Members of Lakehill's Shakespeare and Friends Club competed in the school's second foray in the English-Speaking Union (ESU) National Shakespeare Competition on January 25. Seniors Chambliss Pierson and Noah Bernstein, sophomores Liam Reece and Vanya Suchan, and freshman Alanna Stern, each performed a 20-line monologue from a Shakespeare play to a judges Julie Riggs, Mark Guerra, and Amanda Rasbury.
Stern took first place, impressing the judges with her performance of Portia from Julius Caesar. Second place went to Pierson who performed Paulina from The Winter's Tale, and will serve as the alternate. Reece finished third, performing King Henry from Henry V.
The ESU National Shakespeare Competition is a performance-based education program in which high school students nationwide read, analyze, perform, and recite Shakespearean monologues and sonnets. Approximately 2,500 teachers and 20,000 students in nearly 60 ESU Branch communities participate each year.
Lakehill's competitors worked throughout the first semester during Shakespeare and Friends, an Upper School club sponsored by Elizabeth Schmitt. "I appreciate their commitment bringing Shakespeare's words to life and was impressed with the diversity and complexity of the pieces the students chose for themselves."
"My love for the world of theater motivated me to take part in this competition," Stern said. "The deeper I began to dive into Shakespeare, the more I began to enjoy it."
Stern will represent Lakehill at the local ESU Dallas Branch Competition on February 25 at Highland Park High School. In addition to her monologue, she will also memorize and recite one of Shakespeare's 154 sonnets.
The local winner will be awarded an all-expense-paid trip to New York City for the National Competition, regularly held at Lincoln Center. National Competition prizes include a scholarship to study acting in England, Shakespeare's homeland.