CHICAGO HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS TO PERFORM ON BROADWAY IN THE NATIONAL FINALS OF THE AUGUST WILSON MONOLOGUE COMPETITION

The League of Chicago Theatres logoThree Chicago high school students who were the Chicago winners of the fifth annual August Wilson Monologue Competition— Candace Spates of Lincoln Park High School (first place), Robert Upton of Kenwood Academy (second place) and Shea Glover of Chicago High School for the Arts (third place)—will perform in the National Competition at Broadway’s August Wilson Theatre on May 5, 2014.

The August Wilson Monologue Competition is a national competition open to all high school students. The top three monologues from among the Chicago contestants were awarded scholarships in the amount of $500 for first place, $250 for second place and $100 for third place. Each of the three winning students will receive expenses paid to travel to New York City for the national finals. For the Chicago and National competition, students perform a 2-3 minute monologue of their choosing from one of the ten plays in August Wilson’s Century Cycle.

The August Wilson Monologue Competition, sponsored by The League of Chicago Theatres, Goodman Theatre,and the University of Illinois at Chicago, and organized in Chicago by Derrick Sanders, held the Chicago Finals on Monday, March 10, 2014 at 6:00pm at the Goodman Theatre, 170 North Dearborn St – the first theatre in the world to produce all ten plays in the Century Cycle, Wilson’s decade-by-decade exploration of the 20th century African American experience.

Esteemed judges for the Chicago finals were Alana Arenas, Regina Taylor, Lydia Diamond and Anthony Irons. Twenty finalists who were selected from more than 230 participants across 25 Chicago area The National finals will take place on May 5, 2014 at the August Wilson Theatre in New York City.

“The quality of preparation and performances by these young people from across Chicago and the suburbs was extremely impressive. It’s inspiring to see these next-generation artists experiencing and expressing August’s words with such passion and skill. We’re thrilled by the twenty young people chosen to compete in this year’s finals and we are so proud of our local winners who will represent Chicago in New York City,” says Derrick Sanders.

Open to Chicago area high school sophomores, juniors and seniors, the August Wilson Monologue Competition focuses on exposing students to the richness of August Wilson’s Century Cycle, and incorporating the plays into the standard high school curriculum. The AWMC Chicago Preliminaries were held February 4, 2014 at Court Theatre and February 5, 2014 at Victory Gardens. The Semi-finals were held February 10, 2014 at University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Theatre and Music. Regional competitions will also take place in Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Boston, and New York.

Chicago’s participation in this national event is coordinated by Derrick Sanders, who hopes to continue building robust partnerships with schools across Chicago, encouraging the adoption of August Wilson’s work into the standard curriculum. These partnerships create educational opportunities that allow students to connect to August Wilson and his work through the study of history, social studies and literature.

For more information on the Chicago competition, visit: http://chicagoplays.com/august-wilson-monologue-competition.html.

The 20 Chicago finalists were Shea Glover, Joseph Brown and Bri Palmer of CHIARTS; Amber Ortiz, Shifa Zhong and Jahleigh Bullie of Gallery 37 Advanced Arts Education; Sejahari Saulter-Villegas, Kenneth Hastings and Robert Uptown of Kenwood Academy; Amber Mitchell and Danyelle Monson of King College Prep; Kiah McKirnan, Candace Spates, Corbin Ford and Daniel Moltz of Lincoln Park High School; Clarissa Troncoso, Julio Munoz and Justus Eason of Schurz; and Charnnia Jones and Janessa Colquitt of Southland College Prep.

About Chicago theatre

Chicago theatre is the leader in the U.S. with more than 250 theatres throughout Chicagoland, comprising a rich and varied community ranging from storefront, non-union theaters to the most renowned resident theatres in the country, including 5 that have been honored with Regional Tony Awards, and the largest touring Broadway organization in the nation. Chicago’s theatres serve 5 million audience members annually and have a combined budget of more than $250 million. Chicago produces and/or presents more world premieres annually than any other city in the nation. In 2009-10 alone, Chicago theatre companies produced more than 130 world premiere productions and adaptations. Each year,Chicago theatres send new work to resident theatres across the country, to Broadway, and around the world.

About the League of Chicago Theatres

The League of Chicago Theatres is an alliance of theatres which leverages its collective strength to promote, support, and advocate for Chicago’s theatre industry locally, nationally, and internationally. The League of Chicago Theatres Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the art of theatre in the Chicago area through audience development and support services for theatres and theatre professionals. For more information, www.chicagoplays.com.