The 2020 National Shakespeare Competition was unlike no other in its 37 years. After ESU Branches completed their own branch competitions and selected their first-place winners, the National Semi-Finals and Finals scheduled for April 27, 2020 in New York City had to be reconfigured from an in-person competition to a virtual competition due to COVID-19.
The ESU met this challenge and a virtual National Shakespeare Competition came together in record time. Many thanks to ESU's National Education Department headed by a remarkable team lead by Karen Karpowich, ESU's Executive Director; Betty Trevino Roth, Senior Manager, School and Teacher Programs; Annelise Nussbacher, Education Coordinator; and Josh Keppel-González, Communications and IT Manager. Their teamwork, dedication and close coordination with 49 branches, 49 students, teachers, branch competition coordinators, judges and many sponsors made this 37th Annual National Shakespeare Competition a huge success.
The 1st Place Prize Winner and recipient of a scholarship to attend the 2021 Midsummer Conservatory Program at the British American Drama Academy in Oxford, U.K., is Ava Blum of the Washington D.C. Branch, student of Jim Mahady at Georgetown Day School. Mr. Mahady will receive the $1,000 Teacher Recognition Award.
The 2nd Place Prize Winner and recipient of a scholarship to the 2021 American Shakespeare Center Theatre Camp in Staunton, VA, is Adam Wilson of the Charlottesville Branch, student of Dorene Fisher at St. Anne's Belfield School.
The 3rd Place Prize Winner and recipient of $1,000 is Jordyn Jenkins of the Kentucky Branch, student of Katie Blackerby Weible at Youth Performing Arts School.
We are also excited to announce that the winner of the People's Choice Award and recipient of $1,000 is Max Mester of the Philadelphia Branch, student of Jessica Waber at J.R. Masterman High School, who received 677 votes! Thank you so much to the 9,500 people who voted!
The 37th Annual National Shakespeare Competition Finals were held online on April 27, 2020, and were recorded. You can watch the entire program by clicking here.
Our Kansas City First Place winner, Sheridan Mirador, a senior from Center High School in Kansas City, was one of the ten National Finalists. This was a tremendous accomplishment to place in the top ten out of 49 competing students. Be sure to watch his performance. He is the fifth student in the Competition. We are all very proud of Sheridan and wish him the best in his future theatre arts career. His co-sponsoring teachers are Andrew Hanch and Jessica Moulton.
This competition was a fitting testament to the ESU's commitment and resiliency over our 100-year history and affirms our future for 100 more!
Since 1920, the ESU has been motivated by our founder's belief that, together, we could employ the English language to expand minds, strengthen friendships and unlock opportunities.