Photo Flash: More Shots of Winner Ashley Herbert, Denzel Washington and More at 2014 National August Wilson Monologue Competition

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Jujamcyn Theaters and True Colors Theatre Company (Kenny Leon, Co-Founding Artistic Director) have announced that Ashley Herbert from Boston has won first place at the 6th Annual August Wilson Monologue Competition held on Monday, May 5th at the August Wilson Theatre (245 West 52nd Street). Robert Upton from Chicago was the runner-up, and an honorable mention went to Atiauna Grant from Atlanta. Denzel Washington surprised the audience with a special appearance during the awards ceremony, and greeted all of the contestants afterwards. The event, which was free and open to the public, featured high school students from Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Pittsburgh, Portland and Seattle performing monologues by the late, legendary American playwright. Scroll down for photos from the competition!

Judges for the 2014 Annual August Wilson Monologue Competition included Narda E. Alcorn (stage manager), David Cromer(director/actor), Stephen McKinley Henderson (actor), Pauletta Washington (actress), and James A. Williams (actor). The evening featured a special performance from the upcoming Tupac Shakur Broadway musical Holler If Ya Hear Me, featuring actors Saul Williams,Christopher Jackson, and Ben Thompson.

Macy's provided cash scholarships, with the first place winner receiving a $1500 prize, the runner-up a $750 prize and the honorable mention a $500 prize. Delta Air Lines surprised the top three contestants by doubling their monetary awards. Each of the winners have also become eligible for college scholarship opportunities and all finalists received the gift of TCG's Century Cycle collection.

Founded in 2007, the Annual August Wilson Monologue Competition 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.

This year's competition afforded students from these cities around the country the opportunity to attend the Broadway musical After Midnight, work closely with two of Wilson's closest collaborators: director Kenny Leon and dramaturg Todd Kreidler, and explore popular Manhattan attractions before making their Broadway stage debuts. The two finalists from each regional city competed, and the top contestants were chosen to perform on the August Wilson Stage on Monday evening, May 5th.

The Monologue Competition is also featured in "The Start of Dreams", a documentary directed by The Horne Brothers. Featuring A-list actors like Denzel Washington, Samuel L. Jackson and Phylicia Rashad, "The Start of Dreams" is packed with Hollywood's elite weighing in on this important art form and what it means to the United States. The documentary has been screened at 9 festivals across the country including the Atlanta Film Festival, the Pan-African Film Festival in Los Angeles, and the UrbanWorld Festival in New York.

For more information, visit www.truecolorstheatre.org/august-wilson-monologue-competition.

Photo Credit: Gustavo Monroy/AWMC

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Photo Flash: More Shots of Winner Ashley Herbert, Denzel Washington and More at 2014 National August Wilson Monologue Competition
Contestants of the 6th Annual August Wilson Monologue Competition.

Photo Flash: More Shots of Winner Ashley Herbert, Denzel Washington and More at 2014 National August Wilson Monologue Competition
Kenny Leon emceeing the 6th Annual August Wilson Monologue Competition.

Photo Flash: More Shots of Winner Ashley Herbert, Denzel Washington and More at 2014 National August Wilson Monologue Competition
6th Annual August Wilson Monologue Competition finalists.

Photo Flash: More Shots of Winner Ashley Herbert, Denzel Washington and More at 2014 National August Wilson Monologue Competition
Overall Winner Ashley Herbert performing her monologue

Photo Flash: More Shots of Winner Ashley Herbert, Denzel Washington and More at 2014 National August Wilson Monologue Competition
Runner-up Robert Upton performing a monologue

Photo Flash: More Shots of Winner Ashley Herbert, Denzel Washington and More at 2014 National August Wilson Monologue Competition
Honorable mention Atiauna Grant performing a monologue

Photo Flash: More Shots of Winner Ashley Herbert, Denzel Washington and More at 2014 National August Wilson Monologue Competition
Semifinalists of the 6th Annual August Wilson Monologue Competition

Photo Flash: More Shots of Winner Ashley Herbert, Denzel Washington and More at 2014 National August Wilson Monologue Competition
Saul Williams, Ben Thompson, Christopher Jackson of Broadways HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME performing at the 6th Annual August Wilson Monologue Competition.

Photo Flash: More Shots of Winner Ashley Herbert, Denzel Washington and More at 2014 National August Wilson Monologue Competition
Pictured Left to Right: David Cromer, Narda E. Alcorn, Holler If Ya Hear Me's Saul Williams and Ben Thompson, Stephen McKinley Henderson, overall winner Ashley Herbert, Denzel Washington, Pauletta Washington, Holler If Ya Hear Me's Christopher Jackson, third-place winner Atiauna Grant, James A. Williams, and runner-up Robert Upton.

Photo Flash: More Shots of Winner Ashley Herbert, Denzel Washington and More at 2014 National August Wilson Monologue Competition
Denzel Washington shakes Overall Winner Ashley Herbert's hand and gives advice to participants at the 6th Annual August Wilson Monologue Competition.

Photo Flash: More Shots of Winner Ashley Herbert, Denzel Washington and More at 2014 National August Wilson Monologue Competition
Kenny Leon and Denzel Washington with Saul Williams, Christopher Jackson, and Ben Thompson of Broadway's HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME at the 6th Annual August Wilson Monologue Competition.

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