I'm Ready Foundation

August Wilson New Voices

August Wilson is widely regarded as one of the most influential and significant voices in American theater. Throughout his career, he dedicated himself to chronicling the African American experience, particularly in the 20th century, through his iconic American Century Cycle. This collection of ten plays vividly described the challenges, triumphs, and complexities of the African American experience through each decade. Centered around themes of love, honor, betrayal, and getting what is due, he managed to create universal stories that continue to resonate across generations. We are proud to introduce students to the August Wilson New Voices Monologue Competition, in honor of his life, legacy, and literature.

About the Program

August Wilson New Voices Monologue Competition is an arts education program for high school students. The aim of the program is to celebrate August Wilson’s contributions to the arts and foster a deeper understanding of his works. The goal is for students, similar to Wilson, to feel emboldened to use their voices, both on and off the stage, to impact our world.

About the Organization

I’m Ready Foundation is an arts and cultural organization that is devoted to both personal and community awareness through arts enrichment. Our mission is to entertain, educate, and enlighten through storytelling and music. It brings to its work a social conscience and historical awareness, through its thought-provoking, entertaining and inspirational content.

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Artistic and Educational Objectives

1. Cultural Appreciation: By introducing students to August Wilson’s plays and characters, the competition will provide them with a unique opportunity to explore and appreciate African American cultural history.

2. Empathy and Understanding: Wilson’s characters are deeply human and relatable, allowing students to develop empathy and a better understanding of diverse perspectives and life experiences.

3. Theatrical Skills: Participating in the competition will enhance students’ acting, interpretation, and public speaking abilities, fostering their creativity and self-confidence.

4. Historical Context: As students delve into the themes presented in Wilson’s works, they will gain insights into significant historical events and social issues, encouraging critical thinking and analytical skills.

5. Community Building: The competition will promote a sense of community and teamwork among participants, teachers, and parents, strengthening relationships and support networks.