Witness the power of legendary playwright August Wilson’s words brought to life by emerging artists. This virtual event will feature 12 finalists performing their monologues for a chance to move on to the national finals, an original montage performance from the semi-finalists, and more. This event will be closed captioned.
2021 Regional AWMC Winners
Meet the finalists who represented our region at the national competition in May 2021.
Meet the Artists
South Kitsap High School
Francesca Corso is a senior at South Kitsap High School and will be attending Central in the fall. She has always loved the arts and has found multiple ways to express herself with it through playing the violin, acting, and painting. She has played the violin for about 10 years and has been doing theater since the 3rd grade. Some of her most notable productions have been Beauty and the Beast, Marry Poppins, Macbeth, The Odd Couple, A Christmas Story, and many more. She hopes to pursue theater as a career and she plans to double major in theater and psychology in the fall. She would like to thank her friends, family, directors, and teachers for always supporting her and pushing her to be her best. She would also like to thank the Seattle Rep AWMC team for this amazing opportunity!
Holy Names Academy
Kennedy Dawson, a senior at Holy Names Academy, is honored to compete in the August Wilson Monologue Competition this year. Kennedy is an active participant in her high school theater department, performing in such productions as She Kills Monsters, Radium Girls, and as "Ti Moune" in Once On This Island. She has also been a part of many Seattle Children's Theatre productions including Ragtime, RENT!, and Anon(ymous), as well as The 5th Avenue Theater's Rising Star Project -10 Minute Musicals. Kennedy considers herself a social activist and hopes to use her art as a platform to inspire younger kids of color to be unafraid to use their voices.
South Kitsap High School
Ethan Dickerson is a junior at South Kitsap High School and has enjoyed acting since 2nd grade. He feels blessed to have the privilege of competing alongside such wholesome actors in the August Wilson Monologue Competition. Prior to the pandemic, Ethan was seen in productions including: Curtains!, Beauty and the Beast, Julius Caesar, and Marry Poppins. Ethan would like to thank his family for enduring the life of an actor during quarantine and their unending support for his aspirations, and would also like to thank the wonderful coaching and kind people at Seattle Rep who stay true to the mantra: “The show must go on!”
Federal Way High School
Sonia Johnson is a homeschooled sophomore whose joy in life comes from acting. Sonia had always been intrigued by the art of acting, but did not try it for herself until she decided to compete in the August Wilson Monologue Competition. Sonia loves the idea that acting is not just pretending to be someone else, but that it is finding yourself in another character. Finding herself in a character from one of August Wilson's plays has been both an invigorating and humbling experience for her, which has just made her want to find herself in new characters all the more. Sonia would like to thank the monologue coaches at Seattle Rep, especially Allyson Lee Brown and Alex Lee Reed, for introducing her to acting while being remarkably sincere, fun, and uplifting. Learning from them was the highlight of her every week.
Bothell High School
ZuZu Kandilige is a junior at Bothell High School and has been involved with theater since middle school. Her love for the arts started after taking improv classes and participating in school productions. She loves acting because of the storytelling aspect, and hopes to study acting in college and one day direct on-screen productions. She would like to thank her drama teacher Diana Henderson, her family, and friends for supporting her on her journey.
Newport High School
Lauren Kirkpatrick is a junior at Newport High School and has recently embraced her passion for acting. She strongly believes that storytelling is one of the most powerful forms of education and sets the foundation for building understanding and empathy, something our world needs more of. Most of her experience in drama derives from her work in speech and debate. In the past she has competed in Dual Interpretation and is currently a National and State Qualifier for Program Oral Interpretation. She would like to thank her Speech and Debate coach, Dr. Megan Troutman, for her dedication and passion as a mentor. Moreover, she would like to thank her mom for always being her cheerleader and attempting to keep her, at times, rambunctious family as quiet as possible during remote performances.
Carly Jo Leonhardt
South Kitsap High School
Carly Jo Leonhardt is a senior at South Kitsap High School in Port Orchard, Washington. She first found her love of performing when she was just five years old. Originally she started with dance and the movement arts, but as she got older she developed a love for plays, musicals, and the technical side of theater. Carly Jo has worked six shows at South Kitsap doing various work back and on stage. Theater has given her the ability to express emotions and connect with people on a deeper level. She would like to thank her mom and dad for always supporting her no matter what. She would also like to express deep gratitude towards the various theater teachers pushing her to be a strong and capable actor.
