It is my extreme pleasure to announce that Ashley Herbert, from the Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers, was named the National Champion at last night’s National Finals of the August Wilson Monologue Competition on Broadway!
Ashley performed a monologue from Gem of the Ocean, portraying Black Mary to take the top prize. She was awarded a cash prize of $1500, which Delta announced last night would be doubled to $3,000. Denzel Washington was a surprise guest last night, gave an inspiring speech, greeted all 24 contestants personally.
I feel I can speak for everyone in our department when I say that there is a certain perfect poetry to us winning the national title of a competition dedicated to sharing the work of August Wilson with younger generations. Kenny Leon and Todd Kriedler began this competition after Wilson’s death, as a way to ensure they were doing their part to share his work with students, and we have seen hundreds of students connect and blossom in this work here in Boston. It’s always a highlight for us to talk with our students about Wilson’s legacy here, his history on Huntington Avenue, and what his work means to the Huntington, and our department specifically. The connection is real, our students grow to love his work, and now Ashley is the national champion.
Congratulations to Ashley, and Kimberly Frazier-Booth, her teacher at Kennedy Academy. And to our own Alex Truppi, who has been Ashley’s Teaching Artist from the beginning. Congratulations to Trinidad (Boston Day & Evening Academy) and Dinia (Snowden International School at Copley), who were also in NYC, and beautifully rounded out our representation.
We are all so proud of these students and all that they have accomplished.
Thank you to all of the teachers at our eleven schools — champions of August Wilson’s work in their classrooms, and partners with us every step of the way. And to our Teaching Artists who come in to help us connect with each school, thank you for continuing to be a part of this family with us.
We are so excited for next year, and hope that you all share in our celebration with Ashley.
All our best,
The Huntington’s Education Department
Ashley Herbert performing at the Boston Regional Finals of the 2014 August Wilson Monologue Competition