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Local students in finals of August Wilson competition
From a news release
2013-02-28

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Chicago, IL, February 28, 2013—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, will hold the Chicago Finals on March 11, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. at the Goodman Theatre, 170 North Dearborn St.

The twenty-two students advancing to the Chicago Finals are: Taylir Brown-Williamson, Barton Fitzpatrick, Khamya Johnson, Antionette Lancaster, and Jessica Smith of Kenwood Academy; Monique Lewis of Hyde Park High School; Morgan Brown, Josha Silk, and Aronna Wynne of Southland College Prep; Branndin Laramore, Lia Miller, and Ernesto Moreta of Gallery 37; Danyelle Monson of King College Prep, Aniqua Chatman and Anthony McCoy of Wirt-Emerson Academy; Julio Munoz of Schurz High School; John Carter, Martin Downs and Monet Felton of Chicago High School for the Arts; Sophia Menendian of Lincoln Park High School; Chandler Browne of American Theater Company Youth Ensemble; and Jonathan Schaffer of Homewood-Flossmoor High School.

Esteemed judges for the Chicago Finals include celebrated actress and playwright Regina Taylor; Eamonn Walker, currently starring as "Battalion Chief Wallace Boden" in NBC's hit drama "Chicago Fire"; Narda E. Alcorn, frequent stage manager for August Wilson productions on Broadway; and Christine Mary Dunford, Associate Chair of the Department of Theatre and Music at University of Illinois at Chicago and a Lookingglass Ensemble Member.

The August Wilson Monologue Competition is a national competition open to all high school students. The top three monologues from among the Chicago contestants will be 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 also have expenses paid to travel to New York City for the national finals.

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

Participation in the national finals, May 5 and 6, 2013, includes a weekend of activities around the competition. National prizes include scholarships of $1000 for first place, $500 for second place and $250 for honorable mention. Last year, Christian Helem of the Chicago High School for the Arts who placed first in Chicago, took Second Place in the national finals. Janyce Caraballo also of Chicago High School for the Arts and Jonathan Nieves, of Schurz High School who placed second and third, respectively, in Chicago also competed in New York.

"Each year we are so proud to see the legacy of August Wilson grow in Chicago with young people being exposed to his plays and learning his monologues. And each year we are thrilled that students from Chicago place so highly in the National Competition," says Derrick Sanders.

About the Competition

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. Regional competitions will also take place in Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Boston, and New York. The Chicago preliminary auditions were held January 25, 2013 at Victory Gardens Theatre, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., and January 28 at Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave. The Chicago Semi Finals were held February 11, 2013 at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Theatre and Music, 1044 West Harrison St.

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.

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 .


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