News And Events

Rochester Area High School Student to Compete at Lincoln Center in New York

Elias Owens, student of Regina Darling from Penfield High School, achieved first place at the English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition Rochester Branch tournament on 3/4/2018, with a masterful and hilarious rendition of Parolles' speech on virginity from All's Well that Ends Well and a skilled interpretation of Sonnet 29, "When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes…"

View Photo Full-Size

Mr. Owens will travel to New York City to meet with more than 50 other contestants from around the country and participate in the ESU National Shakespeare Competition at Lincoln Center Theater in New York on April 23, 2018. 

If you wish to catch him locally, he will play the Prince in in the Penfield High School presentation of Cinderella, the Musical, March 22-24th. He will also perform his winning selections by invitation at one performance each at Geva Theatre's presentation of One House Over and at the Rochester Community Players/Wallbyrd Theatre presentation of Two Gentlemen of Verona at Highland Bowl. Check the ESU branch website for more information:

Tali Beckwith-Cohen of School of the Arts in Rochester earned second place, and Richard Simon of Harley School and Emily Russell of Rush-Henrietta High School tied for third place in the Rochester Branch competition. Each student performed a Shakespearean monologue of their choice and recited a sonnet. Competitors were judged on their understanding of their selected texts and on their ability to communicate their interpretation to the audience.

"This year's competitors were particularly strong, and no one envied the judges who had to choose among them," said Wendy Low, co-coordinator of the event. "Luckily many of the school winners are not yet seniors, and may be back at our regionals next year."

The English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition is a performance-based education program in which high school students nationwide read, analyze, perform, and recite Shakespeare's works in order to develop communication skills and an appreciation of the power of language and literature. Since 1983, more than 300,000 young Americans of all backgrounds have taken advantage of this opportunity to bring the timeless works of Shakespeare to life and learn to express his words with understanding, feeling, and clarity.

Click here to view the program from the competition.  Click here to view news coverage from WHAM.


Return to News & Events

The English-Speaking Union

Rochester Branch

Rochester Branch Landmark Photo

Welcome to the ESU

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.

To find out more about our programs click here.