Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company’s 14th season of the
Annual August Wilson Monologue Competition,
Still Standing.

This year’s theme “Still Standing” was certainly befitting as we organizationally and artistically pivoted through these unique times. We are committed to telling the stories that are TRUE to YOU, and we are dedicated to providing artistic opportunities to young creatives as they use their talents to transform and share with the world. One of those opportunities is our signature education program, the August Wilson Monologue Competition.  This year, three talented individuals, took the coveted crown and represented True Colors well at the A.W.M.C. national competition. The first two national positions were held by Atlanta Regional Finalists Taloria Merricks (1st place) and Taylor Jackson (2nd Place).

2021 Winners

14TH ANNUAL AUGUST WILSON MONOLOGUE COMPETITION REGIONAL FINALS

HELD VIRTUALLY ON MARCH 19th, 2021

Taloria Merricks: 2021 AWMC National Finals Winner

Tayloria Merricks

First Place

Kaylah Copeland: AWMC Atlanta Regionals Second Place

Kaylah Copeland

Second Place

Caleb Baumann - AWMC Atlanta Regionals Third Place Winner

Caleb Baumann

Third Place

Note: The Annual August Wilson Monologue Competition is free for ALL students.

About A.W.M.C.

The inspiration for the competition was sparked by two of August Wilson’s closest living collaborators, Kenny Leon and Todd Kreidler. Kenny Leon, the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company, worked closely with Wilson; directing most of the Century Cycle plays on Broadway and at regional theatres. Todd Kreidler, former Associate Artistic Director for Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company, was Dramaturge for Wilson’s last play and Director of his one-man show. As a result, both have intimate knowledge of August Wilson as an artist and as a person. According to Kreidler, “The goal of the competition is to help garner partnerships with communities, schools, and theaters across the United States, and to create educational materials about August Wilson that allow students, of all races, to connect these important theatre works with educational curricula like history, social studies, and literature.”

Important Note:

Due to the mature language and subject matter of the works of prolific writer, August Wilson, students must have parental consent to participate in the competition.  We also ask that teachers, administrators and coaches support students in determining monologues that allow for culturally responsive instruction and support the comfort level of the student, parents/legal guardian or participating institution. 

Sponsored by:

Frances Wood Wilson Foundation

2021 Regional Finalists:

1. Taloria Merricks, Vera, Seven Guitars
2. Kaylah Copeland, Molly Cunningham, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone
3. Caleb Baumann, Harmond Wilks, Radio Golf
4. Aria Armstead, Berniece, The Piano Lesson
5. Brendan White, King Hedley II, King Hedley II
6. Destiny Jennings, Ruby, King Hedley II
7. Ebony Golden, Louise, Seven Guitars
8. Imani Okwuosa, Mame Wilks, Radio Golf
9. Jordyn Spencer, Tonya, King Hedley II
10. Kerrington Jackson, Louise, Seven Guitars
11. Kevin Anderson, Becker, Jitney
12. Nalin Reed, Bynum Walker, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone
13. Nicholas Wilkinson, Levee, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
14. Raymond Seay, Floyd Barton, Seven Guitars
15. Yeshua Hardy, Becker, Jitney
16. Zaria Williams, Tonya, King Hedley II

Guest Co-host

This year’s virtual competition was co-hosted by, none other than the ‘Velvet Teddy Bear” himself, Ruben Studdard. This American singer, actor and educator graced our virtual stages and supported our own Director of Education and Birmingham native, Nikki Toombs, as the “Sweet Sixteen” vied for the coveted title as the Atlanta Regional Winner. With a friendship that spans over 20 years, this dynamic duo brought humor, advice and the annual highlight of the competition-the “original blues song.” Studdard has supported this competition for years and it was great to finally have him join the True Colors team as co-host.

2021 Judges

Eric Ayala

Hilda Willis: August Wilson Monologue Competition Judge

Hilda Willis

Brenda Porter: August Wilson Monologue Competition Judge

Brenda Porter

Bishop Jacquez Nails: August Wilson Monologue Competition Judge

Bishop Jacquez Nails

Atiba Mbiwan: August Wilson Monologue Competition Judge

Atiba Mbiwan

Our 2021 judges had a very difficult task, as the field of competitors was very strong.
We thank Eric Ayala, Hilda Willis, Brenda Porter, Bishop Jacquez Nails, and Atiba Mbiwan for their service this year!

2021 Regional Finalists:

1. Taloria Merricks, Vera, Seven Guitars
2. Kaylah Copeland, Molly Cunningham, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone
3. Caleb Baumann, Harmond Wilks, Radio Golf
4. Aria Armstead, Berniece, The Piano Lesson
5. Brendan White, King Hedley II, King Hedley II
6. Destiny Jennings, Ruby, King Hedley II
7. Ebony Golden, Louise, Seven Guitars
8. Imani Okwuosa, Mame Wilks, Radio Golf
9. Jordyn Spencer, Tonya, King Hedley II
10. Kerrington Jackson, Louise, Seven Guitars
11. Kevin Anderson, Becker, Jitney
12. Nalin Reed, Bynum Walker, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone
13. Nicholas Wilkinson, Levee, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
14. Raymond Seay, Floyd Barton, Seven Guitars
15. Yeshua Hardy, Becker, Jitney
16. Zaria Williams, Tonya, King Hedley II

Guest Co-host

This year’s virtual competition was co-hosted by, none other than the ‘Velvet Teddy Bear” himself, Ruben Studdard.  This American singer, actor and educator graced our virtual stages and supported  our own Director of Education and Birmingham native, Nikki Toombs, as the “Sweet Sixteen” vied for the coveted title as the Atlanta Regional Winner. With a friendship that spans over 20 years, this dynamic duo brought humor,  advice and the annual highlight of the competition-the “original blues song.” Studdard has supported this competition for years and it was great to finally have him join the True Colors team as co-host. 

2021 Judges

Eric Ayala

Hilda Willis: August Wilson Monologue Competition Judge

Hilda Willis

Brenda Porter: August Wilson Monologue Competition Judge

Brenda Porter

Bishop Jacquez Nails: August Wilson Monologue Competition Judge

Bishop Jacquez Nails

Atiba Mbiwan: August Wilson Monologue Competition Judge

Atiba Mbiwan

Our 2021 judges had a very difficult task, as the field of competitors was very strong.
We thank Eric Ayala, Hilda Willis, Brenda Porter, Bishop Jacquez Nails, and Atiba Mbiwan for their service this year!

Registration for Next Season Opening Soon!

I can confidently say this was the best experience I have ever had with a theatre competition. The True Colors members approached everyone with such love and treated us as true professional artists. They never failed to encourage and uplift every soul in the room, from beginning every session with high energy warm ups to making time to help and encourage the competitors individually. Not only did the team help in creating a comfortable atmosphere, but the beautiful group I competed with made the experience great as well!

Taylor Jackson (2nd Place)
Alabama School of Fine Arts