News And Events

Tucson Branch 2021 Shakespeare Competition

Congratulations to all of our competitions for a successful 2021 Shakespeare competition. We ran an all virtual competition with 18 students from across Southern Arizona.
Our Judges were esteemed Professors from the University of Arizona:
  • David Modern, Associate Professor of Voice and Movement, School of Theatre, Film and Television
  • Frederick Kiefer, Professor of English/Elizabethen and Jacobean Drama
  • Harold Dixon, retired Artistic Director of Theatre Arts/Actor and Director)
  • Patty Gallagher, Professor of Theatre Arts/University of California Santa Clara.
While Zoom was not our favorite tool the students participated excitedly while staying positive and offering encouragement to one another.
Congratulations to Kaya Lewis of Empire High School for winning 1st Place with Mercutio/Romeo and Juliet. Her teacher is Richard Gremel.
For more information about all of our contestants and videos of their performances, please click 'Read Full Story' 

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Congratulations to Matthew Glasshoff

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Congratulations to Matthew Glasshoff, who placed 1st in the Tucson Branch Shakespeare Competition held at the University of Arizona Tornabene Theatre.  Matthew is a student of Heidi Barker at Marana HS in Marana AZ. Matthew took on the character of Aaron from Titus Andronicus with an evil glee showing that one can relate unspeakable horrors while still having fun performing as both character and actor.

2nd Place: Kaya Lewis is a student of Richard Gremel at Empire HS in Vail AZ. Kaya related Launce's confusion about her dog's hard-heartedness with energy and physical grace; she made us laugh with/at her along the way.

3rd Place: Spencer Boren is a student of Carrie Duerk from Buena HS in Sierra Vista, AZ. Spencer's Edmund spoke with intensity and passion about the unfairness of life, ending by spitting his curse upon the world with a chilling determination.

The Extraordinary Honorable Mentions (in alpha order): 

Justin Cheung Desert Christian HS, teachers Cathy Simon and Alycia Fodor

Kasen Giordano Marana HS, teacher Heidi Barker

Aslan Hicks Tucson HS, teacher Julian Martinez 

Alana Kiley, Mountain View HS, teacher Shannon Kerstetter 

Kira McNeill The GregorySchool, teacher Lisa Bodden

Anya Moseke Tucson HS, teacher Julian Martinez 

Jackson Sparrow Catalina Foothills HS, teacher Amy Byroad 

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Eunice Ineza and Kira McNeil, Students of Lisa Boden


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The Tucson Branch invites you and your students to join us for the 2020 ESU National Shakespeare Competition February 29.





Please email your high school's commitment of participation in the 37th Annual ESU Competition to Jerry Helm as soon as possible. We will provide information about a participation fee and an invoice.

Important tasks and dates to remember:

26-Oct-2019, 8:30am - 1:00pm: Shakespeare Teacher Workshop @ Drama Addition Bldg. Room 266 & 239, University of Arizona School of Theatre, Film and Television. Registration has closed, but do let us know if you are interested. We may have room.

15-Dec-2019: All schools must have completed the ESU online Participation Form, and emailed your school's competition date to Jerry Helm, REMINDER: A member or Members of the ESU Tucson Branch must attend your competition as guests. Please send the venue and time to Jerry Helm.  

19-Feb-2020Deadline for area schools to hold in-house competitions. Please complete and submit the ESU School Winner Entry Form online.  Send school winner/s' names, and monologue/s to Kerry Demers and Jerry Helm, and Please use this format in upper right-hand corner:

               Student Name

               A Midsummer Night's Dream

               Helena Page 7

               ESU Monologue list 3.2.314-320, 322-333

The winner of your school competition must select one of Shakespeare's sonnets from the 2020 Sonnet Packet. View Rules and Eligibility.

20-Feb-2020: FINAL date for winners' name, monologue, and sonnet submitted to Kerry Demers and Jerry Helm, and Your school will not be allowed to participate if you do not provide this information at this time.

