August Wilson Monologue Competition

Open to Chicago area high schoolers, the August Wilson Monologue Competition gives students an opportunity to explore and share the richness of August Wilson’s Century Cycle. For 12 years, the competition has served over 300 students annually by holding the competition, master classes and offering college scholarships.

Derrick Sanders and The Goodman Theatre, in collaboration with The League of Chicago Theatres, are proud to partner in presenting The August Wilson Monologue Competition.

The August Wilson Monologue Competition is supported by funding from Allstate Insurance.

Logo for Allstate Insurance Company

Thank you to The Logan Center for the Arts for the generous donation of their space for the preliminary monologue auditions.

The Monologue Competition

Students will prepare and perform a 2-3 minute monologue of their choosing from one of the ten plays in August Wilson’s Century Cycle.

  • Students must be currently enrolled in a regional high school.
  • They may either compete as an individual or in a group with their school.
  • All students will be adjudicated separately.
  • The competition is divided into Preliminaries, Semi-Finals and Finals.

Participants 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.

School teachers & administrators can apply for their students using: THIS ONLINE FORM.

Students participating with their school (utilizing their Student Code) can apply using: THIS ONLINE FORM.

Individual students (without a Student Code) interested in participating in the competition can apply using: THIS ONLINE FORM.

You can download and review the Full Competition Guide HERE.


“Designing August:” Design Competition

The August Wilson Monologue competition will include a competition for high school students for set and costume design. Students will choose a monologue from the August Wilson Compendium, and create a work of art such as a collage, assemblage, drawing or video inspired by the chosen text.

  • Students may participate in the monologue OR the design competition.
  • Students must be currently enrolled in a regional high school.
  • All students will be adjudicated separately.
  • The design competition is divided into Semi-Finals and Finals.

School teachers & administrators can apply for their students using: THIS ONLINE FORM.

Students participating with their school (utilizing their Student Code) can apply using: THIS ONLINE FORM.

Individual students (without a Student Code) interested in participating in the competition can apply using: THIS ONLINE FORM.

You can download and review the Full Competition Guide HERE.

If you need more information about this program, please email augustwilsoncompete@gmail.com.


2022 Competition Dates

School Applications (For Teachers and Administrators)
February 7th – March 4th, 2022

  • School teachers & administrators can apply for their students using: THIS ONLINE FORM.

Student Applications (For Acting and Design)
February 22nd – March 15th, 2022

  • Students participating with their school (utilizing their Student Code) can apply using: THIS ONLINE FORM.
  • Individual students (without a Student Code) interested in participating in the competition can apply using: THIS ONLINE FORM.

Designing August | Final Designs Due 
March 21st, 2022 | SUBMIT USING THIS ONLINE FORM

Preliminaries | Monologue Auditions
2022 Preliminaries Completed

Semi-Finals | Monologue Auditions
April 18th, 2022 | Time TBA | Victory Gardens Theater

Masterclass | Coaching for Finalists
Date and Location TBA

*All finalists are required to attend this masterclass.

Final Monologue & Design Competition
May 2nd, 2022 | 6:00 pm | Goodman 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


If you need more information about this program, please email augustwilsoncompete@gmail.com.

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