Strother Competes in New York
Captivating audiences with a performance of a sonnet and monologue from Shakespeare, Holly Strother, from Red Springs, a student of Adam Faw at Pinecrest High School in Southern Pines, placed as a semifinalist at the 29th annual English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition.
The competition was held on April 23 at Lincoln Center in New York City for 58 winners of E-SU Branch competitions nationwide. Strother had won the E-SU Sandhills, N.C. Branch regional competition.
This year's winner of the English-Speaking Union Charlottesville regional competition, Tiffany Ames, won first prize in the E-SU National Shakespeare Competition, winning a full scholarship to attend the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art's Young Actors Summer School in London.
Second-place winner Cyler Winnie, representing the Portland Branch, won a scholarship to attend the American Shakespeare Center Theatre Camp.
Third-place winner Katie Weatherseed, representing the Greenwich Branch of the E-SU, won $500 from the Shakespeare Society.
The English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition is a school-based program 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 E-SU Branch-sponsored community competitions, and at the National Shakespeare Competition.
Inaugurated in 1983, the program has engaged more than 250,000 young people.
As the winner of a local competition, Strother was awarded the trip to New York City for the final stage of the competition. They provided the Branch finalists with two full days of activities, including an acting workshop at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and tours of New York City.
Among the distinguished judges for this year's Competition were Maurice Charney, a Shakespeare scholar and Rutgers University Distinguished Professor of English; Ralph Alan Cohen, director of Mission and co-founder of the American Shakespeare Center; Louis Scheeder, classical studio director at New York University Tisch School of the Arts; Michael Sexton, artistic director of The Shakespeare Society; Stephen Young, program director of the Poetry Foundation; Heidi Griffiths, casting director at the Public Theater; and Peter Francis James, an actor who just finished his role as Oscar in Edward Albee's "The Lady from Dubuque."
The judges were asked to evaluate three components of the students' performances: understanding of the material, ability to effectively communicate to the audience, and artistic expression.
The English-Speaking Union of the United States is a nonprofit, nonpolitical 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, educators and members.
For information on joining the E-SU, visit the website www.esuus.org.
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