05-22-2018  1:24 am      •     
The Skanner Report
Newmark Theater
August Wilson Red Door Project
Published: 20 February 2018

The August Wilson Red Door Project presents the fourth August Wilson Monologue Competition showcasing Portland area high school students from 7 to 10 p.m. Feb. 26. This year’s theme is “Emerge” and the show at the Newmark Theatre includes emerging and acclaimed performers in theatre, dance, and music. The event takes place at Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway. It is free but reservations are required. Pre-sale tickets are no longer available, but you can still register for standby tickets. For more information visit reddoorproject.org/awmc.

The mission of the August Wilson Red Door Project is to change the racial ecology of Portland through the arts. The monologue competition is one of the ways that the Red Door highlights cultural and ethnic diversity in the next generation of theatre artists and the growing cultural arts movement in Portland.

Following a recruitment campaign that put the Red Door in front of over 1,000 students in Portland area high schools, and a challenging two-day audition process, 12 young women have emerged as this year’s semi-finalists. This talented, diverse cohort has been working in master classes with Kevin Jones and Victor Mack, both award-winning theatre artists and favorites on Portland stages. On the big night, they will bring their newly deepened “acting chops” and understanding of Wilson’s themes, characters and lyrical language to the stage. Professional judges will select two of them to compete nationally at the August Wilson Theatre on Broadway. Former competition participants describe their experiences as life-changing. Portland’s finalists have gone on to success ranging from schooling at Julliard to the starring role in a Broadway play.

This year’s musical headliners represent a rich cultural mix of style and genre:

  • Darrell Grant, Jazz Pianist, Composer, and Educator \
  • Bobby Torres, Latin Jazz Percussionist
  • Redray Frazier, Rock and Soul Troubador 
  • Mic Crenshaw, World class MC and poet 
  • DJ David vanOvereem, Portland’s Master of “Turntablism”
  • Oluyinka Akinjiola, Founder/Artistic Director of Rejoice! Diaspora Dance Theater

The August Wilson Monologue Competition was founded at True Colors Theatre Company in Atlanta in 2007 by Tony Award winner, Kenny Leon, and Todd Kreidler, August Wilson’s dramaturg for many of his plays. Other cities hosting competitions are: Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Haven, New York, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Dallas, and Greensboro, North Carolina. The National August Wilson Monologue Competition is presented by Delta Air Lines, Macy's, and the Time Warner Foundation, and produced in collaboration between True Colors Theatre Company and Jujamcyn Theatres. 
Major Supporters in Portland are Ronni Lacroute, Dan and Priscilla Wieden, The Collins Foundation, The James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, PGE Foundation, Spirit Mountain Community Fund, and Oregon Cultural Trust.

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