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True Colors’ 4th Annual August Wilson Monologue Competition Finals on May 3

Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company


4th Annual August Wilson Monologue Competition

National Finals on Monday, May 3

April 3, 2010 (New York, NY) – Broadway director Kenny Leon and Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company are proud to present the 4th Annual August Wilson Monologue Competition National Finals, Monday, May 3, 2010 at the August Wilson Theatre on Broadway. The competition will feature 12 competitors from the regional finals in Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Chicago and New York performing monologues from August Wilson’s Century Cycle. The evening will also include a musical performance from Blues musician Guy Davis (Finian’s Rainbow) and a performance of the montage “August Wilson Always Did Believe in Love” performed by members of the cast from the Broadway revival of Fences, Chris Chalk and Russell Hornsby and special guest Ruben Santiago-Hudson. The collage was assembled by Todd Kreidler, Associate Artistic Director for True Colors and Wilson’s Dramaturg, and gives us a taste of characters from all ten plays in the Cycle as they riff, muse and wonder at love. This competition is being presented by Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company in collaboration with Jujamcyn Theatres.

As part of the competition, 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. Contestants will be judged by a panel of celebrity judges on the basis of preparedness, understanding of the text, emotional connection to the material, and commitment to the performance. “We decided a way to keep August alive is to bring these plays to the young people by having them compete, demonstrating confidence and learning the history,” impresses Director Kenny Leon, “It’s a personal thing to give to August, but it’s more an American thing because August Wilson is one of the greatest Americans I know of.”
August Wilson’s Century Cycle is a singular achievement in the American Theatre. Each of the ten world-class plays is set in a different decade of the twentieth century. At the plays’ core are the soaring, lyrical monologues that take the song, laughter, pain, and rich content of African American life and place it in the mouths of the greatest and varied ensemble of characters written since Shakespeare.
The inspiration for the competition was sparked by two of August Wilson’s closest living collaborators, Kenny Leon and Todd Kreidler. Co-Founder and Artistic Director of True Colors, Kenny worked closely with August directing most of the Century Cycle plays on Broadway and at regional theatres, while True Colors Associate Artistic Director Todd was Dramaturge for Wilson’s last play and Director of his one-man show.
“The goal of the competition is to help garner partnerships with communities, schools and theaters across the United States, and to create educational materials about August Wilson that allow students to connect these important theatre works with educational curricula like history, social studies and literature,” said Todd Kreidler, Associate Artistic Director, True Colors Theatre Company. “This monologue competition offers students of all races the opportunity to inhabit the lives and speak the words of these vital, lively characters”
Support for the August Wilson Monologue Competition is provided by AirTran Airways, Turner Broadcasting System, Massey Charitable Trust, Imlay Foundation, Ryan Cameron Foundation, The Richard C. Munroe Foundation, Inc, Publix Super Markets Charities and the National Endowment for the Arts.
CALENDAR INFORMATION: August Wilson Monologue Competition National Finals. Monday, May 3, 2010, 7 PM. August Wilson Theatre, 245 West 52nd Street, New York, NY 10019.
Free and Open to the Public.

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