Over 2,700 students and 110 schools will participate in the 35th annual Shakespeare Competition hosted by the Utah Shakespeare Festival and Southern Utah University. From October 6 to 8 student thespians from across the Intermountain West will compete as actors, dancers and theatre technicians before panels of theatre and dance professionals in the largest scholastic Shakespeare competition in the country. A closing night awards ceremony will be held on October 8 at 7 p.m. at the Southern Utah University Centrum Arena.
“For thirty-five 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 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, 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, Festival education outreach coordinator, loves the Shakespeare Competition and looks forward to the event all year. Giles 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 the Shakespeare Competition gives them the tools necessary to believe in themselves and their art.”
As part of the total experience, students are invited to attend the Festival’s fall productions of Noises Off!, The Winter’s Tale and Dial M for Murder for a special school price. More information and an event schedule can be found online.