29-Feb-2020, 9:00am ~ 2:00pm: ESU National Shakespeare Competition, Tucson Branch University of Arizona School of Theatre, Film, and Television. Contestants must be pre-registered. All welcome to attend for free.


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The 2019 Annual Shakespeare Competition held at the University of Arizona campus at the School of Theatre, Film & Television’s Marroney Theatre

First place winner senior Alec Errhalt from Buena HS in Sierra Vista, teacher Carrie Duerk; 2nd Place winner Victor Londoño from Salpointe Catholic HS, teacher Shelly Eutizi; and 3rd place winner Leilla Rouhani from Marana HS., teacher Heidi Baker. These students exemplify all one could hope from a program that wants to promote the teaching of Shakespeare in the schools.

First of all, Alec Errhalt's deep-voiced Shylock filled the theatre; we forgot that before us stood a 17 year old boy who could become one of the most powerful characters in literature. 

Second, Freshman Victor Londoño from Salpointe Catholic HS owned the stage as a hilarious energy-filled Bottom from Midsummer Night's Dream. He seemed to use the entire stage running about just as we might imagine Bottom would do. When he recalled his night with the Queen of the Fairies he gave a perfect whistle of awe and joy.  He had as much fun during his performance as after in his open surprise and joy that he was the runner-up.   

Third,  Leila Rouhani from Marana HS made the bold choice of playing the Bastardly Edmund from King Lear. She clearly demonstrated that a woman can easily become a character that exists outside the normal framework of society and its 'legitimate' understanding of the natural order of the universe. 

This year every student was extraordinary. It was a true celebration of students and teachers--and a place of high contradictionwhere talented Drama students, taught to do a close reading of Shakespeare, and with the support of their Master Drama Teachers, engaged the audience with amazing performancesBut, it was also a place where a young freshman English student--one, who had never read Shakespeare before, never considered acting in a drama, encouraged by his English teacher, did the work, reveled in the language, and awakened as from a dream a winner!


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2018-2019 ESU National Shakespeare Competition: Tucson Branch

The 36th Annual ESU National Shakespeare Competition: Tucson Branch will take place on March 2nd, 2019 at 9:00 AM at the Marroney Theatre. 

  • The deadline for area schools to register is December 15th, 2018.   Register your school with the ESU in order to participate in the competition.  Click   School Participation Form and create an account. You are not guaranteed participation in the program unless you register your school.
  • Hold your school competition by February 15th.
  • Students must select their monologues from the 2019 Monologue Packet provided by the ESU.  No alterations may be made to the monologues. They must be performed as written in the packet. View Rules and Eligibility.
  • School competitions: If fewer than 15 students participate, select 1 student to represent your school at the branch competition. If 15 or more students participate, select 2 students. Please contact us if you are a new or very small school, as we will allow 1 student participant to represent your school if you have at least 3 competitors in your competition.
  • Within one week of your school competition, complete the  School Winner Entry Form.
  • ALSO send your school winner/s' names (as they should appear on the program), and a copy of their monologue with their name, play, act and scene in the upper right-hand corner of the page. Please send this information to both Tucson Branch representatives: Kerry Demers at and Jerry Helm at 8112  N. Midnight Way, Tucson, AZ 85741. Jerry: 520-975-2437. 
  • February 20th is the deadline for all forms (Rodeo Vacation is February 22nd-23rd). If you are waiting on Photo Release Forms with parent signatures please send all other information by February 20th when we will create the order of performance using a random number generator.
  • The ESU National Shakespeare Competition: Tucson Branch will take place on March 2nd, 2019 at 9:00 AM at the Marroney Theatre; The University of Arizona School of Theatre, Film & Television, Tucson, AZ 85719. The winner of your school competition must select one of Shakespeare's sonnets from the 2019 Sonnet Packet to recite in addition to their monologue. View Rules and Eligibility.

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The English-Speaking Union

Tucson Branch

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