Theater notes: Judges named for August Wilson Monologue contest in NYC; a couple of Fellows with local ties

Thursday, 17 April 2014 02:22 PM Written by 



Check out some of the Pittsburgh ties in this press release about the judges for the sixth annual August Wilson Monologue Competition on Monday, May 5, at Broadway's August Wilson Theatre, home of the "Jersey Boys." Representing Pittsburgh after winning the local contest will be ShaQjuan Tyler, Lawrence White and Shawndasia Collins (above, image by Emmai Alaquiva):


Jujamcyn Theatersand True Colors Theatre Company have announced the judges for the event -- which is free and open to the public -- and features high school students from Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Pittsburgh and Seattle performing monologues by the late, legendary American playwright.

Judges for the 2014 August Wilson Monologue Competition will include Narda E. Alcorn (stage manager), David Cromer (director/actor), Stephen McKinley Henderson (actor), Pauletta Washington (actress and wife of Denzel), and James A. Williams (actor).

The evening will also include performances by well-known Wilsonian veterans and special musical guests. The complete list of performers will be announced shortly.

Founded in 2007, the annual August Wilson Monologue Competition aims to expose a new generation of creative minds to the life's work and artistic legacy of this seminal American playwright. Program participants in cities across the country encounter Wilson's ten-play cycle and receive coaching from teaching artists as they prepare their monologues for local, city-wide and national competitions.

This year's competition will afford students from these cities around the country the opportunity to attend Broadway's "After Midnight," work closely with two of Wilson's closest collaborators: director Kenny Leon and Pittsburgh dramaturg and playwright Todd Kreidler, and explore popular Manhattan attractions before making their Broadway stage debuts. The two finalists from each regional city will compete, and the top contestants will be chosen to perform on the August Wilson Stage on May 5.

The top three contestants from the national competition receive monetary awards. The first place winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize, the runner-up a $500 cash prize and the honorable mention a $250 cash prize. Each of the winners will also become eligible for college scholarship opportunities and all finalists receive the gift of TCG's Century Cycle collection.

The Monologue Competition is also featured in "The Start of Dreams," a documentary directed by The Horne Brothers. Featuring A-list actors like Denzel Washington, Samuel L. Jackson and Phylicia Rashad, "The Start of Dreams" is packed with Hollywood's elite weighing in on this important art form and what it means to the United States. 


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Attilio "Buck" Favorini, the founding chair of the Department of Theatre Arts at the University of Pittsburgh, will be inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre this weekend at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The award "honors distinguished achievers ... of recognized national stature in professional and educational theatre." This year's other honorees are Frank Galiano, Alan MacVey, Kathryn D. Robinson, Robert Schenkkan, Thomas C. Schumacher, Roberta Uno and Jim Volz.


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Also freshly arrived via email, the 2014 fellowship recipients of the Drama League's Directors Project, which include Carnegie Mellon graduate Lavina Jadwani. She receives a four-month residency at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Mass., assisting on mainstage productions and directing in the company's extensive Shakespeare education program.

Here's what the release had to say about the honoree in the classical directing program: Lavina Jadhwani was named Time Out Chicago's "Best Next Generation Stage Director." Her work has been seen at Silk Road Rising (Artistic Associate), Rasaka Theatre Company (Artistic Director, 2007-2013), Apple Tree, Bailiwick, Chicago Dramatists, Oak Park Festival Theatre, Raven Theatre, Remy Bumppo, the side project, Stage Left, Victory Gardens, and others. She received an SDCF Observership, an Illinois Board of Higher Education Fellowship, and three LMDA awards. Proud graduate of Carnegie Mellon; currently pursuing an MFA in Directing at The Theatre School at DePaul University.






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