The Judges & Winners of the 2014 August Wilson Monologue Competition: Ruth Mercado-Zizzo,
Terrence Kidd, Obehi Janice, Joie LeMaitre, Johnny Lee Davenport, Fatima Barry (1st Runner Up),
Ashley Herbert (2nd Runner Up), and Trinidad Ramkissoon (Champion). Photo credit: Obehi Janice
Congratulations to Trinidad Ramkissoon of Boston Day and Evening Academy, first place winner of the August Wilson Monologue Competition Boston Regional for his stunning performance as Troy from Fences! Fatima Barry from Boston Adult Technical Academy, who performed Rose from Fences, was named first runner-up, and Ashley Herbert of Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers was named second runner-up for her performance of Black Mary from Gem of the Ocean. The Boston Regional Finals were held this past Saturday at the South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, and these three lucky winners will receive all-expense-paid trips to New York City for the National Finals on May 5, courtesy of Kenny Leon's True Colors Theatre Company and Jujamycn Theatres.
The Huntington was a longtime artistic home for August Wilson from 1986 until his death, and this was the Education Department's fourth year hosting the Competition in Boston. The Boston regional August Wilson Monologue Competition was funded in part by the BPS Arts Expansion Initiative, a multi-year initiative focused on access, equity, and quality arts learning for BPS students. The judges included local actor Johnny Lee Davenport, local playwright and actor Obehi Janice, local playwright Terrence Kidd, EdVestors BPS Arts Expansion Director Ruth Mercado Zizzo, and Huntington Trustee Joie LeMaitre. The Boston regional August Wilson Monologue Competition was funded in part by the BPS Arts Expansion Initiative, a multi-year initiative focused on access, equity, and quality arts learning for BPS students.
In competition, students performed a two to three-minute monologue of their choosing from one of the ten plays. Huntington Education Department staff and teaching artists visited eleven Boston public high schools weekly since last October to introduce Wilson and the ten plays of his Century Cycle about the 20th century African-American experience, as well as to support script analysis and character development and coach students in their performances in preparation for the competition. The participating schools were: Academy of the Pacific Rim, Another Course to College, Boston Adult Technical Academy, Boston Day and Evening Academy, Brighton High School, Codman Academy Charter Public School, Dorchester Academy, Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers, McKinley South End Academy, New Mission High School, and Snowden International School at Copley.
"For many of our students through the city, being invisible is the way of safety and surviving," said Connie Borab, a teacher from Boston Day and Evening Academy. "Yet these young people, these 'Wilsonian Soldiers,' find their voices and courageously say, 'see me and hear the truth that (August Wilson and) I have to tell.'"
There's more photo and video from the competition still to come, but for now, you can learn more on the August Wilson Monologue Competition webpage.