The bright future of Broadway performance is waiting to be discovered in Giving Voice, a documentary following several teenage finalists in the 2018 August Wilson Monologues Competition, streaming on Netflix December 11.
Since 2007, thousands of students from 12 cities across the United States have performed the two-time Pulitzer Prize winner’s work for a shot to perform on Broadway, mentored by the competition's co-founders, Kenny Leon and Todd Kreidler, as well as hundreds of educators. Giving Voice captures several 2018 finalists discovering themselves and the world around them through Wilson’s “Century Cycle,” the canon of ten plays (including Fences, Jitney, and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom) portraying the 20th century African American experience.
The film features footage of the late playwright along with interviews of Tony winners Viola Davis and Denzel Washington, Wilson’s widow Constanza Romero, and others, as they share the impact that Wilson’s artistry has had on their lives and their hopes for the young people carrying it forward.
Giving Voice also features the new song “Never Break” co-written by EGOT winner John Legend (who won a Tony as a producer of Jitney) with Nasri Atweh, Benjamin Hudson McIldowie, and Greg Wells.
Directed by James D. Stern and Fernando Villena, the documentary screened at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, winning the Audience Choice Award. Giving Voice is an Endgame Entertainment and Pilgrim Media Group Production in association with Endeavor Content, Impact Partners, Get Lifted Film Co, and JuVee Productions.