Theater News

13th Annual August Wilson Monologue and Design Competitions Announce Winners

Hundreds of Chicago high school students participated in this year’s competition.

Demi Davis performing her winning monologue as Ruby from August Wilson's King Hedley II.
Demi Davis performing her winning monologue as Ruby from August Wilson's King Hedley II.
(© Liz Lauren)

The winners of the 13th annual August Wilson Monologue and Design Competitions, which included 330 total entrants, have been announced.

The first-place prize went to Demi Davis from Senn High School for her monologue performance as the character Ruby in Wilson's King Hedley II. Aisha Akorede (Amundsen High School) took home the second-place prize with her performance as Vera from Seven Guitars, and Alex Weber (ChiArts) came in third place with a performance as Sterling from Two Trains Running.

The newest aspect of the competition — "Designing August," which focuses on scenic and design elements — returned for its second year. Lauren Givens (Providence St. Mel School) earned first place for the design competition, while second and third places went to Aspira Early College High Schoolers Karla Marin-Casteneda and Jaime Uriostegui, respectively.

Cash prizes for the Monologue Competition, which were spontaneously raised by $500 by a generous anonymous donor moments before the winners were announced, are $1,500, $1000, and $500 for the first, second, and third place winners, respectively.

The free annual August Wilson Monologue Competition gives Chicagoland youth an opportunity to explore and share the richness of Wilson's American Century Cycle through master classes and offering college scholarships. Program participants from around Chicago encountered Wilson's 10-play cycle and received coaching from teaching artists to prepare their monologues for competition.