August Wilson Monologue Competition
10th Annual Los Angeles Regional Finals
Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 5pm PT
FREE EVENT (one time-only livestream)
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Join us for our virtual August Wilson Monologue Competition Los Angeles Regional Finals, featuring 11 local high school students performing on the stage of the Kirk Douglas Theatre. Viewed remotely but in real time by the competition's judges, the performances will be recorded and streamed during this special live event.
The 11 August Wilson Monologue Competition Los Angeles Regional Finalists are students, actors, and storytellers who have spent months immersing themselves in Wilson and his legendary American Century Cycle. Please join us as we come together to witness and celebrate their talent, dedication, and passion!
Center Theatre Group has been the Los Angeles home for the National August Wilson Monologue Competition since 2011. More than a contest, the August Wilson Monologue Competition is an educational journey that includes workshops with teaching artists where students hone their acting and storytelling skills; auditions where theatre professionals offer feedback to all participants; and an introduction to August Wilson and The American Century Cycle.
The National August Wilson Monologue Competition was founded in 2007 by Kenny Leon and Todd Kreidler at Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company in Atlanta. The national program is produced in collaboration between Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company and Jujamcyn Theaters. Since its introduction in one school in Atlanta, the program has grown to include nineteen regions, including Atlanta (GA), Boston (MA), Buffalo (NY), Chicago (IL), Dallas (TX), E. Lansing (MI)*, Greensboro (NC), Hampton Roads (VA), Las Vegas (NV), Los Angeles (CA), Maryland*, Milwaukee (WI), New Haven (CT), New York (NY), Pittsburgh (PA), Portland (OR), San Diego (CA), Seattle (WA), and Urbana-Champaign (IL)*.
*Indicates regions in program development phase
Meet the Finalists
Simone Baker (Sherman Oaks)
I feel seen when I perform August Wilson monologues.
Hazel Eko (Los Angeles)
August Wilson's work makes me feel relevant in the world.
Willa Jackson (Los Angeles)
I feel seen by August Wilson's work because his characters look like me and share my history.
Chazaiah Johnson (Los Angeles)
August Wilson's work makes me feel important to society.
Hailey Soomin Lee (Redondo Beach)
I connect to August Wilson's work because even though I don't have the same life experiences, I connect with their beliefs.
Giselle Lopez (Los Angeles)
Being able to perform something I feel a connection to makes me feel seen.
Veronica McFarlane (Whittier)
August Wilson's characters and themes are universal.
Stephen Moran (Los Angeles)
The connections I share with many of Wilson's characters make up various parts of who I am.
Reva Pau (South Pasadena)
August Wilson gives me hope that in the struggles I face today, I am not alone.
Dillion Jerome Sowell (Moreno Valley)
I feel a geniune connection to the characters through the dialog and the text of Wilson's scripts.
Landon Wouters (Fullerton)
There is something so innately human in Wilson's words that makes me feel like what I'm saying really matters.
Meet the Judges
Sophina Brown is a theatrical producer whose productions have garnered multiple LADCC, NAACP, Stage Raw and Ovation Award nominations and wins. Her theatrical acting credits include the Broadway company of Disney’s The Lion King, the East Coast premiere of Steve Martin’s Meteor Shower at Long Wharf Theatre, Richard Rodger's No Strings opposite Scott Bakula, and her Ovation nominated role in David Lindsay-Abaire's Good People. Film and television credits include Because I Said So with Diane Keaton and recent roles on The Orville, Legacies, Station 19, and Grey's Anatomy. She spent multiple seasons on CBS's Shark and NUMB3RS, and is currently a series regular on Lena Waithe’s groundbreaking comedy Twenties. She is also the founder and executive director of the new grassroots organization, Support Black Theatre dedicated to the development, enrichment, and promotion of Black art, Black artists, and Black audiences in Los Angeles.
