Ten local high school students from six different cities performed in the August Wilson Monologue Competition (AWMC) Los Angeles regional finals at the Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum, Monday night, March 4, 2013. The top three student performers received scholarships and the opportunity to perform again in New York City.
Center Theatre Group, host of the August Wilson Monologue Competition in Southern California, is pleased to announce that Pablo Lopez of Los Angeles placed first in the competition, earning a $500 scholarship and a guaranteed spot in the national finals that will take place at the August Wilson Theatre in New York City on May 6. Rhyver White of Hawthorne took second place, with a $250 scholarship and Eliana Pipes of Altadena took third place and a $100 scholarship. Both Rhyver White and Eliana Pipes are national semifinalists and will perform in a semifinal round in New York City with students from six other regions for a chance to move on to the national finals round.
“Center Theatre Group is proud of our three New York-bound performers and of all of the students who have discovered Wilson and his profound works through our program,” says Center Theatre Group’s Artistic Director Michael Ritchie. “It is a great privilege to be able to introduce students of all backgrounds to Wilson’s works, which ultimately transcend race and time, and to inspire and nurture these students’ growing artistry.”
Every student participating in this competition performed a monologue from playwright August Wilson’s 10-play “Century Cycle,” an epic dramatization of the African-American experience in the 20th century.
Judges of the Los Angeles regional finals were professional actors with special interest in the works of August Wilson, including Kimberleigh Aarn (also an administrator at Los Angeles County Arts Commission), Michael Beach, Wren Brown (also founder and artistic director of Ebony Repertory Theatre), Keith David and Loretta Devine. Master of Ceremonies was award-winning broadcast journalist and CBS 2’s co-anchor of the 5 and 11 p.m. news, Pat Harvey.
Debbie Allen, Angela Bassett, Phylicia Rashad and Courtney B. Vance are among the members of the 2012-2013 CTG August Wilson Advisory Committee, comprised of prominent national figures and qualified professionals who are dedicated to lending their service to arts education while furthering the legacy of August Wilson.
This is the second year that CTG has been the Southern California home for the national program, which includes theatres from Atlanta, New York, Chicago, Boston, Seattle and Pittsburgh. Each city runs the program differently, but the goal is the same: to introduce high school students to August Wilson’s works and the African-American perspectives he chronicles as well as help students of all backgrounds explore their own creativity.
In a long relationship with August Wilson plays, CTG is presenting Wilson’s “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone” this spring at the Mark Taper Forum, where “Jitney,” “King Hedley II” (Tony Award® nomination for Best Play), “Gem of the Ocean” and “Radio Golf” were previously seen. CTG also presented the Tony Award®-nominated “Seven Guitars” at the Ahmanson Theatre and “Two Trains Running” and “The Piano Lesson” (1990 Pulitzer Prize) at the Doolittle Theatre in Hollywood.
More information on CTG’s August Wilson program can be found at www.centertheatregroup.org.
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