For the tenth consecutive year, Center Theatre Group hosted the L.A. component of the monologue competition, which is designed to inspire and educate L.A. youth using monologues from August Wilson’s “American Century Cycle.” The 10-play cycle details the complexity of the African American experience in the 20th century. The national competition, which was held virtually this year, is presented by Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company and Jujamcyn Theaters. Each participating city runs its program differently, but each experience is designed to inspire high school theatre students through the work of the award-winning playwright.
On May 3 local student and Center Theatre Group’s regional finalist, Tyla Uzo, took third place in the August Wilson Monologue Competition National Finals. Uzo’s third-place award earned her a $1,000 scholarship. She was joined in the national competition on May 1 by fellow L.A. student performers Hazel Eko and Stephen Moran. Eko, Moran and Uzo received master classes provided by Center Theatre Group.
The program began with a preliminary audition that featured 113 students in 10th, 11th or 12th grade from 33 different high schools in L.A., Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. From there, 45 students advanced to a semi-final audition held live on Zoom. Of those students, 11 regional finalists were selected to move forward. All participants in the L.A. Regional Finals receive a one-year subscription to CTG’s Digital Stage+ and $250 credit to use towards a CTG production. L.A. Regional Finalists are offered scholarships to Los Angeles City College’s three-year conservatory program if they choose to attend.
Congratulations to Uzo and all of the high school theatre students who participated in this year’s competition.