New York City, April 27th, 2015 – With a performance of a sonnet and monologue from Shakespeare, Dylan Norman from Jenks, OK, a student of Kevin Hurst at Jenks High School in Jenks, placed as a semi-finalist in the 32nd annual English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition. The Competition was held on April 27th at Lincoln Center Theater in New York City for 57 winners of ESU Branch competitions nationwide. Dylan had previously won the ESU Oklahoma City Branch regional competition.
This year's winner of the English-Speaking Union Hawaii Branch competition, Sarah Spalding, won first prize in the ESU National Shakespeare Competition, winning a full Scholarship to attend the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art's Young Actors Summer School in London, England. Second place winner, Evelyn Johnson, representing the Philadelphia Branch, won a scholarship to attend the American Shakespeare Center Theatre Camp. Third place winner, Elizabeth Mears, representing the Boston Branch of the ESU, won $500 from The Shakespeare Society.
The English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition is a school-based program designed to help students develop their speaking and critical thinking skills and their appreciation of literature as they explore the beauty of the language and timeless themes in Shakespeare's works. In three progressive competition levels, students memorize, interpret, and perform monologues and sonnets in their own schools, at ESU Branch-sponsored community competitions and at the National Shakespeare Competition. The program has engaged more than 250,000 young people since its inception. Citing its 32nd season this year, the Honorable Bill De Blasio, Mayor of the City of New York, proclaimed April 27th as William Shakespeare Day. Nick Astbury, the British Deputy Consul-General in New York, read the proclamation, and Josiah Bunting III, Chairman of the English-Speaking Union, awarded certificates to the competitors.
The ESU celebrates English as a shared language to foster global understanding and good will by providing educational and cultural opportunities for students, educators, and members.
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