South Kitsap High School
Alice Miller is currently a junior attending South Kitsap High School who has been a part of the school's acting community since her freshmen year. Alice is also a musician and finds that her experience from musical performance has given her skills that translate well into acting. She initially became interested in acting from her long-time love of film and theater. Her favorite part of acting is how immersive and expressive it can be.
Skyline High School
Natalia Ortiz is a 14-year-old girl who loves theater and music. She played Sarah Ruth in the Seattle Children’s Theatre main stage production of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. She has also appeared in the SCT summer season student productions of Through the Lookingglass (Alice), Mario and the Comet (Mario), and The Lion King (Shenzi), as well as in the Village Theatre KIDSTAGE production of Seussical (Jojo). A freshman at Skyline High School in Sammamish, Natalia has studied at SCT’s Drama School, plays piano, keeps working on her singing technique, and studies ballet at Pacific Northwest Ballet. She is delighted to be participating in the August Wilson Monologue Competition.
Kent Meridian High School
Malia Silva is a sophomore at Kent Meridian High School and decided that she wanted to pursue a career in acting in freshman year. Malia relies heavily on this and other artistic outlets to channel her energy and emotion into. Shows she has been in are She Kills Monsters where she played Tilly and Still Loading..., which she helped write and played Leo. She's thankful to her whole family who helped shape the person she is, but she's especially thankful for her mom and stepdad for supporting her passion when it was tiring to do so. She would also like to thank her drama teacher Mr. Thornton for introducing her to acting and the teachers at Seattle Rep who helped fuel her passion.
Tacoma School of the Arts
My name is Lala Smith I’ve been acting since I was in second grade. I have always wanted to be on the stage since I was little singing, into a cord as a toddler. The stage, the lights, the makeup, everything makes me happy. It feels amazing to see the audience's emotions and smiles. It is my dream to go to New York and attend Julliard. As a young Black woman, it would make me happy to be another Black woman that little girls can see and get inspired by, just like how I got inspired.
Timberline High School
South Kitsap High School
South Kitsap High School
South Kitsap High School
South Kitsap High School
Returning AWMC Participant
Braden Abraham joined Seattle Rep in 2002, starting as an artistic intern, then holding several positions on the artistic staff. He served as Associate Artistic Director for seven years before assuming artistic leadership of the theater in 2014. During his tenure, Braden has re-envisioned the New Play Program and initiated Seattle Rep’s Public Works. An accomplished director, he has directed many productions for Seattle Rep, including most recently: True West; The Great Moment (premiere); A Doll’s House, Part 2; Last of the Boys; Ibsen in Chicago (premiere); Well; Luna Gale; A View from the Bridge; Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?; A Great Wilderness (premiere); and Photograph 51. He has developed plays with The O’Neill, Ojai Playwrights Conference, The Denver Center, Inge Festival, Portland Center Stage, The Playwrights’ Center, and Perseverance Theatre.
Eugene Lee's career offers a singular combination of on and off-screen expertise. He began working as an actor in the early 1970s and continues to appear on stage, in movies and on television. In 1972, while in college, Lee performed in A Raisin in the Sun for President Lyndon B. Johnson at his Texas ranch. Nearly fifty years later, he has gone on to appear on camera and extensive voice over (ADR) work in over 200 television movies, films, and series, and has long since lost count of the number of plays he’s been involved with.
He went on to appear in television shows, including "The Women of Brewster Place" with Oprah Winfrey, "Dallas," "Good Times," "The White Shadow," and "The District," and the title character in Wolf, an award winning independent film. Recently after performing in the Broadway production of American Son, he recreated his role in the Emmy-nominated Netflix film adaptation.
