News And Events

Kansas City’s 37th Annual Virtual Shakespeare Competition Program

We are excited to announce the First, Second and Third-Place winners of the Kansas City Branch's 37th Annual Shakespeare Competition. Don't miss our virtual program on April 21 at 5:00 pm which will include the videos of the seven students' performances at this year's Competition and live commentary from the judges. Everyone is cordially invited to this April 21 free virtual program, but registration is required. You are encouraged to register now.

Register Here

Seven students submitted video entries which were judged by our distinguished judges, Sidonie Garrett, Executive Artistic Director of the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, Melinda McCreary, Director of Education and Community Programs at Kansas City Repertory Theatre, and Mark Robbins, a professional actor and director with more than 170 professional roles to his credit. The judges have selected our winners:

First Place winner is Aliyah Pullin from Olathe South High School. Lauren Hannon is the sponsoring teacher. Second Place winner is Sofia Hughes from Blue Valley High School. Maureen Davis is the sponsoring teacher. Third Place winner is Maggie Herber from Shawnee
Mission South High School. Her sponsoring teacher is Mark Swezey.

 This was the first virtual Competition for the ESU Kansas City Branch. First-place winner, Aliyah Pullin, impressed the judges with her performance of King Lear in a monologue from King Lear and her recitation of Sonnet 76. Aliyah will represent the Kansas City Branch as a semi-finalist at the National Shakespeare Competition tentatively set for April 26, 2021.

Aliyah's First-place prize package from the ESU Kansas City Branch includes a check for $150, a full scholarship to the Shakespeare Exploration Summer Camp offered by the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, a Certificate of Appreciation, and an engraved First Place Medallion.

On Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 5:00 pm, we will present Kansas City's 37th annual Shakespeare Competition in a virtual program. All ESU Kansas City members, guests, and friends of ESU are cordially invited to this special virtual Shakespeare Competition Program. Meet the seven students who entered the Competition and watch the video performances of their Shakespeare monologues and sonnets. Meet the sponsoring teachers who prepared their students for the Competition, and meet our three judges who will discuss the students' performances and offer their comments.

This will be a great opportunity to see the students, teachers and judges live on Zoom. The program is open to the public. We encourage students to invite their fellow classmates and friends as well as family members to the program. It's a free program but registration is required. You will be given a link to join the Zoom program once you register and a reminder a few days before the program. You are encouraged to register now.

Register Here

The 2021 ESU National Shakespeare Competition will also be virtual with ESU Branch First-place winners submitting a video of his or her Shakespeare monologue and sonnet for New York City judges to evaluate. The top ten finalists will be announced April 19, 2021. The 2021 National Shakespeare Competition prizes are as follows: (due to COVID there is a possibility of delayed/substituted prizes).

1st Place Winner: A scholarship to attend the British American Drama Academy Mid-Summer Conservatory Program which includes an intensive three-weeks of study, acting and Shakespeare Cultural studies at the University of Oxford, Oxfordshire, England.

2nd Place Winner: A Scholarship to attend the American Shakespeare Center Theatre Camp in Staunton, VA.

3rd place: $1,000

Two previous Kansas City winners have won First Place in the National Shakespeare Competition in New York City. One past Kansas City winner won Second Place in the National Competition. In 2017,  Trevon Wainwright from Paseo Academy, won Third Place in the National Finals. 

The ESU National Shakespeare Competition is a performance-based education program in which high school students read, analyze, perform, and recite Shakespeare's works.  Since 1983, the competition has helped more than 400,000 young Americans develop communication skills and an appreciation for language and literature. The ESU National Shakespeare Competition has been recognized by the Globe Center (USA), the Children's Theatre Foundation of America and the American Academy of Achievement. It is the only national Shakespeare competition in the U.S. and the only such program exclusively for high school students.


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