August Wilson Program

LeAp's August Wilson Program, now in its eighth year introduces high school students to the life and work of renowned playwright August Wilson. In this year-long program, lead by LeAp's theater professionals, students explore Wilson's 10-play Century Cycle, a dramatic chronicle of the 20th-Century African-American experience, and examine important social issues and historical events.

Students strengthen their acting skills and performance techniques and perform scenes from various Wilson works. Ultimately, students choose one character to inhabit and select a monologue to perform at school-wide competitions. Winners from each school participate in LeAp's New York City August Wilson Monologue Competition, and finalists advance to the National August Wilson Monologue Competition at the August Wilson Theatre to compete against students from eight other cities. As part of the program, students attend Off-Broadway performances and meet with Broadway actors, directors and designers.

The National August Wilson Monologue Competition was created by Kenny Leon and Todd Kreidler of True Colors Theatre Company, who collaborated with August Wilson on his work.

"The strengths of this program was the growth in student's character analysis and self-confidence.  It enhanced the Language Arts and Social Studies curriculum through understanding African American life and literature analysis.  The only improvement would be that it reaches more students."
     -Teacher at Curtis High School in Staten Island

August Wilson Program