He has appeared on stage across the country and globe. He has worked and traveled with New York’s renowned Negro Theatre Ensemble, performing in the Pulitzer Prize-winning A Soldier's Play, and numerous other works. He is considered a "Wilsonian Warrior" for his many appearances in the works of August Wilson, including the Broadway production of Gem of the Ocean. He performed in five of Wilson's 10 plays at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and in the taped PBS recordings of all ten plays in the American Century Cycle as well as in August Wilson’s final autobiographical one-man piece, How I Learned What I Learned. His stage credits include appearances with New York’s Negro Ensemble Company, WPA Theatre, The Public Theater, Crossroads Theatre Company in New Jersey, Los Angeles’ Mark Taper Forum, Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, Boston’s Huntington Theatre, Alliance and True Colors Theatre Company in Atlanta, Arena Stage and Kennedy Center in D.C., Baltimore’s Center Stage, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre, Seattle Rep, and then some.
His writing credits include "Homicide: Life on the Streets" (“Every Mother’s Son”), which is among a Writer’s Guild designation as one of the top 100 television series; "Walker, Texas Ranger," "Michael Hayes," "The Journey of Allen Strange", "The Turks," and the TV movie Port Chicago.
His own characters come to life through his plays, including East Texas Hot Links, which has been produced on stages from Los Angeles, to New York, to London’s Royal Court, and is published by Samuel French. His other plays include Fear Itself, Somebody Called: A Tale of Two Preachers, Ode to Juneteenth, Killingsworth, the book to the musical Twist, and Lyin' Ass a play about a fictional first Black female Texas Ranger.
Lee is Artist in Residence and Artistic Director of the Black and Latino Playwright's Celebration at Texas State University which celebrated its 17th year in 2020. Through this venue, Lee has brought playwrights and students together with professional directors and performers to work on developing new plays with those aspiring to have their voices heard. Lee was inducted into the prestigious Texas Institute of Letters in 2018.
Dena Levitin was playwright August Wilson’s Personal Assistant for 8½ years. After Mr. Wilson’s untimely death in 2005, she served for 5 years as the Executive Administrator for his Estate. With the exception of Mr. Wilson’s wife, Ms. Levitin has seen more performances of Mr. Wilson’s works than anyone else in the region. (Mr. Wilson even named an off-stage character for her in his last play, Radio Golf.) She is currently working at a downtown Seattle law firm, and is again honored to have been invited to be a part of Seattle Rep’s August Wilson Monologue Competition.
Shaunyce Omar has performed on stages all around the world and is a proud member of Actors' Equity Association. Some of her credits include Barbecue, Crowns, Black Nativity, Hairspray, Matilda, The Wedding Band, My Heart is the Drum, The Pajama Game, Chicago, The Wiz, Ain't Misbehavin', and Menopause The Musical – National Tour. Her TV/Film credits include The Librarians and Last Seen In Idaho, to name a few. Shaunyce’s voice can also be heard as the character Madison Grant in the "State of Decay: LIFELINE" video game. In addition to stage and screen work, Omar is a teaching artist and has taught in public and private schools, arts organizations, and overseas as a Master Sensei in Japan.
Sarah Russell is a Seattle based performer, teaching artist, and advocate for racial equity and social justice. Sarah has been performing professionally for the last 10+ years. You may have recently seen her in Seattle Rep's Public Works production of selections from Twelfth Night as Olivia. Other credits include The 25th Annual...Spelling Bee at Village Theatre, Urinetown at ACT, and would have performed in Sister Act at The 5th Avenue Theatre last March. She has also worked as the Casting Associate at Taproot Theatre Company, and she is currently the Director of Signature Entertainment for Naomi Morgan Entertainment. When she's not working, Sarah enjoys playing the ukulele, taking naps, laughing with friends, and finding ways to bring together our community through conversation and art.
