Two students from Brooklyn and Bronx place first and second in the National August Wilson Monologue Competition at the August Wilson Theatre On May 3rd. Originally an alternate for the NYC competition, Jared Findlay, from Brooklyn Theatre Arts High School, took home the first place prize with his nuanced performance of King Hedley from August Wilson's King Hedley II. Derrick Starks, from Fordham High School for the Arts, won second place for his keen interpretation of Holloway from Two Trains Running.
The event featured a special performance by blues musician Guy Davis of the recent Broadway revival of Finian's Rainbow. Special guests included Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Gem of the Ocean, Seven Guitars, Jelly's Last Jam), LaTanya Richardson (Joe Turner's Come and Gone), Keith Randolph Smith (Fences, Come Back Little Sheba, King Hedley II), Heather Alicia Simms (Gem of the Ocean, A Raisin in the Sun, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom), Chris Chalk (Fences, Ruined), ReGina Taylor (playwright Crowns and Drowning Crow), Constanza Romero (costume design Fences, Gem of the Ocean, Seven Guitars, The Piano Lesson), Russell Hornsby (Fences, Jitney), Mykelti Williamson (Fences, "Forrest Gump," "24") and more.
This program has helped to introduce hundreds of students to one of America's greatest playwrights with the hopes that August Wilson will live through our education system in the same manner and reverence as the works of William Shakespeare.
LeAp is committed to improving the quality of public education through a hands-on, arts-based approach to teaching the academic curriculum. LeAp empowers students to reach their full potential.
Since 1977, LeAp's programs in music, dance, theater and visual arts have served more than two million New York City public school students. LeAp provides in-school residencies, afterschool workshops, parent workshops, teacher trainings and assembly programs. Find out more at www.leapnyc.org.
Phot: from left to right, is Derrick Starks (2nd place) and Jared Findlay (1st place)