Annual Shakespeare Competition Gives Out Scholarships, Awards
Photo courtesy of Utah Shakespeare Festival: Michael Don Bahr at Awards Ceremony
Cedar City, UT – Last weekend the 36th annual Shakespeare Competition, hosted by the Utah Shakespeare Festival and Southern Utah University, gave out dozens of awards and scholarships to drama, dance and music students. The competition is the largest scholastic Shakespeare competition in the country, and this was a record-breaking year with over 2,800 students from 103 schools. Students came from junior high and high schools in Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Wisconsin, Idaho, and California.
From October 4th through the 6th, students competed before numerous adjudicators on the Festival’s stages and at several other venues on the SUU campus. Judges consisted of arts professionals with strong literary and performance backgrounds. The judges came to Cedar City from across the country, including New York and Los Angeles, and not only judged the competition, but provided critiques of performances and gave feedback to the young artists. Judges also offered numerous workshops on topics such as stage combat, improvisation, folio exploration, movement, modern dance techniques, and choral performance.
“There really is nothing like the Shakespeare Competition, said Michael Bahr, education director for the Festival. “For thirty-six years the competition has provided young people an outlet to share their passion and excitement for the arts, while also cultivating the future generation of arts professionals.”
Providing wonderful opportunities, the competition recognizes and educates students in five areas: acting, dance/choreography, music, art, and technical theatre. At the conclusion of the competition selected students received trophies and scholarships to study with professionals at Southern Utah University and the Utah Shakespeare Festival.
As part of the total experience, students were able to attend the Festival’s fall productions of Hamlet, Stones in His Pockets, and Les Misérables for a special school price.
The competition was divided into six divisions: Buckingham (for schools with enrollment of 2,001 or more), Oxford (enrollment of 1,701 to 2,000), Cambridge (enrollment of 801 to 1,700), Westminster (enrollment of 800 or fewer), Stratford (junior high and middle schools of any size) and Essex (schools or groups which are not members of state high school associations).
Here are a our Southern Utah stars who took away awards at this event
For the acting portion of the competition, students were able to compete in mono-acts, duo/trio scenes and ensembles. Mono-act competitors presented for the judges a two- to four-minute monologue from a Shakespeare play or sonnet. In the duo/trio competition, two or three actors presented a three- to five-minute scene from a Shakespeare play or sonnet. In the ensemble competition, a group of students from a school presented a six- to ten-minute Shakespearean scene.
The first place winners in the duo/trio and monologue category are awarded scholarships to either Southern Utah University or the Utah Shakespeare Festival summer classes, depending on the grade of the student.
Ray Jones Award: Given to seniors, this award is a $1000 scholarship to Southern Utah University.
Barbara Barrett Award: Given to juniors and under, this award is a $500 scholarship to the Festival’s summer acting intensive Actor Training, or a tuition scholarship to Shakespeare for Junior Actors.
Larry Lott Acting Award: In conjunction with the ensemble competition, judges annually recognize the best actor in an ensemble scene in each division. The recipient of this award received a trophy for his or her accomplishments and, if a senior, a $1,000 scholarship to SUU.
Sweepstakes First Place: Tuacahn High School; Ivins, Utah
Ensemble First Place: Kyle Lewis; Tuacahn High School; Ivins, Utah
Ensemble Third Place: Richard Hill; Hurricane High School; Hurricane, Utah
Ray Jones First Place Monologue
First Place Award: Sabrina Perry; Tuacahn High School; Ivins, Utah
Mono-Acts Third Place (tie): Stephanie Peck; Salem Hills High School; Springville,Utah
Larry Lott Acting Award: Tyler Price; Tuacahn High School; Ivins, Utah
For the dance portion, students were able to compete in duo/trio or ensemble groups. In the duo/trio competition, two or three dancers presented a three- to six-minute interpretation of a Shakespeare play or sonnet. In the ensemble competition, a group of dancers from a school interpreted a three to four minute Shakespeare play or sonnet.
Duo/Trio Third Place: Lindy Palmer, Ashley Fordham and Ashley Borget;
Desert Hills High School; St. George, Utah
The music competition encouraged students to explore and develop a relationship with the music of the Renaissance (music prior to 1650). Students were encouraged to utilize creative combinations of instruments, however no instrumentation was required.
For the music competition, students were able to compete in Madrigals and Minstrels. Madrigals (a minimum of five people) presented six- to ten-minutes of Renaissance music. Minstrels (one to four people) presented three- to seven-minutes of Renaissance music.
First Place Award Pleasant Grove High School; Pleasant Grove, Utah
Second Place Award Canyon View High School; Cedar City, Utah
Second Place Award Tuacahn High School; Tuacahn, Utah