(MENAFN Editorial) -- The English-Speaking Union, Kansas City Branch, will hold its 34th annual Shakespeare Competition Sunday, February 25, 2018, at 2:30 pm at the Kansas City Public Library, Plaza Branch, Kansas City, MO. The Competition is co-sponsored with the Kansas City Public Library and is a free event. The public is invited.
Students from thirteen high schools including a home school student are preparing in preliminary competitions at their schools. This annual event is designed to develop students' speaking and critical thinking skills as they explore the beauty of the language and the timeless themes in Shakespeare's works.
The Competition is open to students in grades 9 through 12. Each student selects, memorizes, and presents a Shakespeare monologue and sonnet. By preparing a monologue and sonnet for public presentation, students bring Shakespeare to life in their own way and learn to express his works with understanding, clarity and feeling.
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, an all-expense-paid round-trip to New York City to compete in the ESU National Shakespeare Competition on April 23, 2018, as well as other group activities in New York City.
The First Place winner of the ESU National Shakespeare Competition receives an all-expenses paid scholarship and airfare to attend the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art Young Actors' Summer School in London, England.
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 First Place winner in 2017, Trevon Wainwright from Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts, went on to compete in the ESU National Finals and won Third Place in the National Finals.
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
Harrisonville High School
Heart of America Shakespeare Festival Home School Student Competition
Lincoln College Preparatory Academy
Oak Park High School
Olathe Northwest High School
Olathe South High School
Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts
Rockhurst High School
Shawnee Mission Northwest High School
Spring Hill High School
Summit Christian Academy
Deborah McArdle, ESU Kansas City Branch's Vice President and Shakespeare Competition Coordinator, commented, "The ESU Kansas City Branch is proud to have provided this competition for 34 years now. Each year, we see the students display an unbelievable understanding of the works of William Shakespeare, one of the world's greatest geniuses. In unique ways, the contestants bring Shakespeare's words to life by voice, movement and overall interpretation. Additionally, we thank our committed teachers who give so generously of time and talent."
Approximately 2,500 teachers and 20,000 students in ESU Branch communities participate each year. The Competition has engaged more than 300,000 young people since its inception in 1983. 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.
The English-Speaking Union of the United States is a non-profit, non-political, educational organization whose mission is to celebrate English as a shared language to foster global understanding and good will by providing educational and cultural opportunities for students, teachers and its members. For more information about the ESU Kansas City Branch, go to . Also follow the ESU at .
© The English-Speaking Union of the United States Kansas City Branch, LLC