Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company held its 14th Annual August Wilson Monologue Competition National Finals, virtually on Monday, May 3, 2021 at 7pm ET at truecolorstheatre.org. The first place winner was Taloria Merricks from Atlanta; second place, Taylor Jackson from Atlanta; and third place, Tyla Uzo from Los Angeles.
All 13 participating regions held virtual regional competitions to select this year’s winners. The top 2 winners from each region advanced to the national semifinal round, from which 16 national finalists were selected. In past years, the first-, second- and third-place winners received scholarships of $3000, $2000 and $1000, respectively. This year, judge Tonya Pinkins was so moved by the power of the students that she made a gift to fund scholarships for six additional finalists. Upon hearing the live announcement, Stefaniyemiya Ingram, a long-time True Colors donor, made an additional gift to ensure that the remaining seven national finalists received scholarships.
Founded in 2007 by True Colors’ Artistic Director Emeritus Kenny Leon and former Associate Artistic Director Todd Kreidler, the August Wilson Monologue Competition is held annually by True Colors Theatre Company to foster a new generation of creative minds, including exposing them to the life’s work and artistic legacy of seminal American playwright August Wilson. Program participants in cities across the country have historically encountered Wilson’s ten-play cycle and received coaching from teaching artists as they prepared their monologues for local, citywide and national competitions.