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August Wilson New Voices (formerly the “August Wilson Monologue Competition”) honors of one of the greatest American playwrights: Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson (1945 – 2005). Through this program, we aim to provide exposure to and cultivate appreciation of Mr. Wilson’s 10-play American Century Cycle in every high school. We hope to give voice to the next generation—where they can see themselves in August’s work and are emboldened to tell their story from their own unique lens.

(Chicago winners moving to Nationals announced.)

A singular achievement in the American theater, the American Century Cycle includes plays set in a different decade of the twentieth century: Gem of the Ocean (1900s), Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (1910s), Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (1920s), The Piano Lesson (1930s), Seven Guitars (1940s), Fences (1950s), Two Trains Running (1960s), Jitney (1970s), King Hedley II (1980s) and Radio Golf (1990s). Goodman Theatre was first in the nation to produce every play—including two world-premiere productions—of the cycle.

August Wilson New Voices National Finals – April 29

On April 29, 2024 at the Pittsburgh Public Theatre we invite you for a special night of theatre as we celebrate the work of August Wilson. We welcome finalists from Chicago, Boston, and Pittsburgh to compete by performing monologues and presenting visual designs from August Wilson’s, Century Cycle, a collection of 10 plays that covers African-American history in the 20th century.

Tickets are FREE, reservations required.


Please note that this event will *not* take place on site at Goodman Theatre. This competition will be hosted in Pittsburgh, PA at the Pittsburgh Public Theatre.


View the press release and 2024 winners here.

Apply for August Wilson New Voices 2024/2025 here.

National Finalists

ATLANTA FINALISTS (Produced by the I’m Ready Foundation)
Monologue Finalists:
Layla Mack (Martha Ellen Stilwell School of the Arts) as Rose from Fences
Terrance Tate (Heritage High School) as Troy from Fences

BOSTON FINALISTS (Produced by the Huntington Theatre)

Monologue Finalists:

Alana (Lala) Cooks-Beeks (Boston Arts Academy) as Black Mary from Gem of the Ocean
Demitrius (DJ) Pepincepeda (Melvin H. King South End Academy) as Gabriel from Fences 

CHICAGO FINALISTS (Produced by the League of Chicago Theatres)
Monologue Finalists:

John McBeth III (Thornton Fractional North) as Levee from Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Keniyah Stephenson (Thornton Fractional North) as Berniece from The Piano Lesson

Design Finalists:

Janeci Correa (Chicago High School for the Arts)
J’Maria Stamps (DRW College Prep)

LOS ANGELES FINALISTS (Produced by Support Black Theatre)
Monologue First Place

Amari Howell (View Park Prep High School) as Seth Holly from Joe Turner’s Come and Gone
Yenay Cuevas (Ramón C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts) as Vera from Seven Guitars

PITTSBURG FINALISTS (Produced by The Bill Nunn Theatre Outreach Program)
Monologue Finalists:

Layla Sewell-Wilson (Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts 6–12) as Molly Cunningham from Joe Turner’s Come and Gone
Sydney Pellegrino (The Barack Obama Academy of International Studies) as Rena from Jitney

Design Finalist:

Adia Boccella (The Ellis School)


August Wilson New Voices is a program produced by
August Wilson Legacy, LLC., Goodman Theatre, and Gilded Road Productions.

Derrick Sanders
National Competition Director

Charlique C. Rolle
Associate National Competition Director

Bianca Mitchell
National Coordinator

Charles Andrew Gardner
National Trainer

Courtney O’Neil
National Trainer