August Wilson New Voices
Support Black Theatre is proud to be the Los Angeles home for the national August Wilson New Voices competition (formerly the “August Wilson Monologue Competition”). August Wilson New Voices (AWNV) honors the Pulitzer Prize winning playwright with a competition that gives students of all ethnicities and abilities the opportunity to explore the richness of his ten-play American Century Cycle, and speak the words of these vital, lively characters. The top 2 finalists from each local competition will attend the finals weekend in Wilson’s hometown, Pittsburgh, PA. The weekend will include masterclasses and the national competition finals.
More than a contest, the August Wilson New Voices is an educational journey that includes an outreach program with teaching artists where students study the craft of acting, explore their own creative voices, and learn more about one of the greatest American playwrights. Through this competition, we aim to cultivate appreciation of August Wilson and give voice to the next generation—where they can see themselves in Wilson’s work and are emboldened to tell their story from their own unique lens.
Current high school students from Los Angeles County are eligible to participate. Students must be enrolled in high school the whole school year and may not be older than 19 on the day of the national finals (April 2024) to participate in all stages of the competition.
August Wilson New Voices is open to all Los Angeles high school students. To participate, students engage in the competition by performing a 2-3 minute monologue from one of the ten plays in August Wilson’s American Century Cycle. Participants are adjudicated by a panel of theatre professionals on the basis of preparedness, understanding of the text, emotional connection to the material, and commitment to the performance. The top two students from the Los Angeles local finals receive a cash prize and the opportunity to compete at the AWNV National Finals in Pittsburgh with students from across the country. Only monologues provided in the 2023/2024 August Wilson Century Cycle Compendium are approved for the competition. Students may perform any monologue in the compendium regardless of race, ethnicity, or gender identity.
Sign up here to receive more information and a link to the Registration Form for the 2023/2024 August Wilson New Voices. We will follow up with you by email to confirm receipt of your interest and to verify that all provided information is correct. In order to participate in the Preliminary Auditions, you must complete the Registration Form provided to you by Support Black Theatre and attend orientation at Occidental College.
- Registration Deadline: December 22nd, 2023
- Orientations: January 20th, 2024 and January 27th, 2024 (attend one or the other)
- Preliminary Auditions: February 3rd, 2024
- Semi-Final Auditions: February 17th, 2024
AWNV Outreach Program
Support Black Theatre’s August Wilson New Voices Outreach Program is a training intensive that prepares young artists to participate in the August Wilson New Voices Competition. Over the course of five weeks, participants will meet as a full group to explore the history of Wilson, gain greater understanding of his American Century Cycle, and receive coaching from professional artists as they prepare for their performance.
This fully funded program, open to all, is provided at no cost to participants, however, there is limited capacity. For students interested in receiving this additional support, email [email protected].
Meet the Team
The Los Angeles hub of August Wilson New Voices monologue competition is led by a team of highly qualified and experienced industry professionals.
Support Black Theatre is proud to be in partnership with Occidental College and Ebony Repertory Theatre for the 2023/2024 presentation of August Wilson New Voices monologue competition.