English in Action: The English-Speaking Union

The English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition 2018-2019

Instructions for Judges


During the competition, you do the following:

  • Watch each student's presentation.
  • Score each presentation using the Judges' Evaluation Form. Take no more than 1 minute between presentations for assigning scores/writing notes.
  • Following all presentations, you and your fellow judges immediately break for deliberations.
  • While you deliberate, a school or Branch representative is on hand to observe and answer questions.
  • From the field of contestants, select a winner to advance to the next round of competition. 
  • Select a runner-up.
  • Other awards and distinctions vary.


During the competition, you should adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Do not have any interaction with the contestants or the audience until the winners are announced.
  • Do not view a copy of the program until the judging panel has selected the finalists.
  • Separate yourself from the rest of the audience, so you are not distracted by them during the performances.
  • Audience members will not be allowed to sit directly behind you. This ensures that no audience member can see your note taking during the competition.
  • You will be informed of any issues with a student's performance (i.e. over the line limit for monologue or dropped lines from sonnet).

  • Each student presentation is relatively short. Due to these time limitations, you should use shorthand for your written notes. We encourage you to come up with your own system of notes ahead of time.
  • You will see many contestants back to back. A few notes as the student begins, to fix APPEARANCE in your memory, will immeasurably aid subsequent recall. To assist you, there is a box on the top left of the Judges' Evaluation Form for any notes relating to the contestant's appearance. NOTE: This box is merely for your own use and does not factor into the student's scoring.

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