News And Events

              Sixteen Kansas City Area    High School Students to Compete in  33rd Annual Shakespeare Competition

The Kansas City Branch of the English-Speaking Union announces its 33rd annual Shakespeare Competition for all Kansas City metro area high schools, grades 9-12. The Branch Semi-Finals will be held at the Plaza Library, 4801 Main St., Kansas City, Mo., on Sunday, February 19, 2017.

The Competition provides teachers with a performance-based program for the study of English Language Arts and Shakespeare. High school students recite Shakespeare's monologues and sonnets and compete for the chance to win a trip to New York City to compete in the ESU National Finals at Lincoln Center.

Through the Competition, students develop communication skills and an appreciation of the power of language and literature. The Competition has engaged more than 300,000 young people since its inception in 1983.

Through the English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition, students:

  • develop essential skills: critical thinking, close reading and public speaking
  • increase self-confidence through reading, analysis and performance of Shakespeare
  • explore the beauty of Shakespeare's language and classic themes
  • bring the timeless works of Shakespeare to life and learn to express his words with understanding, feeling and clarity
  • meet local, state and national standards in English Language Arts and Drama.

Students read, analyze, perform and recite Shakespearean monologues and sonnets in three qualifying stages: at the school, community and national levels. Approximately 2,500 teachers and 20,000 students in nearly 60 ESU Branch communities participate each year.

Students from the following Kansas City area schools will be participating in the local ESU KC Branch Competition:

Blue Valley High School

Center High School

Heart of America Shakespeare Festival

     Home School Student Competition

North Kansas City High School
Oak Park High School

Olathe Northwest High School

Olathe South High School

Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts

Rockhurst High School

St. Teresa's Academy

Saint Thomas Aquinas High School
Shawnee Mission Northwest High School

Shawnee Mission South High School

Smith-Cotton High School

Spring Hill High School

Summit Christian Academy

The First Place winner of the ESU Kansas City Branch Competition receives $150, a full scholarship to Shakespeare Exploration, a conservatory-styled camp for teens offered by the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, and an all-expense-paid round-trip to New York City to compete in the ESU National Shakespeare Competition on May 1, 2017, at Lincoln Center as well as other group activities in New York City. The National First Place Winner will receive an all-expenses-paid scholarship to attend the American Shakespeare Centre's Theatre Camp in Staunton, VA.

Two previous Kansas City winners have won First Place in the National Shakespeare Competition in New York and one Kansas City winner won Second Place in the National Competition.  The ESU Kansas City Branch is one of 57 Branches competing in the National Shakespeare Competition in New York City at Lincoln Center on May 1, 2017.

Daniel Bukovac, ESU Kansas City Branch's Vice President and Shakespeare Competition Coordinator, commented, "We are pleased that our Competition continues to draw students from all sectors of schools in the metro area. The enthusiasm from the teachers who sign-up for our Shakespeare Competition each year is very rewarding. The Competition is a valuable teaching tool and gives students the opportunity to develop better communication skills and an appreciation of the power of 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. Many distinguished judges have served on the Competition panels.


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