News – March 10, 2016
With his performance of Angelo from Measure for Measure and his recitation of Shakespeare Sonnet 138, Abel Garcia, a student of Gabriel Silva at Urban Assembly School for the Performing Arts in Manhattan, won the 2016 English-Speaking Union New York Shakespeare Competition.
Celebrating the Shakespeare400 legacy, the ESU New York Shakespeare Competition took place on March 10th on the stage of the Gilder Lehrman Hall at the Morgan Library & Museum, where twelve finalists from New York City area high schools (selected from among more than 70 contestants) competed. They presented selections from the Bard's works hoping to represent New York in the ESU National Shakespeare Competition on May 1-3, 2016 at Lincoln Center Theater and compete with winners of some 60 ESU competitions nationwide. Mr. Garcia received a cash prize of $200 from The Shakespeare Society and two tickets for a performance of Henry V at BAM.
Na'Shay Kelly from Bronx High School for Writing and Communication Arts placed second, winning $200 from The Shakespeare Society and two tickets to Theatre for a New Audience's production of Pericles. Esther Ritchin from White Plains High School captured third place, winning $100 from The Shakespeare Society and two tickets to Peer Gynt at the Classic Stage Company.
The remaining finalists were Fiona Calberson (Townsend Harris High School at CUNY / Queens College); Chassidy David (Talent Unlimited High School); Alessandro Lopez (Williamsburg Preparatory High School); John Nuñez (Hillcrest High School); Davion Osbourne (Chelsea Career & Technical Education High School); Olivia Reis (Elisabeth Irwin High School / LREI); Jelani Richards-Cantave (Cardinal Spellman High School); Diana Vasilevski (Brooklyn Technical High School); and Dylan Weber (Long Island School for the Gifted). Dr. Paul Beresford-Hill, Chairman of the English-Speaking Union, thanked all the contestants remarking favorably on the talent, energy, and enthusiasm each displayed for the works of the Bard.
The New York Branch would like to thank the judges, Peter Avery (Director of Theater, New York City Department of Education), Mary E. Hodges (Actor, Harlem Shakespeare Festival), Katie Miller (Education Director, Theatre for a New Audience), Michael Sexton (Artistic Director, The Shakespeare Society) and Dr. Robert Young (Former Director of Education, The Folger Shakespeare Library). We are also especially grateful to; BAM, Classic Stage Company, The Morgan Library & Museum, the New York Public Library, The Shakespeare Society, and Theatre for a New Audience who provided valuable support for the New York Branch Shakespeare Competition.
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