The late August Wilson started his prolific writing career late in life. I remember this detail because he and I share the same birthday, April 27. These facts are just footnotes of trivia to some, but it’s a fact that motivates my creative writing journey, which is focused in multimedia children stories.

Tony Award-winning director Kenny Leon grew up in Tallahassee, Fla., which is where my mothers’ tribe is located, Miccosukee Indians, an offshoot of the Seminole tribe. When I asked him during the 2014 Tony Awards if he was also a member of the indigenous tribe, he smiled and said no, adding, “I’m Black, but I know the area well.”

Trivia aside, the Jujamcyn Theaters and True Colors Theatre Company have announced the judges for the seventh annual August Wilson Monologue Competition, to be held Monday, May 4 at 7 p.m. at the August Wilson Theatre (245 W. 52nd St.). Good news for those on a budget, this event is free and it’s open to the public. Featuring high school students from New York, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Portland and Seattle, three talented actors perform monologues by the late, legendary American playwright.

The competition is fierce. This year, the competition will include Crystal Dickinson (actress), Brandon J. Dirden (actor), David Gallo (scenic designer), Stephen McKinley Henderson (actor) and Pauletta Washington (actress). The evening will also include a special performance by musician Guy Davis.

All storytellers worry about the legacy that they leave. Perhaps not when they are creating the work, but at some point, the issue of “immortality” is addressed. The August Wilson Monologue Competition, started in 2007, aims to expose a new generation of creative minds to the life’s work and artistic legacy of this seminal American playwright.

Mentoring is key to strong foundations and growth, and to that end, the program’s participants—in cities across the country—encounter Wilson’s 10-play cycle and receive coaching from teaching artists as they prepare their monologues for local, citywide and national competitions. It’s not all work and no play though. This year, the competition will afford students from these cities around the country the opportunity to attend the new Broadway musical “Something Rotten!,” work closely with two of Wilson’s closest collaborators, Leon and dramaturg Todd Kreidler, and explore popular Manhattan attractions before making their Broadway stage debuts.

Finally, the two finalists from each regional city will compete, and the top contestants will be chosen to perform on the August Wilson Stage Monday evening, May 4.

Money makes the world go around, and the top three contestants from the national competition receive monetary awards. The first-place winner will receive a $1,500 cash prize, the runner-up a $1,000 cash prize and the honorable mention a $500 cash prize. Each of the winners will also become eligible for college scholarship opportunities and all finalists receive the gift of TCG’s Century Cycle collection.

The Monologue Competition was also featured in “The Start of Dreams,” a documentary directed by the Horne Brothers. Featuring A-list actors like Denzel Washington, Samuel L. Jackson and Phylicia Rashad, “The Start of Dreams” is packed with Hollywood’s elite weighing in on this important art form and what it means to the United States. The documentary has been screened at nine festivals across the country, including the Atlanta Film Festival, the Pan-African Film Festival in Los Angeles and the UrbanWorld Festival in New York. A trailer for the film is available at the link listed below.

The national August Wilson Monologue Competition is presented by Delta Air Lines with additional funding support from Publix Supermarket Charities, Massey Charitable Trust, Bank of America, the Imlay Foundation and Macy’s. For more information, visit