This year we are once again participating in the English Speaking Union's National Shakespeare Competition, though this year it will be virtually! We held our School-level competition in late December, and our illustrious judges took time during their holiday break to view and assess the recordings. We had 20 students competing, each performing a monologue from Shakespeare. They all did very well, and competition was tight. This year's top three placing students are:
- First Place: Iain Cunningham (2022), performing Antony from "Antony & Cleopatra"
- First Runner-Up: Wyatt Tithof (2021), performing Sebastian from "Twelfth Night"
- Second Runner-Up: Fiona Martin (2023), performing Constance from "King John"
The Virtual Regional Competition is February 27; this year we can bring both our school winner and the first runner-up, so both Iain and Wyatt will be competing against students from other schools. They will do their monologues again, and perform a sonnet as well. We've been working on both to get ready for the next level.
A huge THANK YOU to our Esteemed Judges! We would not be able to hold our competition without them! THANK YOU to Kaitlyn Gallagher, Sonya Evans, Eugenia Ives, and Claire Neuner!!! Also, please know that the lion's share of the success of the students at the Speech Competition last weekend goes to Natasha McKeown. She has put in an incredible amount of time and effort, negotiating around extremely complex websites to make sure the students can compete, on top of being an excellent coach and advisor on their speeches. Her dedication and enthusiasm are amazing, and she ignites the same energy in the students in Speech Club.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE! This year Chapman University contacted me regarding their annual Shakespeare Festival, which involves competitions and workshops. This year it's virtual, and it's free! We have seven students competing in the Shakespeare Monologue contest: Iain Cunningham, Wyatt Tithof, Fiona Martin, Anaya Smith, Lily Cline, Malia Louie, and Frie Schlaberg. These students will also be participating in acting workshops taught by Professors in Chapman's Theatre Department. We are currently working on the speeches, which will be filmed and submitted prior to the Festival, which is March 6.
The students are working hard, and doing great work! Shakespeare is alive and well!
- Jen Grimes, Theatre Arts Instructor