The Next Narrative Monologue Competition begins its inaugural year in Fall 2021. If your question about this new program is not answered below, contact our Youth Engagement team.

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What happened with the August Wilson Monologue Competition?

After over a decade of celebrating the work of the great August Wilson through the August Wilson Monologue Competition, Seattle Rep and our partners across the country are joining Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company in their launch of the Next Narrative Monologue Competition.

Before playwright August Wilson's untimely passing in 2005, he wrote ten stunning plays exploring the heritage and experience of African Americans, decade by decade, over the course of the 20th century. Now, the next generation of Black American playwrights will carry on his legacy and write the "next narratives" of today and the future through the Next Narrative Monologue Competition.

What are the program objectives of the NNMC?

The program objectives of the Next Narrative Monologue Competition are to:

  1. Introduce students to today's leading contemporary Black writers
  2. Expose students to acting techniques that enhance their knowledge of the art and skill of performance
  3. Utilize the arts to support students in making co-curricular connections
  4. Investigate how history and culture influence personal perspective through artful exploration
  5. Embolden students to use their voices to inspire social action

Who can participate?

High school-aged youth (grades 9-12) living in Washington state

Will the 2021/22 NNMC be held virtually or in-person?

While our hope is that all rounds of the NNMC can be held live and in-person this year, Seattle Rep and our national partners will be following guidance from public health officials as well as any local, state, and federal health and safety mandates. As such, this may need to be decided on a case-by-case basis as we approach the competition dates.

Does the NNMC cost anything?

There is absolutely NO COST to participate in the competition or Seattle Rep workshops!

What does the journey from Seattle Rep to the National Finals look like?

Regionally, students progress through three rounds: Preliminaries, Semi-Finals, and Regional Finals. Then, the top two winners from each regional competition participate in the National Finals, receiving an all-expense-paid trip to New York City that includes:

  • Workshops with theater professionals
  • Performance at the Apollo Theater
  • Ticket to a Broadway show
  • Cash prizes for the top three winners

Find the dates for these events here.

If I have a conflict and am unable to attend any of the three competition rounds, am I still allowed to participate?

No, you must be present for all three rounds. Find competition dates here.

Do I need acting experience prior to the competition?

This competition is open to all students who have an interest in acting and theater. No previous acting experience is required.

How can I get help with my monologue?

Seattle Rep will host a number of free city-wide workshops. Attend as many as you like! Find dates here.

We also offer in-school workshops. Talk to your teachers to request this option and our Youth Engagement team can coordinate this learning opportunity.

How long should my monologue be?

Your monologue must be between 1 and 3 minutes (from the first moment to the last). During competition rounds, the adjudication panel will be timing competitors. Monologues cannot be cut/paste together; there must be a reasonable point of entry to the piece.

Can I use props and costumes in my performance?

The judges are looking closely at your acting performance alone. No props or costumes are allowed. You have the option of using a chair to sit in during your performance. Dress comfortably and professionally.

How do I introduce myself before my performance?

You must “slate” before your begin your monologue. That means you will introduce your full name, the character of your monologue, and the playwright.

How do I select my monologue?

The NNMC will launch in Fall 2021 with 50-minute informational workshops available to schools and community organizations. Educators can contact us to schedule a no-commitment informational workshop for your class or group.

Monologues will become available to participants for perusal this fall.

Can I perform an original monologue of my own?

No. The NMMC requires you to perform a piece from the compendium of approved monologues.

Can I change my monologue during the competition?

You may change your monologue prior to the Preliminaries, during workshops, etc. The monologue you use in your Preliminary audition must be the monologue used during the entirety of the competition.

How does adjudication work? Will I receive the feedback from the judges after my performance?

You will be judged on five categories: story, voice, movement, connection, and accuracy. Contact us after Prelims and/or Regional Finals if you would like the judge’s feedback.