David Cromer, Narda E. Alcorn, Saul Williams and Ben Thompson, Stephen McKinley Henderson, overall winner Ashley Herbert, Denzel Washington, Pauletta Washington, Christopher Jackson, third-place winner Atiauna Grant, James A. Williams, and runner-up Robert Upton.
From left: David Cromer, Narda E. Alcorn, Saul Williams, Ben Thompson, Stephen McKinley Henderson, overall winner Ashley Herbert, Denzel Washington, Pauletta Washington, Christopher Jackson, third-place winner Atiauna Grant, James A. Williams, and runner-up Robert Upton.
(© Gustavo Munroy/AWMC)

Jujamcyn Theaters and Kenny Leon's True Colors Theatre Company have announced that Ashley Herbert from Boston has won first place at the sixth annual August Wilson Monologue Competition, which was held on May 5 at the August Wilson Theatre. Robert Upton from Chicago was the runner-up, and an honorable mention went to Atiauna Grant from Atlanta.

The event's awards ceremony featured a surprise guest appearance from Denzel Washington (A Raisin in the Sun), who also greeted all of the contestants afterward. The yearly event features high school students from across the country performing monologues by the legendary American playwright. The evening featured a special performance from the upcoming Tupac Shakur Broadway musical, Holler If Ya Hear Me, featuring actors Saul Williams, Christopher Jackson, and Ben Thompson.

Macy's provided the winners with cash scholarships, with the first place winner receiving a $1,500 prize, the runner-up a $750 prize, and the honorable mention a $500 prize. Delta Air Lines surprised the top three contestants by doubling their monetary awards. Each of the winners has also become eligible for college scholarship opportunities, and all finalists received the gift of TCG's Century Cycle collection.

Judges for the competition included Narda E. Alcorn (stage manager), David Cromer (director/actor), Stephen McKinley Henderson (actor), Pauletta Washington (actress), and James A. Williams (actor).

For more information about the competition, click here.