMT. His works have also been licensed and produced in New York and in theatres nationwide, including Off-Broadway’s Kirk Theatre, The Gramercy Theatre, The Kennedy Center, Milwaukee Repertory, Metro Stage in Virginia, The Arkansas Repertory Theatre, The Long Wharf Theatre, Houston’s Ensemble Theatre, Ohio’s Karamu Theatre, Indianapolis’ Phoenix Theatre, The Delaware Theatre Company, Michigan’s Meadow Brook Theatre, The Madison Theatre, Theatreworks in Palo Alto, The Triad Theatre, New World Stages, AMAS Musical Theatre, New Jersey’s Crossroads Theatre, The Alvin Ailey Center, Radio City Music Hall’s workshop spaces, and others.
Summers is an alum of Tennessee State University and holds a BA from SUNY Empire State College and an MFA from NYU Tisch. Member: AEA, SAG/AFTRA, SDC, DGA.