Southland College Prep junior is top speaker
March 21, 2013 11:10AM
Morgan Brown (left) and Cheryl Frazier, Southland College Prep Charter School’s speech and theater director, celebrate Brown’s win in the August Wilson Monologue Competition in Chicago. | Supplied photo
Updated: April 4, 2013 11:42AM
Morgan Brown, of Matteson, a junior at Southland College Prep Charter High School, recently took first place in the Chicago finals of the August Wilson Monologue Competition at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago.
Brown, 17, a member of Southland’s National Honor Society, competed against several hundred speech and theatre high school students from the Chicago area. He won a $500 prize, a partial scholarship to University of Illinois-Chicago and an all-expenses-paid opportunity to travel to New York City in May to compete in the national August Wilson Monologue Competition at the August Wilson Theatre on Broadway.
The late August Wilson earned the Pulitzer Prize for drama twice. Several of his productions received the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for best play. He is recognized for his depiction of the comic and tragic aspects of the African-American experience in the 20th century.
Brown, a graduate of Matteson Elementary School, and classmate Alexus Newson earned the Illinois High School Association championship in Dramatic Duo Acting.
“I’m so pleased that this competition gives students an opportunity to learn about playwright August Wilson. But it also offers them a chance to share his message that African-American history is American history,” Southland College Prep director of speech and theatre Cheryl Frazier said.
Each contestant prepared a short monologue from one of 10 plays written by Wilson. Participants were evaluated on preparedness, understanding of text, emotional connection to the material, and a commitment to their performance.
Other Southland College Prep students among the 22 finalists were Josha Silk and Aronna Wynne.
The competition is conducted in association with the Goodman Theatre, League of Chicago Theatres, University of Illinois-Chicago’s Chance Program and the university’s theatre and music departments.