August Wilson Monologue Competition Held at August Wilson Theatre May 5; Kenny Leon Emcees Free Event | Playbill

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News August Wilson Monologue Competition Held at August Wilson Theatre May 5; Kenny Leon Emcees Free Event The 5th Annual August Wilson Monologue Competition, featuring high school students from throughout the country performing monologues by the late Wilson, is held May 5 at 7 PM at the August Wilson Theatre.

Director Kenny Leon
Director Kenny Leon Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

The evening's emcee is Tony nominee Kenny Leon, who directed Wilson's Fences, Radio Golf and Gem of the Ocean

The judges include Pauletta Washington, Tony nominee Stephen McKinley Henderson (Fences, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom), David Cromer (A Raisin in the Sun, The House of Blue Leaves), James A. Williams (Radio Golf) and Narda E. Alcorn (Fences, Joe Turner's Come and Gone). 

The evening also includes performances by Saul Williams, Christopher Jackson and Ben Thompson, from the upcoming Broadway Tupac Shakur musical Holler If Ya Hear Me.

This year's competition affords students the opportunity to attend a Broadway show and work closely with  Leon and dramaturg Todd Kreidler, two of Wilson's closest collaborators. 

The first place winner receives a $1,000 cash prize, the runner-up a $500 cash prize and the honorable mention a $250 cash prize. Each of the winners also becomes eligible for college scholarship opportunities, and all finalists receive the gift of TCG's Century Cycle collection. Founded in 2007, the Annual August Wilson Monologue Competition aims to expose a new generation to the life's work and artistic legacy of the 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.

Artists who have served as performers, judges and guests are Phylicia Rashad, Russell Hornsby, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Scott Rudin, Guy Davis, Lynda Gravatt, Keith Randolph Smith, Tamara Tunie, Katori Hall, Maurice Hines, Roslyn Ruff, Crystal Dickinson, Brandon J. Dirden, Chris Chalk, LaTanya Richardson, Heather Alicia Simms, Pauletta Washington and Mykelti Williamson.

The Monologue Competition is also featured in "The Start of Dreams," a documentary directed by The Horne Brothers.

The event is free and open to the public.

Visit for more information.

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