The evening will feature 12 high school students, competitors from the regional finals in Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Chicago and New York, performing monologues from August Wilson’s Century Cycle. The event will be held at Broadway’s August Wilson Theatre and is presented by Broadway director Kenny Leon and Kenny Leon's True Colors Theatre Company, in collaboration with Jujamcyn Theaters.
The students will perform a two-three minute monologue of their choosing from one of the ten plays in August Wilson's Century Cycle. They will be judged on the basis of preparedness, understanding of the text, emotional connection to the material and commitment to the performance. The winner will receive a $500 scholarship and the runner-up a $250 scholarship. All finalists will receive a hardbound book of August Wilson's plays.
“We decided a way to keep August alive is to bring these plays to the young people by having them compete, demonstrating confidence and learning the history,” said Kenny Leon in a statement. “It's a personal thing to give to August, but it's more an American thing because August Wilson is one of the greatest Americans I know of.”
The final competition will be judged by playwright Regina Taylor, costume designer Constanza Romero, and actors Russell Hornsby and Mykelti Williamson. The collage was assembled by Todd Kreidler, associate artistic director for True Colors and Wilson's dramaturg, and gives us a taste of characters from all ten plays in the Cycle as they riff, muse and wonder at love, according to press notes.
August Wilson's Century Cycle is a ten-play series, and each play documents a decade in the history of African-American culture during the 20th century. It begins with Gem of the Ocean in 1904, through Radio Golf in 1997. Wilson’s play Fences is currently being revived on Broadway starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis.
The August Wilson Monologue Competition National Finals will take place at 7 PM on May 3. The August Wilson Theatre is located at 245 West 52nd St.
For more information, visit http://truecolorstheatre.org.