The League of Chicago Theatres, Goodman Theatre, and Broadway In Chicago to sponsor the August Wilson Monologue Competition
Nine hundred high school students are expected to participate in the 2018 August Wilson Monologue Competition in Chicago, which includes in-school workshops and two rounds of competition (preliminaries and semi-finals), culminating locally in the Chicago finals at the Broadway Playhouse, 175 E Chestnut on February 26, 2018. The top two winners of the Chicago finals will compete in the National Finals at the August Wilson Theatre on Broadway on May 7, 2018.
The August Wilson Monologue Competition is sponsored by The League of Chicago Theatres, Goodman Theatre, and Broadway In Chicago, and organized in Chicago by Derrick Sanders. Open to Chicago area high school sophomores, juniors and seniors, the August Wilson Monologue Competition focuses on exposing students to the richness of August Wilson’s Century Cycle, and incorporating the plays into the standard high school curriculum. Coordinator Derrick Sanders hopes to continue building robust partnerships with schools across Chicago, creating educational opportunities that allow students to connect to August Wilson and his work through the study of history, social studies and literature.
Now in its ninth year, most students come to the competition through programs at their schools, after-school programs and education programs at local professional theatres. This year, teaching artists funded by the Allstate Foundation will be brought into DRW College Prep, Young Women's Leadership Charter School and Perspectives Leadership Charter School. There will also be workshops held for students and teachers open to all.
Twenty students will participate in the final round in Chicago. Three Chicago finalists will receive cash scholarships and the first and second place winners will receive an all-expense paid trip to New York to compete in the finals. The winner of the Chicago finals is also awarded a partial scholarship to attend the University of Illinois Chicago’s School of Theatre and Music. The top two finalists will receive additional coaching before competing in the national competition in New York, where they will participate in a weekend of activities around the competition and national prizes including monetary awards and scholarship opportunities. In six of the eight years, Chicago has had a student place in the top three national finalists.
For the Chicago and National competition, students perform a 2-3-minute monologue of their choosing from one of the ten plays in August Wilson’s Century Cycle. They are adjudicated by a panel of Chicago theatre professionals based on preparedness, understanding of the text, emotional connection to the material, and commitment to the performance.
The AWMC is made possible with support from Allstate.
The finals at the Broadway Playhouse on February 26, 2018 are free and open to the public, please call 312-554-9800 for ticket information. The preliminary rounds will be held at Victory Gardens Theater on February 5 and the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts on February 6 and 7, 2018. The Semi-final competition will be hosted by the UIC School of Theatre and Music on February 14, 2018. Regional competitions also take place in Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Boston, New York City, Buffalo, Los Angeles, New Haven, Portland, OR and Greensboro, NC.
For more information about the Chicago competition, visit: http://chicagoplays.com/august-wilson-monologue-competition.html.
About the Century Cycle
August Wilson’s Century Cycle is a singular achievement in American theatre. Each of the ten world-class plays is set in a different decade of the twentieth century. At the plays’ core are soaring, lyrical monologues that take the rich song, laughter, and pain of the African American experience and place it in the mouths of the most varied ensemble of characters written since Shakespeare. The plays of the Century Cycle are: 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.
About the League of Chicago Theatres
The League of Chicago Theatres is an alliance of theatres which leverages its collective strength to promote, support, and advocate for Chicago's theatre industry locally, nationally, and internationally. The League of Chicago Theatres Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the art of theatre in the Chicago area through audience development and support services for theatres and theatre professionals. For a comprehensive list of Chicago productions, visit the League of Chicago Theatres website, ChicagoPlays.com. Half-price tickets are available each week at HotTix.org.
About Goodman Theatre
Called America’s “Best Regional Theatre” by Time magazine, Goodman Theatre (Artistic Director Robert Falls and Executive Director Roche Schulfer) has won international recognition for its artists, productions and programs, and is a major cultural, educational and economic pillar in Chicago. Founded in 1925 by William O. Goodman and his family in honor of their son Kenneth, Goodman Theatre has garnered hundreds of awards for artistic achievement and community engagement, including: two Pulitzer Prizes, 22 Tony Awards (including “Outstanding Regional Theatre” in 1992), nearly
160 Joseph Jefferson Awards and more. Goodman Theatre, was the first theater in the world to produce all 10 plays in Wilson’s acclaimed Century Cycle—including world premiere productions of Seven Guitars (1995) and Gem of the Ocean (2003). Visit GoodmanTheatre.org.
About Broadway In Chicago
Broadway In Chicago was created in July 2000 and over the past 17 years has grown to be one of the largest commercial touring homes in the country. A Nederlander Presentation, Broadway In Chicago lights up the Chicago Theater District entertaining well up to 1.7 million people annually in five theatres. Broadway In Chicago presents a full range of entertainment, including musicals and plays, on the stages of five of the finest theatres in Chicago’s Loop including the Cadillac Palace Theatre, CIBC Theatre, Oriental Theatre, and just off the Magnificent Mile, the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place and presenting Broadway shows at The Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. In addition to sponsoring the August Wilson Monologue Competition, Broadway In Chicago also sponsors the Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards. For more information, visit www.BroadwayInChicago.com.
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