The August Wilson Monologue Competition enables students from all walks of life to discover August Wilson's profound and deeply relevant works of art, study the craft of acting, explore their own creative voices, and learn more about our shared history and themselves.

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.

Program Introduction Workshop

Are you a student interested in learning more about August Wilson and the 10 wonderfully diverse plays in The American Century Cycle compendium? Center Theatre Group is offering an Introduction Workshop on Monday, October 3, 2016 at 4:30–6:30pm at our offices in Downtown L.A. RSVP online or by phone at 213.972.0720 to reserve your spot.

RSVP & More Info

Program Dates

Please register only if the student is able to attend all program dates.

Orientation Meetings
The student must be able to attend one of the following meetings to receive important information about how to prepare for their preliminary audition and to sign up for an audition time.
Tuesday, October 25 at 4:30–6:30pm at Center Theatre Group in Downtown L.A.
Thursday, October 27 at 4:30–6:30pm at Center Theatre Group in Downtown L.A.
Saturday, October 29 at 10am–12pm at Center Theatre Group in Downtown L.A.
Saturday, October 29 at 1–3pm at Center Theatre Group in Downtown L.A.
Saturday, October 29 at 4–6pm at Center Theatre Group in Downtown L.A.
Preliminary Auditions
Saturday, November 5, 2016 at 9am–6pm at Center Theatre Group in Downtown L.A.
Specific audition call time will be assigned to each participant
Saturday, December 10, 2016 at 2–6pm at Center Theatre Group in Downtown L.A.
Specific audition call time will be assigned to each participant
Awards Ceremony
Sunday, January 8, 2017 | Location TBD
Training and Rehearsals
Saturdays, January 21, 28, February 11 and 25 at 2–6pm at Center Theatre Group in Downtown L.A.
Regional Finals
Monday, February 27, 2017 at the Mark Taper Forum in Downtown L.A.
National Finals
Monday, May 1, 2017 at the August Wilson Theatre in New York
Travel to New York includes full days, April 31–May 2, 2017
Students will need permission to miss school for these days.


Current high school students in grades 10, 11, and 12 from Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties are eligible to participate (verify your county at Students must be enrolled in high school the whole school year and may not be older than 19 on the day of the National Finals (which take place in the spring) to participate in all stages of the program.


To receive more information about the August Wilson Monologue Competition and a copy of the registration form, begin by reading through Frequently Asked Questions below, then fill out the interest form. You will be contacted by email when your interest form is received.

Registration forms are due no later than Friday, October 14, 2016. Late or incomplete registration will not be considered. Participation is free!

Register Now

If you have further questions, please contact us by email or phone at 213.972.0720.

Frequently Asked Questions

Expandable element Is the program open to students without acting experience? What about students who are not African-American? Or students who don't go to public school?

No acting experience is required, and in fact we encourage students with all levels of experience to participate. We also welcome students of all ethnicities and backgrounds. The program is open to public, private, charter, and home schooled students from Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties.

Expandable element Can participants, regional semi-finalists, and regional finalists participate for a second or third year?

Yes. You may participate again as long as you did not advance to the National Finals in New York.

Expandable element Can I still apply if I am not available on one of the program dates, including training and rehearsal sessions?

Please do not apply if you are not available on all of the program dates. Semi-Finalists and Regional Finalists are required to participate in all training and rehearsal sessions.

Expandable element Is there a fee to participate?

No. The August Wilson Monologue Competition is entirely free to all participating students from start to finish. Our top two Regional Finalists receive an all-expenses-paid, chaperoned trip to New York City for the National Finals.

Expandable element What is a monologue, and how do I pick one to perform?

A monologue is a speech presented by a single character set within the context of a play.

August Wilson Monologue Competition participants are required to select a monologue from the current National August Wilson Monologue Competition compendium. Original monologues or monologues by other playwrights may not be performed. We encourage you to choose a couple of monologues that pique your interest and invest in reading the full plays so that you have a richer understanding of the characters and the story. It is important for an actor to play to his or her strengths, so explore and find a monologue that really speaks to you, connects to your heart, and to your own experiences and/or imagination in some way. Then decide which one is right for you, and have fun creating and portraying the character’s story.

We encourage you to attend our Introductory Workshops for more advice on picking the right monologue for you.

Monologues cannot be edited and must be performed as written in the compendium. If you are uncomfortable with the language and subject matter, please select a different monologue.

Expandable element How long should my performance be?

Your monologue performance must be between one and three minutes.

Expandable element Do I need to memorize my monologue?

Yes. You must commit your monologue to memory. But trust us: fully memorizing your monologue will give you confidence.

Expandable element What should I wear and bring? Are props and/or costumes allowed?

Dress comfortably but neatly so as not to distract the judges. Props and/or costumes are not allowed. There will be one chair that you can sit on while performing if you'd like, but it should not be used as a prop.

Expandable element Who judges the auditions and will I receive feedback?

Panels of theatre professionals judge all rounds of auditions. Written feedback will be provided to all participants in the Preliminaries and Semi-Finals approximately 2-3 weeks following auditions.

Expandable element Can family and friends attend auditions?

The Preliminaries and Semi-Finals are closed to the public. The Regional Finals and National Finals are open to the public and are free to attend.