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12th Annual August Wilson Monologue Competition To Hold Virtual National Finals Celebration

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12th Annual August Wilson Monologue Competition To Hold Virtual National Finals Celebration

Leon's True Colors Theatre Company and Jujamcyn Theaters have announced today that the 12th Annual August Wilson Monologue Competition will cancel its in-person ceremony (originally scheduled for Monday, May 4th) and shift to a virtual celebration in light of the ongoing health crisis.

Instead of gathering in person in New York, the 28 Finalists will instead gather online on May 2nd and 3rd to celebrate their work this year as a group, to perform for each other, and to engage with celebrated theatre artists for seminars and master classes.

On Saturday, May 2, students will gather for introductions, conversations with competition co-founders Kenny Leon and Todd Kreidler, and a series of virtual masterclasses with teaching artists.

On Sunday, May 3, students will virtually meet with AWMC alumni for a college- and career choice-focused panel. This will be followed by a panel discussion with Russell Hornsby (Jitney, The Hate U Give), Tony Award nominated costume designer and August Wilson's widow Constanza Romero, Roslyn Ruff (Help, Fairview) and Senior Vice President of Jujamcyn Theaters Jack Viertel. The day will conclude with an opportunity for students to perform their prepared monologues for each other, hosted by Russell Hornsby and Roslyn Ruff.

Founded in 2007, the Annual National 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, citywide and national competitions.

The annual event, which is usually held at the August Wilson Theatre and is free and open to the public, features high school students from Atlanta, Georgia; Boston, Massachusetts; Buffalo, New York; Chicago, Illinois; Dallas, Texas; Greensboro, North Carolina; Los Angeles, California; New Haven, Connecticut; New York, New York; Norfolk, Virginia; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Portland, Oregon; San Diego, California, and Seattle, Washington performing monologues by the late, legendary American playwright.

In past years, winners were selected by a panel of celebrity judges. Among those who have previously lent their support as performers, judges and guests are Danielle Brooks, Phylicia Rashad, Russell Hornsby, Scott Rudin, Guy Davis, Lynn Nottage, Lynda Gravatt, Keith Randolph Smith, Tamara Tunie, Katori Hall, Maurice Hines, Crystal Dickinson, Chris Chalk, LaTanya Richardson, Heather Alicia Simms, and Mykelti Williamson, among others. This year, all performances will be celebrated with no judging component.

Giving Voice, a new documentary following the Annual August Wilson Monologue Competition, recently screened at Sundance, where it took home the Audience Choice Award. Directed by James D. Stern and Fernando Villena, Giving Voice follows the lives of six students as they meticulously develop their individual performances with the hopes of embodying August Wilson's legacy. More information on Giving Voice will be announced shortly.

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