Arts & Entertainment

Young People Bring Drama to National Monologue Competition

Honors the memory and legacy of playwright and Pittsburgh native August Wilson


Young actors from Atlanta, Buffalo and Chicago were the winners in a national acting competition that celebrates the plays of August Wilson. Wilson was an American playwright, born in Pittsburgh, whose work includes the series of ten plays, The Pittsburgh Cycle, for which he won two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama.

The National August Wilson Monologue Competition was founded in 2007 by Kenny Leon and Todd Kreidler at Kenny Leon's True Colors Theatre Company in Atlanta. The program is now in twelve cities nationwide, including Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Haven, New York, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Dallas, and Greensboro. Student actors in those cities perform monologues from Wilson's plays in regional competitions, for the chance to advance to the finals in New York City.

This year's winners were:

  • Trajan Clayton of Atlanta, who won for his portrayal of Citizen in Gem of the Ocean
  • Katara Willis of Buffalo for the title role in King Hedley II
  • Abad Viquez of Chicago for his portrayal of Lymon in The Piano Lesson

Amani is far right, with the glasses.

Amani Howze , a junior at Pittsburgh's High School for the Creative and Performing Arts made it into the final round.

The Pittsburgh Cycle series is also known as The Century Cycle , because each play set in a different decade, and depicts comic and tragic aspects of the African-American experience in the 20th century.

(Images: True Colors Theater website gallery )

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