Get The Facts About Your Monologue

  • Selection: Participants must select an August Wilson monologue to use in the competition (please no original monologues). There are ten wonderfully diverse plays in the August Wilson American Century Cycle Compendium. Choose a couple that pique your interest and invest in reading the plays, so that you have a full understanding of the characters and the story. It is important for an actor to play to his or her strengths, so explore and find a monologue that really speaks to you, connects to your heart, and to your own experiences and/or imagination in some way. Then decide which one is for you, and have fun creating and portraying the character’s story.
  • Edits: Participants may NOT make edits to the monologue they select, it must be performed as it appears in the compendium. If you aren’t comfortable with the language used in your monologue please chose another rather than editing the words.
  • Clothing: Dress comfortably but neatly so as not to distract the judges. The focus should be on your performance.
  • Memorization: All participants should have their monologues memorized at the Preliminary Auditions. This means you can recite your monologue from memory without looking at the play.
  • Time: The performance of your monologue should last between 1-3 minutes.
  • Props: Props will not be allowed at Preliminaries or Regionals. However, you can request to use a chair.


Download AWMC American Century Cycle Compendium

The AWMC American Century Cycle Compendium is broken up into 10 sections, one for each of his plays, and contains a synopsis of each play, descriptions of the characters, and all of the monologues from that script. Click on any of the 10 plays below to download the compendium for that script:

AWMC Judges Criteria

Here’s what the Judges are going to be looking for:

  • Energy/Physical Presentation: Performance is energetic and enthusiastic, has natural and sensible movements and grabs the audience’s attention.
  • Characterization/Emotional Connectedness: The character is fully developed and defined:  personality, emotion, body language and vocal expression have all been honed to create the objective of the piece.
  • Lines/Memorization/Focus: Monologue is memorized completely. Adequate and sufficient rehearsal time is evident. The given circumstances of the monologue are clear, and the student is not distracted by peers, judges or other unrelated things.1625545_1499923896886492_6809225250276223491_n
  • Vocal Presentation/Projection: The art of projection is fully mastered, with clear pronunciation, articulation, confidence and assertiveness. Vocal quality, levels of projection and dialects are also considered.
  • Monologue Choice/Understanding of Text: The student chose and fully mastered the monologue with sensitivity and balance. There is a thorough understanding of the text, with enough information to intellectually discuss/write about the monologue and or play.



1) If you need some extra help practicing the African American Vernacular, try watching the movies on this list: Examples of African Vernacular

2) Need Extra Help? Download These 12 Easy Steps on How to Prepare Your Monologue: 12 Step Guide to Monologue Preparation