August Wilson Monologue Competition

Workshop and Audition Registrations Now Underway for 2021

The August Wilson Monologue Competition empowers high school students with the legendary playwright’s language. Students will take the stage with a lens on the Black American experience throughout the 20th Century.  With the assistance from Milwaukee Rep’s professional Teaching Artists, high school students will select a monologue, prepare for the competition, and have the chance to win cash prizes. This competition is open to all high school students from all backgrounds and ethnicities.

There are three rounds of competition with Milwaukee’s two regional winners receiving a $400 cash prize and one runner-up receiving a $100 cash prize. Regional winner will move on to compete at the national level.

For the 2021 the competition will be held virtually. Registration for auditions and the free workshops is under way now. Auditions will be held Feb. 27 and the deadline to sign up is Feb. 18.

Workshop RegistrationAudition Registration


In order to compete, students must:

1) Be in high school during the time of the competition.
2) Choose and memorize an approved monologue for the competition. To find a monologue, go to Approved AWMC Monologues in the Monologues tab below.
3) Register for the competition and be available for audition and regional/semi-final round dates.


Registration is now under way for our Zoom Workshops and Auditions. Auditions will be held Feb. 27 and the deadline to sign up is Feb. 18.

Workshop RegistrationAudition Registration
Competition Dates

Zoom Drop in Workshop
January 13, 20, 27 at 4pm
February 4, 10, 17 at 4pm

Virtual Auditions
Saturday, February 27 (deadline to register Feb 18)

Virtual Regionals Finals
Monday March 29

Virtual National Finals
May 1 – May 3

August Wilson Monologues

Students registered for the competition must choose a monologue from the approved list below. Monologues cannot be cut or changed in any way.

This competition is open to any ethnicity, age, or gender. Choose a monologue that piques your interest and speaks to you personally. The chosen character does not need to be representative of your age, gender, or ethnicity. We recommend that you read the whole play from which your chosen monologue comes. August Wilson’s entire collection can be found at Milwaukee Public Library.

Gem of the Ocean (PDF)
Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (PDF)
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PDF)
The Piano Lesson (PDF)
Seven Guitars (PDF)
Fences (PDF)
Two Trains Running (PDF)
Jitney (PDF)
King Hedley II (PDF)
Radio Golf (PDF)

About the Competition

The National August Wilson Monologue Competition connects high school students to one of the most prolific American playwrights. Students perform a monologue from Wilson’s Century Cycle and will compete for the chance to win cash prizes and the opportunity to perform in New York City on a Broadway stage. For 2021 the competition will be held virtually.

The National August Wilson Monologue Competition is a free arts education program celebrating the words of playwright August Wilson, inspiring high school students to express themselves through theater. Founded in 2007 by Kenny Leon and Todd Kreidler at Kenny Leon's True Colors Theatre Company in Atlanta, the program is produced in collaboration with the national presenting partners True Colors Theatre Company and Jujamcyn Theaters.

Milwaukee Rep’s August Wilson Monologue Competition participation is sponsored in part by:

Milwaukee Rep’s Spotlight Members