News And Events


Lexington Branch Shakespeare Competition participants, January 21, 2017

Donna Boyd was the winner of the English Speaking Union Lexington Branch 2017 Shakespeare competition held on January 21 at the Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton.  Boyd, of Spotswood High School in Penn Laird, performed Queen Margaret's monologue from Richard III, Act IV, Scene iv, and Sonnet 15. Boyd will receive an all-expenses paid trip to New York to compete in the ESU National Shakespeare Competition later this spring. 

In preparation for the competition Boyd was coached by Spotswood High School teachers Janie Thames and Ken Gibson.  Notably, coach Thames studied at Oxford University last summer as the recipient of an ESU Lexington Branch scholarship. 

Second place winner was Nora Oechslin, a senior at Robert E. Lee High School in Staunton, who performed Queen Margaret's monologue from Henry VI Part 2, Act III, Scene ii, and Sonnet 27.  This was a second win for Oechslin, who placed first in the Lexington Branch competition in 2015.  Oechslin was coached by John Fregosi, a teacher at Robert E. Lee High School. 

Skylar Lanier was awarded third place for a lively performance of Pryamus' monologue from A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act V, Scene i and a recitation of Sonnet 121.  Lanier, a student at Wilson Memorial High School in Fishersville, was coached by teacher Diana Beam.  

Lexington ESU members Suzanne Rice and Lisa Tracy coordinated the competition, with the invaluable support of Sarah Enloe, director of education, Lia Wallace, college preparatory programs manager, and the entire staff of the American Shakespeare Center (ASC).  ACS conducted a workshop for school winners and runners-up in December, and provided partial scholarships to the ASC Summer Camp for each of the three branch competition winners.

          L-R Donna Boyd, Skylar Lanier & Nora Oechslin


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