Allyson Lee Brown
Semi-Finals & Prelims Judge
Kenn Hopkins II
Alex Lee Reed
AWMC Creative Director & Host
Allyson Lee Brown
Hattie Claire Andres
Event Streaming FAQ
On the day of AWMC Regional Finals (March 25), registered attendees will receive a "Your Streaming Info" email that includes the streaming link to the online event. Click through that link before or at the 6 p.m. PT showtime to watch. If you did not receive the "Your Streaming Info" or confirmation emails after reserving your AWMC Regional Finals tickets, please contact the Patron Services Office by phone at 206.443.2222, send a message, or via text at 206.347.0261. AWMC Regional Finals will stream through a private link on YouTube. You will need to reserve your free ticket in order to receive streaming access. You do not need a YouTube account or paid membership to watch. However, if you would like to participate in the chat box function where you can communicate with other viewers during the event, you must log into or create your own free YouTube account. If your smart TV has access to a YouTube app, or an external streaming device like Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick, Apple TV, Roku, and some modern gaming consoles that can also connect to YouTube, you can stream AWMC Regional Finals to those devices. As every device and tech set-up is different, here are a few resources to help you find the answers you need to prepare your specific devices: Our Patron Services Office will be standing by. Contact the team by phone at 206.443.2222, send a message, or via text at 206.347.0261. You will receive a confirmation email within 15 minutes of completing your ticket reservation. If you do not receive your confirmation email, check your inbox spam folder and the My Account page of our website for your streaming access info. If you still don't see your streaming access info, please contact our Patron Services Office at 206.443.2222 or send a message. Due to contractual agreements, this presentation will not be available to watch at a later time. Please contact our Patron Services Office by phone at 206.443.2222, send a message, or via text at 206.347.0261.
How can I watch the AWMC Regional Finals?
How to Watch on a Smart TV
I need more assistance!
I reserved my free tickets but haven't received a confirmation email. What do I do?
Will this event be available to watch later?
I need further assistance!
On the day of AWMC Regional Finals (March 25), registered attendees will receive a "Your Streaming Info" email that includes the streaming link to the online event. Click through that link before or at the 6 p.m. PT showtime to watch.
If you did not receive the "Your Streaming Info" or confirmation emails after reserving your AWMC Regional Finals tickets, please contact the Patron Services Office by phone at 206.443.2222, send a message, or via text at 206.347.0261.
AWMC Regional Finals will stream through a private link on YouTube. You will need to reserve your free ticket in order to receive streaming access. You do not need a YouTube account or paid membership to watch. However, if you would like to participate in the chat box function where you can communicate with other viewers during the event, you must log into or create your own free YouTube account.
If your smart TV has access to a YouTube app, or an external streaming device like Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick, Apple TV, Roku, and some modern gaming consoles that can also connect to YouTube, you can stream AWMC Regional Finals to those devices.
As every device and tech set-up is different, here are a few resources to help you find the answers you need to prepare your specific devices:
Our Patron Services Office will be standing by. Contact the team by phone at 206.443.2222, send a message, or via text at 206.347.0261.
You will receive a confirmation email within 15 minutes of completing your ticket reservation. If you do not receive your confirmation email, check your inbox spam folder and the My Account page of our website for your streaming access info.
If you still don't see your streaming access info, please contact our Patron Services Office at 206.443.2222 or send a message.
Due to contractual agreements, this presentation will not be available to watch at a later time.
Please contact our Patron Services Office by phone at 206.443.2222, send a message, or via text at 206.347.0261.
Known as the "American Shakespeare," August Wilson is recognized as one of the most influential playwrights of our time.
The American Century CycleMORE
Wilson’s 10-play American Century Cycle explores the heritage and experience of African Americans, decade by decade, over the course of the 20th century.
Find information about participation in the AWMC, FAQs, our Youth Engagement programming, and more.
Did You Know...?MORE
Read on to learn some little-known facts about Wilson, his work, and his time at Seattle Rep.
Watch and learn about the creation of the August Wilson-inspired, student-written performance Still Loading... by Kent-Meridian High School theater students.
Celebrate Wilson’s legacy and gear up for the 11th year of the AWMC by reading all ten plays in Wilson’s American Century Cycle.
Check out copies of Wilson's plays, plus explore additional curated films and interviews to further engage with the playwright and his work.
Seattle Rep's Youth Engagement Programs are supported by:
The Chisholm Foundation
U.S. Bank Foundation
Loeb Family Foundations | Hazel Miller Foundation | KeyBank
Muckleshoot Charitable Fund | Forest Foundation | Theatre Forward
Hubbard Family Foundation
Header Image: Jade Sandoval performing in the 2020 AWMC. Photo by Angela Nickerson.