News And Events

A Message from the Hawaii Branch President

Kaiser High School Student to Compete in the
34th English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare
Competition at Lincoln Center in New York

Honolulu, February 25, 2017 — Makana Richter, student of  Ann Ogilvie from Kaiser High School in Honolulu, captured first place in the Hawaii segment of the English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition, which was held on February 25, 2017 at Punahou School.  Seventeen schools from four islands were represented at this year's Hawaii competition. Makana will travel to New York City along with 55 other contestants from around the country to participate in the ESU National Shakespeare Competition at Lincoln Center Theater on May 1, 2017. 

La Pietra student Lanihuli Gilbert earned second place, and Iolani's Alisa Boland was awarded third place in the Hawaii 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 that understanding to the audience. Judges for the Branch Competition, Betty Burdick, Taurie Kinoshita, and Nicolas Logue, agreed this year's competition was "stunningly intense."        

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.  Through the program, students develop communication skills and an appreciation of the power of language and literature.  In the Competition's three progressive levels, students perform in their own schools, at ESU Branch community competitions, and at the National Shakespeare Competition at Lincoln Center Theater in New York City.  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.

As the winner of the ESU Hawaii Branch competition, Makana Richter will travel to New York City to represent the Hawaii Branch in the ESU National Shakespeare Competition at the world-renowned Lincoln Center Mitzi Newhouse Theater on May 1, competing with 55 winners of other Branch competitions nationwide.  On stage, each will perform a monologue and sonnet before a panel of distinguished judges as well as their fellow contestants. Based on their performances, seven to ten students will advance to a final round. Those finalists, performing their selections along with a cold reading of a monologue, compete for the first place award, which is an all-expenses-paid scholarship to attend the American Shakespeare Center's summer Theater Camp in Staunton, VA.  For additional information regarding the English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition, please visit here.

Founded in 1920, The English-Speaking Union is a non-profit, non-political educational organization that employs English as a catalyst to foster global understanding and good will through educational and cultural exchange programs.  The ESU carries out its work through a network of 58 Branches nationwide along with affiliates in the United Kingdom and 60 other countries. For additional information about the English-Speaking Union, please visit http://www.esuus.org . Over the years, a number of talented Hawaii students have reached the finals; in 2011, 2015, and 2016 the national winner was from Honolulu. For details about the ESU Hawaii Branch or to join the Branch please visit https://www.esuus.org/hawaii/. To view Pat Bigold's recording of the 2017 Hawaii Shakespeare Competition, click on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51Nx9Fvoo7Y


Makana Richter, winner of the Hawaii segment
of the 2017 English-Speaking Union
National Shakespeare Competition.

 

Return to News & Events

The English-Speaking Union

Hawaii Branch

Hawaii 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.