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All the World’s a Stage for New York City Teens

All the World’s a Stage for New York City Teens

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New York City, March 6, 2013 – The English-Speaking Union of New York held the finals of its 31st annual Branch Shakespeare Competition yesterday at the Morgan Library and Museum.  The event was part of the 2013 English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition.  Twelve New York City area high school students performed monologues and recited sonnets from Shakespeare’s timeless canon.  Having already advanced through two rounds of competition, these talented students impressed the judges with their firm grasp of Shakespeare’s language. This event was co-sponsored by the Morgan Library & Museum. 

The winner was Xavier Pacheco of Urban Assembly School for the Performing Arts; he was awarded $250 from the Shakespeare Society and will represent New York City at the National competition on April 22nd at Lincoln Center.  In addition, he will also receive two full days of educational and cultural activities surrounding the National competition.  Marcus Omowale of New Design High School placed 2nd in the competition; he received $250 from the Shakespeare Society and tickets to the Theatre for a New Audience’s Much Ado About Nothing.  Desire Hinkson of Marymount School of New York placed 3rd and received tickets to Women of Will starring Tina Packer at The Gym at Judson.

Other finalists included:  Giacoma Bonello (Fort Hamilton High School); Priyanka Das (The Bronx High School of Science); Maggie Friedman (Forest Hills High School); Nicholas Judt (The Dalton School); Noah Lapook (Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School); Fatoumata Ly (Brooklyn High School of the Arts); Ethan Metzger (SAR High School); Esther Ritchin (White Plains High School); Linda Sankat (William Cullen Bryant High School).  They portrayed a diversity of roles from Henry V to Benedick, Lady Macbeth to Juliet.

Priyanka Das 2

Priyanka Das performing as Shylock from Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.

 

Judges for the program included:  Heidi Griffiths (Casting Director, The Public Theater); Gwendolyn Anne Kelso (Education and Humanities Program Manager, Brooklyn Academy of Music); Dr. Sid Ray (Professor of English and Women’s and Gender Studies, Pace University); Michael Sexton (Artistic Director, The Shakespeare Society) and Dr. Robert Young (Director of Education, The Folger Shakespeare Library).

The English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition is a performance-based education program in which high school students nationwide read, analyze, perform and recite Shakespearean monologues and sonnets.  Through the program, students develop communication skills and an appreciation of the power of language and literature.  In three progressive competition levels, students present the Bard’s works in their own schools, at ESU Branch sponsored community competitions and at the National Shakespeare Competition.  Inaugurated in New York City in 1983, the program has given more than 250,000 young people of all backgrounds the opportunity to bring the timeless works of Shakespeare to life and learn to express his words with understanding, feeling and clarity.  This Competition is open to all New York City schools serving Grades 9-12, and participation is free.

The English-Speaking Union 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.  The ESU carries out its work through a network of 70 Branches and affiliates in the United Kingdom and 60 other countries, sponsoring a variety of language and international education programs.  For information on joining the New York ESU Branch or to learn more about its educational programs, please email newyork@esuus.org, call 212-818-1200 or visit:  www.esuus.org/newyork.

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