To educate students using a standards-based arts integrated curriculum that preserves both the rich canon of African American classics and world drama through an all-encompassing pedagogy, partnerships and performances.
To be a premier organization that adds theatre into the daily educational lives of students; therefore promoting respectful dialogue among cultures and fostering an appreciation for diverse viewpoints. The guiding principles of the Education Department are outlined in our three “P” plan: pedagogy, partnerships, and performance.
The Education Department of Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company, hosts the Annual August Wilson Monologue Competition. The monologue competition is open to all Georgia high school students and focuses on the plays of August Wilson’s Century Cycle, also known as The Pittsburgh Plays.
As part of the competition, students are asked to perform a 1-3 minute monologue of their choosing from one of the ten plays in the Century Cycle. Free acting workshops are also available for all students who apply for the competition. In-school August Wilson workshops are also provided at the request of any teacher who has had more than 10 students apply.
Fifteen finalists competed in the Atlanta finals at the Balzer Theatre at Herren’s in the downtown area. The top three winners were awarded scholarships and the opportunity to compete against winners from other participating states in the National Finals on Broadway at the August Wilson Theatre. The local and national finals are free and open to the public.
August Wilson’s Century Cycle is a singular achievement in American theatre. Each of the ten world-class plays is set in a different decade of the twentieth century. At the plays’ core are soaring, lyrical monologues that take the song, laughter, pain, and rich content of African American life and place it in the mouths of the most varied ensemble of characters written since Shakespeare. The inspiration for the competition was sparked by two of August Wilson’s closest living collaborators, Kenny Leon and Todd Kreidler. Kenny worked closely with
August directing many of the Century Cycle plays on Broadway and at major regional theatres and True Colors Associate Artistic Director Todd was Dramaturge for Wilson’s last play and Director of his one-man show.
“The goal of the competition is to build partnerships with schools and theaters across the United States, and to create educational materials about August Wilson that allow students to connect these important theatre works with educational curricula like history, social studies and literature,” said Todd Kreidler, Associate Artistic Director, Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company. “This monologue competition offers students of all races the opportunity to inhabit the lives and speak the words of these vital, lively characters.”
For questions about education programming contact Nikki Toombs at firstname.lastname@example.org