August Wilson Monologue Competition

Goodman Theatre and Derrick Sanders, in collaboration with the Department of Performing Arts at The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), the League of Chicago Theatres, and True Colors Theatre Company are proud to partner in presenting Chicago’s August Wilson Monologue Competition.

Open to Chicago area high schoolers, the competition gives students an opportunity to explore and share the richness of August Wilson’s Century Cycle.


About the Competition

Chicago’s August Wilson Monologue Competition is sponsored by Allstate Insurance Company.

For consideration, students must complete the application form to register. Students are asked to prepare and perform a 2-3 minute monologue of their choosing from one of the ten plays in August Wilson’s Century Cycle.

They are adjudicated by a panel of Chicago theatre professionals on the basis of preparedness, understanding of the text, emotional connection to the material, and commitment to the performance.

The 2021 competition will be virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Chicago Finals at the Goodman Theatre will be live streamed with students performing onstage while families and friends can watch from home. The Goodman Theatre and August Wilson Monologue Competition will follow all local government health recommendations.

New for 2021! Designing August:

The August Wilson Monologue competition will include a competition for high school students for set and costume design. Students may participate in the monologue OR the design competition.

Students interested in participating should complete and submit the application below or email augustwilsoncompete@gmail.com.

UPLOAD: Designing August!

(This link is only for students that have applied to the competition)


2021 Dates

(Please note that all auditions are video submissions unless noted)

Applications Due (Acting and Design)

Friday, February 5 | 11:59 pm

Preliminary Auditions
Monday, February 15 | Virtual

Designing August Preliminary Designs Due 
Monday, March 8

Coaching for Finalists 
Saturday, March 13 | Virtual

Student Presentations for Design
Tuesday, March 16 | Virtual

Chicago Finals
Monday, March 22 | 6:00 pm | Goodman Theatre-Live Stream

National Finals
TBD | 7:00 pm | Virtual via True Colors Theatre


August Wilson Compendium

Gem of the Ocean
Joe Turner’s Come and Gone
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
The Piano Lesson
Seven Guitars
Fences
Two Trains Running
Jitney
King Hedley II
Radio Golf

About the Century Cycle

August Wilson’s Century Cycle is a singular achievement in American theatre. Each of the ten world-class plays is set in a different decade of the twentieth century. At the plays’ core are soaring, lyrical monologues that take the rich song, laughter, and pain of the African American experience and place it in the mouths of the most varied ensemble of characters written since Shakespeare. The plays of the Century Cycle are:

Gem of the Ocean
Joe Turner’s Come and Gone
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
The Piano Lesson
Seven Guitars
Fences
Two Trains Running
Jitney
King Hedley II
Radio Golf

For more information about this competition, please email augustwilsoncompete@gmail.com.

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