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 school sophomores, juniors, and seniors, the competition gives students an opportunity to explore and share the richness of August Wilson’s Century Cycle.

2018 Application

The 2018 Chicago AWMC application deadline has passed.

Important Dates

Preliminary Auditions
Monday, February 5th | Victory Gardens Theater
Tuesday, February 6th | Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts
Wednesday, February 7th | Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts

Wednesday, February 14th | Goodman Theatre

Monday, February 26th | 6:00pm | Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place

National Finals
Monday, May 7th | 7:00pm | August Wilson Theatre, NY

For more info, click here.

2017 Chicago Finals

(Pictured left to right: Allen Gilmore, Shanesia Davis, Sejahari Saulter-Villegas, E. Faye Butler, Danae Jones, Ron OJ Parson, and Ryuan Johnson)

Congratulations to all the 2017 finalists! The 2017 Finals were held on Monday, March 6, 2017 at the Goodman Theatre. Sejahari Saulter-Villegas of Kenwood Academy High School placed first, Ryuan Johnson of Chicago High School for the Arts placed second, and Danae Jones of Wendell Phillips Academy High School placed third.

The 21 Chicago finalists for 2017 were Tyrianna Ross and Faith Harris of Advanced Arts Program at Gallery 37; Steven Cooper, Ryuan Johnson, Joshlyn Lomax, Destiny Mack, and Nia Otchere-Sarfo of Chicago High School for the Arts; Latrel Crawford of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. College Preparatory High School; Chantel Washington of Harper Academy Charter School; Nicari McCormick, Hashim Parham, Kyndal Purkett, and Sejahari Saulter-Villegas of Kenwood Academy High School; Rocket Engel and Tyler Kelly of Lincoln Park High School; Rory Hayes and Iza Rodriguez of Nicholas Senn High School; Harold Hosely Jr. of Simeon Career Academy High School; Markeia Kellogg of Southland College Prep High school; and Amonti Johnson and Danae Jones of Wendell Phillips Academy High School.

Students were asked to perform a 2-3 minute monologue of their choosing from one of the ten plays in August Wilson’s Century Cycle. Esteemed judges for the 2017 Chicago Finals included E. Faye Butler, Shanesia Davis,Allen Gilmore, and Ron OJ Parson. 21 finalists selected from more than 400 participants across 25 Chicago area schools advanced to the Chicago Finals and competed for the top three spots in the National Finals.

The top two finalists participate in the National Finals on Monday, May 1, 2017 at 7:00pm at Broadway's August Wilson Theatre in New York City. The Finals will include a weekend of activities around the competition. The top three contestants from the national competition are awarded college scholarship opportunities in addition to monetary awards and the gift of TCG’s Century Cycle collection. The first place winner will receive a $1,500 cash prize, the runner-up a $750 cash prize and the honorable mention a $500 cash prize. Each of the winners will also receive college scholarships of $1,500, $1,000, $500, respectively.

About the Competition

To be considered, students must complete the application form and register for a time during the preliminary round. Students are asked to 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 top three participants in Chicago receive $500, $250, and $100 scholarships, respectively and the opportunity to compete in the national finals in New York City.

August Wilson Compendium

1 - Gem of the Ocean
2 - Joe Turner's Come and Gone
3 - Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
4 - The Piano Lesson
5 - Seven Guitars
6 - Fences
7 - Two Trains Running
8 - Jitney
9 - King Hedley II
10 - 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
Two Trains Running
King Hedley II
Radio Golf

For more about the Century Cycle, click here. For more information about this competition, please email

The August Wilson Monologue Competition is sponsored by: