CTG Announces 2012-13 August Wilson Program; Application Deadlines 10/11 & 22

CTG Announces 2012-13 August Wilson Program; Application Deadlines 10/11 & 22

Following the success of the 2011-2012 August Wilson program, Center Theatre Group has announced its continued participation and is now accepting applications for both facets of the program – the national August Wilson Monologue Competition and the CTG August Wilson in-school residency program.

Student applications for the August Wilson Monologue Competition are due October 11, 2012. Local in-school residency applications are due on October 22. Applications for both programs are available at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org/AugustWilson.

Center Theatre Group is proud to be the Southern California host of the August Wilson Monologue Competition (AWMC) for the second year in a row. The national competition, presented by Kenny Leon's True Colors Theatre Company and Jujamcyn Theaters, is now in its fifth year and includes students from all over the country. Students from Atlanta, New York, Chicago, Boston, Seattle and Pittsburgh will participate. Each city runs their program slightly differently, but the goal is the same: to introduce high school students to August Wilson's works and help them find their own voices.

Southern California students who wish to apply must be in grades 10, 11 or 12, reside in Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, Riverside, or San Bernardino Counties, and should be interested in studying and practicing the craft of acting, specifically through monologue performances. Each student will select a monologue to perform from August Wilson's 10-play "Century Cycle," an epic dramatization of the African-American experience in the 20th century. The preliminary monologue competition will take place at Center Theatre Group on October 20, 2012.

The semi-final competition will take place on January 19, 2013, at Los Osos High School in Rancho Cucamonga as a part of the California Educational Theatre Association (CETA) High School Theatre Festival. Ten regional finalists will be chosen to participate in master classes at CTG and compete in the March 4, 2013, Los Angeles regional finals on the Mark Taper Forum stage. All regional finalists will receive a $250 CTG gift card as a part of their participation.

The top three finalists will win cash prizes and a trip to New York City, with the opportunity to compete in the national finals against the top three students from each of the other participating cities. The national finals will take place on May 6, 2013, at the August Wilson Theatre on Broadway. In the 2011-2012 AWMC, 86 southern California students participated, with 31 schools and 37 different cities represented. Los Angeles regional finalist Tyler Edwards placed third overall at the national finals in March.

The CTG August Wilson in-school residency program is also now accepting applications. This 15-week residency is an opportunity for students from four different schools to learn about Wilson, his work and inspirations, and discover their own creative voices. Participating classroom teachers will have the unique opportunity to partner with CTG Teaching Artists in presenting a curriculum covering all 10 plays from August Wilson's "Century Cycle." Students from participating residency classrooms will attend the AWMC regional finals at the Mark Taper Forum.

Any 9th grade English language arts classroom from a Title 1 school located within Los Angeles County is eligible to participate in the August Wilson in-school residency program. There is no cost to participate, however, each school is responsible for providing teacher release time for two team building meetings and transportation for students and chaperones to attend the AWMC regional finals on the evening of March 4.

"My students developed better self awareness; they learned the value of a person's process and individual set of experiences…they were able to make connections between learning and life, and showed an increase in reading and comprehension skills," said Porscher L., a 2012 residency teacher.

CTG's AWMC participation and its Wilson in-school residencies are programs of CTG's Education and Community Partnerships department, led by Leslie K. Johnson. Currently one of the most active theatre education programs in the country, CTG's Education and Community Partnerships Department reached 23,847 students, teachers and community members from 172 schools throughout Southern California in the 2011-2012 season. The department is dedicated to the development of artists, educators and young people's skills and creativity through the exploration of theatre, its literature, art and imagination.

The inspiration for the AWMC was sparked in 2007 in Atlanta by Wilson's long-time collaborators Kenny Leon and Todd Kreidler of True Colors Theatre Company. Modeled after Pittsburgh Public Theater's annual Shakespeare Monologue and Scene contest, the AWMC utilizes performance tools and text analysis to help students explore the interior lives of August Wilson's characters and study the social, economic and historical realities they inhabit.

CTG maintained a long relationship with August Wilson, presenting seven of his plays. In addition to "Jitney," "King Hedley II" (Tony Award nomination for Best Play), "Gem of the Ocean" (world premiere production) and "Radio Golf" (world premiere production) at the Mark Taper Forum, CTG presented the Tony Award-nominated "Seven Guitars" at the Ahmanson Theatre and "Two Trains Running" and "The Piano Lesson" (1990 Pulitzer Prize) at the Doolittle Theatre in Hollywood. CTG will also present Wilson's "Joe Turner's Come and Gone" as part of the 2013 Mark Taper Forum season. More information on CTG's August Wilson program can be found at www.centertheatregroup.org/AugustWilson

Pictured: Tyler Edwards performing in the August Wilson Monologue Competition (AWMC) at the Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum in March 2012. She and two other Southern California regional finalists performed in the national finals on Broadway in May 2012, joining students from all over the country. Edwards placed third.

Photo credit: Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging

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