Milwaukee HS Student Wins 1st Place At Next Narrative Monologue Competition

Ms. West received a $3000 scholarship for performing ”One Second”, a monologue written by Rachel Lynet.

By: May. 16, 2024
Milwaukee HS Student Wins 1st Place At Next Narrative Monologue Competition
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Kenny Leon's True Colors Theatre Company named Raichel West, representing Milwaukee Rep, Milwaukee, as the 2024 winner of its Next Narrative National Monologue Competition (NNMC) National Finals held last week at the Apollo Stages at The Victoria, a new expansion of the historic Apollo Theatre in New York City.

A senior at Milwaukee Marshall High School, who only began acting six months ago through Milwaukee Rep's free acting workshops, Ms. West received a $3000 scholarship for performing ”One Second”, a monologue written by Rachel Lynet.  Second place winner Ronnie McCoy, representing True Colors Theatre, Atlanta, received a $2000 scholarship while the third-place finisher Maya Buckman, representing New York City LEAP, New York, got a $1000 scholarship.

“Absolutely incredible is the only way to describe this year's monologue competition,” said True Colors Artistic Director Jamil Jude.  “When we created this initiative three years ago, we would never have imagined how far we have come so quickly. The students were simply outstanding. We could not have had such a great event without the incredible leadership of program co-coordinators Regine Vital and Lamar Hardy.” 

NNMC features original monologues commissioned specifically for the competition from 20 leading contemporary Black playwrights. Regional theater partners from across the country hold local competitions and send their top two finishers to New York for the finals.  In addition to the top three finishers, this year's finalists included:

Atlanta, True Colors Theatre Company, Z'rena Williams
Boston, The Huntington, Colin Mauceli and Emily Guerrero
Dallas, Southern Methodist University, Krrish Parekh and Isha Kurlekar
Milwaukee, Milwaukee Rep, Dayanara Sanchez
New York City, LEAP, Nijon Williams
Pittsburgh, Bill Nunn Theatre Outreach Project, Katie Cooper, Darnell Peak
Seattle, Seattle Rep, Joshua Rhodes and Lyric Coley

In addition to the cash prizes, Lyric Coley of Seattle and Katie Cooper of Pittsburgh were recognized for embodying the spirit of the program, which is about connecting over competition.

“We treasure the engagement of our regional partners.  We are pleased to welcome two new partners, Kansas City Melting Pot Theatre and Tulsa Performing Arts Center, who will have students participating in the 2025 National Finals program,” said True Colors Managing Director Chandra Stephens-Albright.

While in New York, the NNMC finalists received a professional photo session, attended a performance of the play, “Hell's Kitchen,” and got a tour of the historic Apollo Theatre.  They also had the opportunity to spend time backstage with True Colors Theatre founder and Tony Award-winner, Kenny Leon, at the rehearsal theater for his Broadway play, “Home.”

Launched in 2021, NMMC features a compilation of 51 monologues written by 20 contemporary Black playwrights. Since it was formed, more than an estimated 500 high school students across the country have participated in the competition. 

For more information on the NNMC, please visit

For more information on Milwaukee Rep's NNMC program, please visit


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