Chicago High School Students to Compete in 4th Annual August Wilson Monologue Competition Semifinals, 2/11

The August Wilson Monologue Competition, sponsored by The League of Chicago Theatres, Goodman Theatre, and the University of Illinois at Chicago, and organized in Chicago by Derrick Sanders, will hold the Chicago Semi Finals on February 11, 2013, from 1:00pm-5:00pm at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Theatre and Music, 1044 West Harrison St. The Chicago Finals will be March 11, 2013 at 6pm at the Goodman Theatre, 170 North Dearborn St.

The August Wilson Monologue Competition is a national competition open to all high school students. The top three monologues from among the Chicago contestants will be awarded scholarships in the amount of $500 for first place, $250 for second place and $100 for third place. Each of the three winning students will also have expenses paid to travel to New York City for the national finals.

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. For more information on the Chicago competition, visit: http://chicagoplays.com/august-wilson-monologue-competition.html.

Participation in the national finals, May 5 and 6, 2013, includes a weekend of activities around the competition. National prizes include scholarships of $1000 for first place, $500 for second place and $250 for honorable mention. Last year, Christian Helem of the Chicago High School for the Arts who placed first in Chicago, took Second Place in the national finals. Janyce Caraballo also of Chicago High School for the Arts and Jonathan Nieves, of Schurz High School who placed second and third, respectively, in Chicago also competed in New York.

"Each year we are so proud to see the legacy of August Wilson grow in Chicago with young people being exposed to his plays and learning his monologues. And each year we are thrilled that students from Chicago place so highly in the National Competition," says Derrick Sanders.

Open to Chicago area high school sophomores, juniors and seniors, the August Wilson Monologue Competition focuses on exposing students to the richness of August Wilson's Century Cycle, and incorporating the plays into the standard high school curriculum. Regional competitions will also take place in Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Boston, and New York. The Chicago preliminary auditions were held January 25, 2013 at Victory Gardens Theatre, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., and January 28 at Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave.

Chicago's participation in this national event is coordinated by Derrick Sanders, who hopes to continue building robust partnerships with schools across Chicago, encouraging the adoption of August Wilson's work into the standard curriculum. These partnerships create educational opportunities that allow students to connect to August Wilson and his work through the study of history, social studies and literature.

Chicago theatre is the leader in the U.S. with more than 250 theatres throughout Chicagoland, comprising a rich and varied community ranging from storefront, non-union theaters to the most renowned resident theatres in the country, including 5 that have been honored with Regional Tony Awards, and the largest touring Broadway organization in the nation. Chicago's theatres serve 5 million audience members annually and have a combined budget of more than $250 million. Chicago produces and/or presents more world premieres annually than any other city in the nation. In 2009-10 alone, Chicago theatre companies produced more than 130 world premiere productions and adaptations. Each year, Chicago theatres send new work to resident theatres across the country, to Broadway, and around the world.

The League of Chicago Theatres is an alliance of theatres which leverages its collective strength to promote, support, and advocate for Chicago's theatre industry locally, nationally, and internationally. The League of Chicago Theatres Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the art of theatre in the Chicago area through audience development and support services for theatres and theatre professionals. For more information, www.chicagoplays.com.



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