August Wilson Monologue Competition

Goodman Theatre and Derrick Sanders, in collaboration with the Department of Performing Arts at The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), the League of Chicago Theatres, and True Colors Theatre Company are proud to partner in presenting Chicago's August Wilson Monologue Competition.

Open to Chicago area high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors, the competition gives students an opportunity to explore and share the richness of August Wilson’s Century Cycle.

2014 Chicago Finals

Congratulations to all the 2014 finalists! The 2014 finals were held on March 10, 2014 at the Goodman Theatre. Candace Spates of Lincoln Park High School placed first, Robert Upton of Kenwood Academy placed second, and Shea Glover of Chicago High School for the Arts placed third.

The 20 Chicago finalists for 2014 were Shea Glover, Joseph Brown and Bri Palmer of CHIARTS; Amber Ortiz, Shifa Zhong and Jahleigh Bullie of Gallery 37 Advanced Arts Education; Sejahari Saulter-Villegas, Kenneth Hastings and Robert Uptown of Kenwood Academy; Amber Mitchell and Danyelle Monson of King College Prep; Kiah McKirnan, Candace Spates, Corbin Ford and Daniel Moltz of Lincoln Park High School; Clarissa Troncoso, Julio Munoz and Justus Eason of Schurz; and Charnnia Jones and Janessa Colquitt of Southland College Prep.

Students were asked to perform a 2-3 minute monologue of their choosing from one of the ten plays in August Wilson’s Century Cycle. Esteemed judges for the 2014 Chicago Finals included Alana Arenas, Regina Taylor, Lydia Diamond and Anthony Irons. 20 finalists selected from more than 230 participants across 25 Chicago area schools advanced to the Chicago finals and competed for the top three spots in the National finals.

The top three finalists participated in the National Finals on May 5, 2014 at Broadway's August Wilson Theatre in New York City. The finals included a weekend of activities around the competition. National prizes included scholarships of $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place and $250 for honorable mention.

We are thrilled to announce that Robert Upton of Kenwood Academy took home the second place prize at the National August Wilson Monologue Competition! 2014 marked the 5th year in a row that a Chicago student has placed in the National Finals.

About the Competition

To be considered, students must complete the application form and register for a time during the preliminary round. Students are asked to 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 on the basis of preparedness, understanding of the text, emotional connection to the material, and commitment to the performance.

The top three participants in Chicago receive $500, $250, and $100 scholarships, respectively and the opportunity to compete in the national finals in New York City.

2015 Application and Dates

Click here to download the 2015 August Wilson Monologue Competition Application.
Application Deadline: January 26th, 2015. Space is limited. Apply today!

2015 Preliminary Auditions:

February 9th at Court Theatre, 10am - 3:30pm
February 10th at Victory Gardens Theater, 10am - 3:30pm
February 11th at Court Theatre, 10am - 3:30pm

2015 Semi-Finals:
February 23rd at University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Theatre and Music, 1 - 5pm

2015 Finals:
March 10th at Goodman Theatre, 6 - 9pm

August Wilson Compendium

1 - Gem of the Ocean
2 - Joe Turner's Come and Gone
3 - Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
4 - The Piano Lesson
5 - Seven Guitars
6 - Fences
7 - Two Trains Running
8 - Jitney
9 - King Hedley II
10 - Radio Golf

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
Two Trains Running
King Hedley II
Radio Golf

For more about the Century Cycle, click here. For more information about this competition, please contact Ana Velazquez at 773.484.0474.