Kate Cummings, from Harrisonburg High School in Harrisonburg, Virginia, won first place at the English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition Lexington Branch contest on January 26, 2019. Her winning performance included Juliet's monologue from Romeo and Juliet, Act III, scene ii, and Sonnet 72. Miss Cummings is a student of teachers Ken Gibson and Holli Wolter. She will receive an all-expense paid trip to New York City along with contestants from around the country to participate in the ESU National Shakespeare Competition in April.
Olivia Catherine Gorra from the Stuart Hall School in Staunton earned second place, performing Desdemona's monologue from Othello, Act IV, scene ii, and Sonnet 121. Mary Margaret Elam from Robert E. Lee High School in Staunton was awarded third place. She performed Viola's monologue from Twelfth Night, Act II, scene ii, and Sonnet 65. First, second and third place winners were all awarded scholarships to attend the American Shakespeare Center Theatre Camp. Competitors were judged on their understanding of their selected texts and on their ability to communicate that understanding to the audience. Judges for the Branch Competition were Shunté Lofton, Katie Little and Benjamin Reed.
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