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August Wilson New Voices Competition

Mar 8, 2023

UIC Theatre
1040 W. Harrison St, Chicago IL 60607

This spring, the UIC School of Theatre and Music will host preliminary auditions for the August Wilson New Voices (AWNV) competition, a national competition that gives students across the country an opportunity to explore and share the richness of August Wilson’s Century Cycle. On Wednesday, March 8, from 9am -5pm, 160 Chicago area high school students will perform monologues from  Century Cycle plays in hopes of earning one of 60 spots at the Chicago semi-finals. Of those 60 semifinalists, 20 will be chosen to perform in the Chicago finals at the Goodman Theatre. 

Under the direction of UIC Theatre alumn and Associate Director of the AWNV competition, Christian Helem, current STM Theatre students will support the preliminary auditions by serving as student ambassadors, tour guides, and warmup captains for the 14th annual August Wilson New Voices competition.

The August Wilson Monologue Competition Legacy:

Nearly 4,000 students have participated in the August Wilson New Voices Competition (formerly the August Wilson Monologue Competition) over the past 13 years. As Derrick Sanders, former UIC Theatre faculty member and Producing Director of the AWNV stated, “It’s my profound pleasure to help lead and reimagine the August Wilson Monologue Competition. Over the past 13 years, I’ve seen the powerful impact of August’s words on the self-esteem of thousands of students—and the inspiration of his legacy on teachers and theaters across the nation.” An award-winning director and filmmaker, Derrick Sanders, is currently Associate Director of the Drama Division at Juilliard. 

The UIC School of Theatre and Music has had the honor of supporting the Chicago August Wilson Monologue Competition since its inaugural year, and we are thrilled to host preliminary auditions forthe new AWNV competition in our theatre spaces this year.

In 2023 the famed August Wilson Monologue Competition was reimagined as the August Wilson New Voices competition, a project of the the new August Wilson Legacy Project, which is a partnership between the August Wilson Estate, Goodman Theatre, and Derrick Sanders. The August Wilson Legacy Project aims to establish Chicago as a Wilson Hub, and to invigorate the Pulitzer Prize Winner’s work for a new generation. For more information on the August Wilson Legacy Project visit the website:

March 8, 2023

9:00 am