The English-Speaking Union

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Announcing the winners of the 39th English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition

New York City: Our 12 finalists were brought together virtually for the 39th annual National Shakespeare Competition, making it the third-ever virtual competition in the program's history. People from across the country came together on Monday, April 25th on Zoom to watch as the 12 finalists performed for 5 judges. The virtual competition utilized various technologies across multiple platforms, including Zoom, Youtube, and text-to-vote, all of which enabled thousands of engagements, and hundreds of viewers from across the globe.

Watch the Recorded Competition Here!


Sasha Fedderly of the ESU New York City Branch won 1st Place with her captivating and thoughtful renditions of Lady MacBeth from MacBeth and Sonnet 35. Sasha has won attendance at the BADA Midsummer Conservatory Program in Oxford, England this summer (Midsummer Conservatory Program – BADA).. Her teacher, Margaret George at Lycee Francais de New York High School will receive the $1000 Teacher Recognition Award.

Roxanna Beebe Center of the ESU Charlottesville Branch took 2nd Place with her captivating interpretations of Hecate from MacBeth and Sonnet 94.  As her prize, Roxanna will be attending the American Shakespeare Center Theatre Camp in Staunton, Virginia (ASC Theatre Camp | American Shakespeare Center). Her teacher, David Becker at Charlottesville High School will receive the $500 Teacher Recognition Award. 

Kathuure Miriti of the ESU Kentucky Branch won 3rd place for her stirring rendition of Cressida from Troilus and Cressida and Sonnet 34. Kathuure will take home a cash prize of $1000. Her teacher, Amie Kisling at SCAPA Lafayette High School will receive the $250 Teacher Recognition Award.

We are proud to continue the People's Choice Award as part of the 2022 National Shakespeare Competition. Instituted three years ago to foster a sense of community during the Covid safe virtual competition format, the People's Choice Award has been a popular outlet for students to support each other. Due to the success of the People's Choice Awards, we have expanded this year's prizes to include not only a first-place winner, but also a second and third place winner. 

The recipient of the $1,000 1st place prize, Molly Livesay of the Austin Branch, student of Helen Potter at Great Hearts Monte Vista North High School, received 635 votes. In 2nd place, with 534 votes, Jake Reed of the Memphis Branch took home a $500 prize. Jake is a student of Cynthia Weiland at Arlington High School. In 3rd place, with 452 votes, Riley Prior of the Monmouth New Jersey Branch took home a $250 prize. Riley is a student of Smita Gantra at Glen Ridge High School. Nearly 7,000 people voted from around the world, including Germany, Australia, the Philippines, India, China, and Indonesia, expanding the competition's community despite the pandemic. 

Joining the winners in the final round of competition were Kendall Becerra of the San Diego Branch, Anka Chiorini of the Syracuse Branch, Lottie Doughty of the Washington, DC Branch, Raina Grabowski of the Central Florida Branch, Emma Kresge of the virtual E-Branch, Mahogany Prichard of the Palm Beach Branch, Lucy Shea of the Philadelphia Branch, Declan Smith of the Greenwich Branch, and Jordyn Spencer of the Atlanta Branch.

This year's judges included renowned members of the theater community: Dr. Ralph Alan Cohen, Founder and Senior Advisor of the American Shakespeare Center; Dana Ivey, a 5 time Tony nominee and star of the Broadway stage and screen; Dr. Catherine Loomis, Author and Shakespeare Scholar; Eunice Roberts, acclaimed performer, playwright and Dean of BADA; and Katey Parker, New York City High School teacher, 2020 New York City ESU TLab Scholar and 2001 National Shakespeare Competition 1st Place Winner. 

More than 16,000 high school students, 2,000 teachers and 43 ESU Branches competed at the school, regional and national levels by performing a monologue and sonnet to demonstrate their understanding and ability to convey the meaning of their selected texts. The competition has been recognized by the Globe Center, the Children's Theatre Foundation of America and the American Academy of Achievement.

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