Wren T. Brown
Wren T. Brown: Born and raised in Los Angeles, Wren is an Actor, Producer and Director. Films Include: Beyond the Lights, Waiting to Exhale, Heart and Souls, Under Siege 2, Hollywood Shuffle. Television: Whoopi, Flipper: The New Adventures, Bless This House, Frasier, Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Being Mary Jane, Grey’s Anatomy, The Simpsons, Transparent, Dear White People, and The Orville. Theatre: As You Like It, On Borrowed Time, The Gospel at Colonus. Recent Direction: Fences and Lady Day at Emerson Bar and Grill. Wren is the founder and producing artistic director of Ebony Repertory Theatre, Los Angeles’ only African American professional theatre company.
A Newport Beach Film Festival’s Artist of Distinction award recipient, Colman Domingo is a Tony®, Independent Spirit, Lawrence Olivier, Drama Desk, Drama League, NAACP Image and Black Reel Award nominated, OBIE and Lucille Lortel Award winning actor, playwright and director. Domingo can currently be seen starring alongside Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman in the Netflix film adaption of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom produced by Denzel Washington. He will next be seen on the big screen in Without Remorse, Candyman, Zola, and The God Committee. Past film credits include Selma, If Beale Street Could Talk, Lincoln, The Butler, and more. On the small screen, Domingo currently stars in the new season of AMC’s Fear The Walking Dead as Victor Strand. He can also be seen hosting the third season of his chat show Bottomless Brunch at Colman’s for Sundance and AMC.COM. This December, he returned to HBO’s Euphoria for a Special Christmas episode. Past television projects include Nothingman, The Twilight Zone, The Knick and Lucifer, as well as voicing characters in American Dad and Bojack Horseman. On stage, he is known for starring in The Scottsboro Boys, Mr. Venus of Berlin, Passing Strange, among many others. He has also directed celebrated plays including A Guide for the Homesick, Pilgrims for the Lark, Barbeque, Seven Guitars, and many more.
Michele Shay is an award-winning actress, director and producer, perhaps best known for her Tony Award-nominated performance as Louise in August Wilson’s Seven Guitars directed by Lloyd Richards. She has also played Aunt Ester in Gem of the Ocean in productions directed by Kenny Leon, Phylicia Rashad and Ruben Santiago-Hudson; Mame Wilks in Radio Golf directed by Timothy Douglas; On Broadway: in Samm-Art Williams Home with the Negro Ensemble Company, Ntozake Shange's for colored girls.... She has directed several plays by August Wilson's including: Fences, Gem of the Ocean, Seven Guitars, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, The Piano Lesson, King Hedley II (Ovation Nomination) and Two Trains Running (Ovation nomination) as well as Two Trains Running and King Hedley II for the NY Public Radio recordings of August Wilson’s American Century Cycle at The Greene Space. Other shows include: August Wilson's Women for the Billy Holiday Theatre and Chicago's Goodman Theatre and Reparations at the Billie Holiday (Audelco Award). Ms Shay will be the keynote speaker for the upcoming online August Wilson Society Colloquium March 13th, 2021. A CMU graduate, Ms. Shay is a Fox Grant recipient researching performance, healing and the human energy system. She teaches acting at Columbia NYU’s New Studio-Tisch School of the Arts and is currently the Acting Coach on Reggie Bythewood's Series Swagger for Apple TV.
Learn more about the August Wilson Monologue Competition and related Center Theatre Group programming.
Directed and Edited by Mikaal Sulaiman
Script by Antonio David Lyons
Filming by Cinevative
Photography by Ericka Kreutz
The August Wilson Monologue Competition is presented by the Center Theatre Group Affiliates.
Special thanks to the following for their generous support of the August Wilson Program:
THE MICHAEL SHAW JACOBS FUND
The August Wilson Program also receives generous support from:
LAWRENCE P. FRANK FOUNDATION
SASCHA BRASTOFF FOUNDATION
FIND YOUR LIGHT FOUNDATION
CITY NATIONAL BANK
CINDY & GARY FRISCHLING
This performance may not be recorded, reproduced or republished in any form. Please put your recording devices away and respect the copyright and the hard work that went into what you are about to experience. Violations may be subject to legal action and damages.