Booker T. Washington student Caroline Garnett won the 25th Annual National Shakespeare Competition sponsored by the DFW English-Speaking Union. Recently held at Highland Park High School, winning students of fall-winter competitions representing 9 area high schools performed Shakespeare selections before a panel of judges in hopes of being the DFW representative at the national competition to be held later this spring.
Winner of the national competition in New York receives a summer trip to England to study Shakespeare first-hand.
Other winners included 2nd place Lauren Michels of Highland Park High School and 3rd place Jadzia Sanchez-Morales of Lone Star High School in Frisco.
Other contestants were Tayler Weathers, All Saints Episcopal School, Ft. Worth; Jonathan Wagner, Bishop Lynch High School; Addie Gomez, The Greenhill School; Chambliss Pearson, Lakehill Preparatory; Ronak Gandhi, Trinity Valley, Ft. Worth; and LeAnne Maduka, Ursuline Academy.
Gwen Dixie chaired the event for the English-Speaking Union. The distinguished panel of judges representing prominent Dallas Shakespeare professionals included theater and film actress Julie Osborne Watts, who trained at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York and currently is Education and Outreach Manager of Shakespeare Dallas; artist, actress and produce , Jenni Stewart, currently Development and Program Director of Shakespeare Dallas; and Marco Salinas writer, designer, director in his 14th year as Director of Educational Tours for Shakespeare Dallas.
"How exciting it is to see the bright and talented young people of Dallas/Worth keeping current the memory of the world's theatrical giant, William Shakespeare," said DFW English-Speaking Union president Ruth Mader.
Highland Park High School Director of Fine Arts Linda Raya echoed, "It was an honor to host this event highlighting Shakespeare and showcasing the talented students in Dallas-Fort Worth."
Popular Dallas public speaker Rose-Mary Rumbley opened the event with a reflection on this year as the 400th Anniversary of the Death of Shakespeare.
Mission of the English-Speaking Union is to celebrate English as a shared language to foster global understanding and good will by providing educational and cultural opportunities for students, educators, and members." With headquarters in New York, the DFW branch is one of 70 E-SU branches nationwide. For more information www.shakespearecompetition.org or Shakespeare@esuus.org. For information on the DFW branch of E-SU, www.esus.org/dallas/ or call 214-734-6844.