We asked a few of the students involved in this year's Next Narrative Monologue Competition (NNMC) Seattle Regional Finals to share their favorite plays, what drew them to the competition, and more. Hear from Rosemary Thornton, Laela Johnson, Malia Silva, Brianne Slaughter, Leah Thomison, Joshua Rhodes, Lelena Moore, and Savanah Coleman.
Top Row: Joshua Rhodes, Savanah Coleman, and Laela Johnson
Bottom Row: Rosemary Thornton, Lelena Moore, Brianne Slaughter, and Malia Silva
1) WHAT DREW YOU TO THE NEXT NARRATIVE MONOLOGUE COMPETITION (NNMC)?
Rosemary Thornton (RT): Seeing all the August Wilson Monologue Competitions growing up and being super impressed.
Laela Johnson (LJ): I wanted to do it again this year!
Malia Silva (MS): The first time I competed, my drama teacher was affiliated with Seattle Rep. This year, I’ve just really enjoyed my past experiences.
Brianne Slaughter (BS): My good friend Leah asked me if I wanted to join this competition with her.
Leah Thomison (LT): I saw my friends compete last year and was really interested in the program.
Joshua Rhodes (JR): My mom did. She forced me into it but I loved it.
Lelena Moore (LM): When Deanna [Martinez, Associate Director of Arts Engagement - Youth & Community at Seattle Rep] came to my school and explained the competition.
Savanah Coleman (SC): My theater director came up to me one day and introduced me to the competition.
2) WHAT HAS THE EXPERIENCE OF PARTICIPATING IN-PERSON AND VIRTUALLY BEEN LIKE?
RT: Really amazing. I have met so many talented, helpful, and awesome people.
LJ: I love in-person just a little more.
BS: It has helped me meet lots of new friends and great coaches.
MS: In person and virtual coaching have their own benefits. Virtually you don’t have to drive anywhere, but in person definitely feels more personal.
LT: It has been really fun meeting new people and working with different coaches.
JR: In person is much better for me and there is only so much you can do online so it's better to perform in person.
LM: It’s been great and I’ve loved meeting new people.
SC: This experience has definitely helped me become better at speaking in public and memorization.
3) FAVORITE PLAYWRIGHT AND/OR FAVORITE PLAY?
RT: Almost, Maine
LJ: Beauty and the Beast
MS: My favorite play is definitely Hookman by Lauren Yee.
BS: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
LM: The Wiz
SC: My favorite play is Heathers because I think it’s fun and intriguing.
4) WHY DO YOU THINK IT’S IMPORTANT FOR PEOPLE YOUR AGE TO PARTICIPATE IN THEATER AND PROGRAMS LIKE NNMC?
RT: To learn and grow, meet new people, and get exposed to so many amazing playwrights.
LJ: So they can let themselves be out there more.
MS: Theater gives people (regardless of age) an outlet to express themselves!
BS: To get different opportunities and to get out of your comfort zone.
LT: Learning about different experiences and stories through the monologues.
JR: It’s a good way to express yourself knowing you’ll be accepted.
LM: Because it brings you out of your comfort zone and it opens you up to new learning experiences.
SC: I think it’s important because it helps with social skills and things needed to be successful in the future.
5) WHAT’S ONE THING YOU’VE LEARNED FROM COMPETING IN NNMC?
RT: That you can always improve/make something better.
LJ: How to memorize things.
MS: I’ve learned to make every moment count, both onstage and off.
BS: There’s people that want you to succeed so badly.
LT: The people are really welcoming.
Watch these incredible young performers take to the Bagley Wright stage on Friday, April 7 at 7:30 p.m. Reserve your $5 tickets to the NNMC Regional Finals today!