Sixteen Kansas City Area High School Students to Compete in 33rd Annual Shakespeare Competition

Press Release ( - KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Feb 15, 2017 - The English-Speaking Union, Kansas City Branch will hold its 33rd annual Shakespeare Competition on Sunday, February 19, 2017, 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 fifteen high schools as well as a home school student sponsored by the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival are preparing in preliminary competitions at their schools. The sixteen students who win those preliminary competitions will be competing at the Kansas City Branch finals on February 19, 2017, in this annual event which 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. All monologues are limited to 20 lines of verse or prose. 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 May 1, 2017, at Lincoln Center 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 to attend a 3-week intensive, immersive learning experience at the American Shakespeare Center’s Theatre Camp in Staunton, VA, summer 2017.

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 Branch is one of 56 Branches competing in the National Shakespeare Competition in New York City at Lincoln Center on May 1, 2017.

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
Heart of America Shakespeare Festival Home School Student Competition
North Kansas City High School
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
Shawnee Mission South High School
Smith-Cotton High School
Spring Hill High School
Saint Thomas Aquinas High School
St. Teresa’s Academy
Summit Christian Academy

Daniel Bukovac, ESU Kansas City Branch’s Vice President and Shakespeare Competition Coordinator, commented, “We are pleased that our Competition continues to draw students from all sectors of schools in the Kansas City metro area. The enthusiasm from the teachers who sign-up for our Shakespeare Competition each year is very rewarding. The Competition is a valuable teaching tool and gives students the opportunity to develop better communication skills and an appreciation of the power of language and literature.”

Approximately 2,500 teachers and 20,000 students in nearly 60 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.

Learn more at

Source : English-Speaking Union

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