The event, which is free and open to the public, features high school students from Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Pittsburgh, Portland and Seattle performing monologues by the late American playwright.
Founded in 2007, the annual competition, according to press notes, "aims to expose a new generation of creative minds to the life’s work and artistic legacy of this seminal American playwright. Program participants in cities across the country encounter Wilson’s ten-play cycle and receive coaching from teaching artists as they prepare their monologues for local, city-wide and national competitions."
A panel of celebrity judges will evaluate the competitors.
The evening will also include performances by well-known Wilsonian veterans and special musical guests, to be announced.
This year's competition will afford students to attend a Broadway show, work closely with two of Wilson’s closest collaborators — director Kenny Leon and dramaturg Todd Kreidler — and explore Manhattan attractions before making their Broadway stage debuts. The two finalists from each regional city will compete, and the top contestants will be chosen to perform May 4. The first place winner will receive a $1,500 cash prize, the runner-up a $1000 cash prize and the honorable mention a $500 cash prize. Each of the winners will also become eligible for college scholarship opportunities, and all finalists receive the gift of TCG’s Century Cycle collection.
August Wilson (April 27, 1945-Oct. 2, 2005) authored Gem of the Ocean, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, The Piano Lesson, Seven Guitars, Fences, Two Trains Running, Jitney, King Hedley II and Radio Golf. These works explore the heritage and experience of African Americans, decade-by-decade, over the course of the 20th century. Wilson's plays have been produced at regional theatres across the country and all over the world, as well as on Broadway. In 2003, Wilson made his professional stage debut in his one-man show, How I Learned What I Learned. Wilson's works garnered many awards, including Pulitzer Prizes for Fences (1987); and for The Piano Lesson (1990); a Tony Award for Fences; Great Britain's Olivier Award for Jitney; as well as seven New York Drama Critics Circle Awards for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Fences, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, The Piano Lesson, Two Trains Running, Seven Guitars and Jitney.
For more information visit AugustWilsonMonologue.com.