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August Wilson monologue contest seeks high school participants

12/20/2013, 6:01 a.m.
Contestants in the monologue competition get to work with professional acting coaches as they hone their technique.

High school students with a passion for the arts can explore the monologues of a famous American playwright in the 8th Annual August Wilson Monologue Competition sponsored by Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theater and Jujamcyn Theaters.

The competition, which is open to students in grades 9-12, focuses on the plays of Wilson’s Century Cycle – 10 plays written for each decade in the 1900s.

Each play is set in a different decade of the 20th century, and the soaring, lyrical monologues place the song, laughter, pain and rich content of African-American life in the mouths of a varied ensemble of characters.

Students select and perform a two- to three-minute monologue from one of Wilson’s Century Cycle plays.

Atlanta winners vie for a free trip to the August Wilson Theatre on Broadway to participate in a weekend devoted to Wilson; exploring Broadway and New York City, and to compete in the competition's final round for scholarships of $1,500, $750 and $500.

In New York, they will vie with finalists from Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Pittsburgh, Portland and Seattle.

All finalists get a hardbound anthology of all 10 Wilson plays.

A performance background is not required for participation, and there is no GPA requirement or cost to apply.

The deadline to apply is Jan. 6.

Wilson’s work, which reflects the social backdrop of American history, is an important part of American literature.

Competitors attend free workshops to help them to prepare for the preliminary auditions.

Those advancing in the competition get to perform onstage at the Rialto Center for the Arts in Atlanta.

To apply, visit http://tinyurl.com/AWMC2014app, www.augustwilsonmonologue.com, and http://tinyurl.com/AWMC-StartOfDreams; email education@truecolorstheatre.org; or call 404-532-1901, Ext. 214.