More than 3,000 students and 118 schools will participate in the 37th annual Shakespeare Competition hosted by the Utah Shakespeare Festival and Southern Utah University. From October 3 to 5, student thespians from across the Intermountain West will compete as actors, dancers, musicians and theatre technicians before panels of theatre, dance and music professionals in the largest scholastic Shakespeare competition in the country.
“For thirty-seven years this event has changed the lives of aspiring young students from all over the United States,” said Michael Bahr, Festival education director. “I’m looking forward to continuing this great tradition of theatre, dance, and music.”
Competitors range from sixth grade to high school seniors. Each participating school is invited to prepare up to three monologues, two duo/trio scenes, and an ensemble scene, as well as an interpretive dance, minstrel and madrigal music, and several presentations in technical theatre. Performing on Festival stages and in many classrooms on the SUU campus, students are adjudicated by professional actors, directors, dancers, musicians and artists.
The Tech Olympics, one of the most popular elements of the competition, has reached a record number of student competitors. Teams will be tested on their skills in lighting, audio, set construction, props, rigging, costumes, hair and makeup and stage management. Awards include the Golden Screwgun, the Silver Spotlight and the Bronze Boot.
Miranda Giles, competition adjudicator, said, “Anyone attending the Shakespeare Competition will clearly see the passion and exuberance these students demonstrate for theatre, dance and music. They will be the future leaders of the arts, and this competition gives them the tools necessary to believe in themselves and their art.”
The Shakespeare Competition is dramatically increasing its online and social media presence this year in order to engage students and increase communication during the competition. Visit their Twitter feed at @UTShakesComp and their Facebook page at facebook.com/
As part of the total experience, students are invited to attend the Festival’s fall productions of Peter and the Starcatcher, The Marvelous Wonderettes and Richard II for a special school price. More information and an event schedule can be found online at bard.org/competition/