Photo Flash: Three Local Students Top CTG's 2017 August Wilson Monologue Competition Regional Finals
Aryana Williams of Carson has placed first in the competition, earning a $500 scholarship; Alexander Villaseñor of Los Angeles took second place with a $400 scholarship; and Elija Hall of Los Angeles took third place and a $300 scholarship. Both Williams and Villaseñor will also receive a paid trip to New York City to compete in the national finals held at the August Wilson Theatre on Broadway. Hall will serve as alternate.
This is the sixth consecutive year Center Theatre Group is hosting the Southern California component of the national monologue competition. The program is designed to inspire and educate Los Angeles youth using monologues from August Wilson's "The American Century Cycle," a 10-play dramatization of the African American experience in the 20th century.
Williams, Villaseñor and Hall were selected from a pool of 12 regional finalists. The 12 students represented seven local high schools within Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties. As preparation for the national component of the competition, the three national finalists will receive master classes to workshop their monologues.
The program kicked off this season with a preliminary audition that featured 133 students in 10th, 11th or 12th-grade from 34 different high schools in Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Fifty-three of those students advanced to a semi-final round held at The Music Center Annex in December of 2016 where 12 regional finalists were selected to move forward.
AWMC is a national program presented by Kenny Leon's True Colors Theatre Company and Jujamcyn Theaters and hosted in cities throughout the country, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, New York, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Dallas and Greensboro, North Carolina. Each city runs its program differently, but each experience is designed to provide intensive learning opportunities for high school students to study and practice the craft of acting through the work of August Wilson.
The Southern California component of the August Wilson Monologue Competition is led by the Center Theatre Group Education and Community Partnerships Department. Currently one of the most active theatre education programs in the country, Education and Community Partnerships reached more than 18,000 students, teachers and community members throughout Southern California in the 2015- 2016 season.
Winner Elija Hall
The regional finalists onstage
Winners Aryana Williams, Alexander Villasenor and Elija Hall
The judges and regional finalists backstage at the Mark Taper Forum after the 2017 August Wilson Monologue Competition