A Grand Stage & Opportunity: The 2022 National Shakespeare Competition

It is safe to say most of us know who William Shakespeare is. His most famous works, including Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and Othello, are ever-present in our English classes. There are many Dons who enjoy the iconic playwright’s work, as well as literature and the theatrical arts in general. Considering this, Loyola is participating in an event where this passion can be shown on stage.

In its 39th year, the English-Speaking Union (ESU) National Shakespeare Competition is an educational program where high school students from across the country put their reading and language skills to the test. Participants read, analyze, and perform Shakespeare’s various works. There are three stages to this competition; the school level, the community level, and the national level.

At the school level, students perform one of Shakespeare’s monologues and compete with their classmates. One student is chosen to advance to the community level, where they will compete against students from across the region—in our case, the Baltimore-D.C. area. The winner of this level will proceed to the national level in New York City, where their monologue performance will be analyzed and compared against competitors from across the country. The finalists of the competition will have the chance to win a cash prize and access to an exclusive summer drama program.

Currently, Loyola is about to begin the school level of the event. Although the competition has already begun, students can still watch their classmates compete on February 11th during third period. They can also view the results from each stage of the competition on the ESU’s website. This can give interested Dons an idea about what their skill level is and if they should participate next year. Students with a love for reading, writing, and performing should consider getting involved. Not only will this allow them to demonstrate their skills and talents to others, but it can also give an advantage to those interested in pursuing careers in these fields. Anyone who would like more information about the event is encouraged to contact Ms. Wise.

Best of luck to all of the Dons who are currently participating in the National Shakespeare Competition, and may the best performer win!

Lucas Mercado '22

Lucas is currently a senior at Loyola Blakefield.