Nora Oechslin, a sophomore at Robert E. Lee High School in Staunton, Virginia, won the ESU Lexington Branch Shakespeare Competition on January 17, 2015, at Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton. Nora was coached by John Fregosi, mathematics and theater teacher at her high school. She was one of eight area contestants.
Kelsey Vita, a student at Rockbridge County High School, Lexington, was runner up and Donna Boyd, Spotswood High School, Penn Laird, took third place. Each of the three winners was awarded a partial scholarship to the American Shakespeare Center (ASC) summer camp.
The competition was well attended by an enthusiastic audience of ESU Lexington Branch members and teachers, family, and friends of the participating students.
Lexington Branch ESU coordinators Suzanne Rice and Lisa Tracy expressed appreciation to ASC Sarah Enloe, director of education, and Kimberly Newton, director of college preparatory programs, for their support of the Shakespeare Competition. ASC actors Kelley McKinnon, Gregory Jon Phelps, and Miriam Donald Burrows served as judges. In preparation for the competition, in December ASC conducted an engaging workshop for Lexington and Charlottesville Branch students to familiarize them with the Blackfriars stage.
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