ATLANTA: After years of success creating and running the national August Wilson Monologue Competition, Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company has announced a new national program called the Next Narrative Monologue Competition, which will feature the works a variety of contemporary Black playwrights. The competition, which will launch this fall in place of the Wilson competition, is for high school students. Potential partner organizations span multiple cities, including Triad Stage in Greensboro, N.C., LEAP in New York City, and Milwaukee Rep.
“The Next Narrative Monologue Competition will give high school students across the country and the broader public exposure to some of the country’s most notable contemporary Black playwrights,” said True Colors managing director Chandra Stephens-Albright in a statement. “After many years of incredible success in producing a national monologue competition for high school students, we are expanding the scope to create direct engagement with living playwrights for education and inspiration.”
Playwrights already expressing interest to the theatre include Candrice Jones, Josh Wilder, James Tyler, and Robert O’Hara.
“What excites me about this new competition is that it will expand the canon of storytelling beyond traditional narratives and allow young people to explore language and voices that look, feel, and sound like them,” said O’Hara in a statement. “Black playwriting is vast and varied and deserves to be celebrated and witnessed.”
Added True Colors artistic director Jamil Jude in a statement: “We have had a remarkable journey becoming a vibrant, successful regional theatre company driven by our incredible founder, Kenny Leon. Now is the time to become a nationally acknowledged, leading Black theatre company. One of our goals is to become the standard bearer for contemporary and next generation Black theatre, and the Next Narrative Monologue Competition is a great start toward that goal.”
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