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Q. Smith Hosts LEAP's August Wilson Monologue Competition

Q. Smith Hosts LEAP's August Wilson Monologue Competition

Q. Smith, featured cast member of Broadway's Come From Away, is set to host the 10th annual New York City August Wilson Monologue Competition, sponsored by LEAP (Learning through an Expanded Arts Program, Inc.). A total of 16 LEAP students from eight New York City high schools in four boroughs will inhabit Wilson's extraordinary characters and provide their unique interpretations. Tony Chiroldes, original Broadway cast member of In the Heights, will be a featured singer as well. The exciting presentation begins at 7 pm on Monday, March 5, and will be held on Stage 2 of New World Stages, 340 W. 50th St., New York, N.Y., off 8th Avenue. The event is free to the public.

Through a comprehensive LEAP artist residency, students are immersed in Wilson's Century Cycle, 10 plays chronicling the African-American experience in the 20th century, and choose the monologues that speak to them. This competition is the culmination of LEAP's August Wilson Program, and is part of a nationwide initiative, which introduces new generations of high school students to the works of the renowned playwright (winner of two Pulitzer Prizes), while exploring African-American history and his legacy. Two winners will be chosen from these 16 contestants to move on to the National August Wilson Competition (held May 7, 7 pm, at the August Wilson Theatre on Broadway, presented by Kenny Leon's True Colors Theatre Company, Jujamcyn Theaters, Delta Air Lines and Aetna, and hosted by Leon himself).

LEAP's NYC judges include accomplished directors and actors from Broadway and Off Broadway: Terry Berliner, Jessica Frances Dukes, Jolie Garrett, Gary John La Rosa and Jamil A.C. Mangan.

"For these students, the citywide competition is a highlight of the year," says Michael Perreca, LEAP's Director of Advancement. "The exploration and performance of these works takes students on a journey that taps into their personal creativity and brings them from curiosity to confidence. They shine in remarkable ways and it's thrilling to witness."

Student semi-finalists come from the following schools:
QUEENS: Hillcrest High School
MANHATTAN: Repertory Company High School for Theatre Arts, Millennium High School
BRONX: Belmont Preparatory High School
BROOKLYN: Edward R. Murrow High School, EBC High School for Public Service, Juan Morel Campos Secondary School, Spring Creek Community School

LEAP's August Wilson Program and Competition is made possible by Time Warner, the Applebaum Foundation, Axe-Houghton Foundation, Michael Tuch Foundation, Richenthal Foundation, Rosenthal Family Foundation and Ted Snowdon Foundation. Funding is also provided by the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

For reservations and information, go to www.eventbrite.com/e/leaps-august-wilson-monologue-competition-tickets-43107381338 or contact Alexandra Constas, Advancement Coordinator, 212-769-4160 ext. 106, Alex@leapnyc.org. For more information about LEAP's programs, visit leapnyc.org.


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