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Theater Students Participate in 2017 ESU Shakespeare Competition

Katie Redefer, Editor

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The English Speaking Union (ESU) National Shakespeare Competition is an annual event in which the Cape Henlopen Theater Academy participates. The competition made its comeback once again in 2017 with many students performing Shakespearean monologues and competing with fellow classmates.

The national competition is hosted by ESU, an international organization. Their mission statement on their website reads, “The ESU celebrates English as a shared language to foster global understanding and good will by providing educational and cultural opportunities for students, educators, and members.” The Shakespeare competition is meant to “provide teachers across the country with a performance-based program for the study of English Language Arts and Shakespeare.”

This education-based event requires high school students to compete at a state level to pick a representative who will then be sent to compete in the national contest in New York City from April 30th to May 2nd. The winner receives a cash prize and/or a scholarship to a summer drama program.

On Friday, January 13th, Cape students competed at the school level. The three winners were Senior Hannah Lowe in first place, Junior Sarah Bennett in second place, and Junior Tyrese Riddles in third place. Hannah Lowe will be represented Cape with her monologue Joan of Arc from Henry IV, Part 1, Act 5, Scene 4 on January 28th for the state-wide competition. Bennett performed Portia’s monologue from Act 4, Scene 1 of The Merchant of Venice and Riddles performed Aaron’s monologue from Act 5, Scene 1 of Titus Andronicus.

As Bennett described her experience in the competition, she said, ​”At first it was scary but then when I got up on the stage I felt calm and excited. People who like shakespeare are always so encouraging and open. There were lots of good people competing it must’ve been hard to judge.”

Riddles commented, “Can I just say one word? Iconic.”

The winner of the state competitions was Hannah Lowe. She will be continuing on to compete in the competition in New York City this spring.

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The student news site of Cape Henlopen High School
Theater Students Participate in 2017 ESU Shakespeare Competition