News And Events

2024 Sandhills Branch Shakespeare Competition

The Sandhills Branch of the English Speaking Union held its annual Shakespeare Competition on Saturday, February 10 at the Village Chapel of Pinehurst. There were 13 high school students from Pinecrest, Union Pines, and The O'Neal School competing for the opportunity to advance to the National competition in New York City in April.

Each student performed a memorized monologue and sonnet from the 16th century works of William Shakespeare. They were judged on knowledge, performance, and understanding of their chosen pieces. Judy Osborne from Sandhills Community College, and Jonathan Drahos from UNC Pembroke judged the competition.

The third place finisher was Eliza Hage from Pinecrest HS. The runner-up was Caitlyn Blocklinger from The O'Neal School. Hadley Luckie, a sophomore from Union Pines HS, was chosen as the first place winner.

Hadley will be going to the English Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition in New York City on April 15, 2024. She will compete against more than 55 students from across the country. The performance will be held on stage at Mitzi Newhouse Theater at the Lincoln Center Campus.The winner of this competition will have the opportunity to study in London this Summer.

The Sandhills Branch is proud of all of the students who competed, and we wish Hadley Luckie all the best as she moves on in the competition. We would also like to congratulate her educator, Mr. Chase Coston, for providing her with this opportunity. This regional competition was supported by the membership of the Sandhills Branch, along with other educational opportunities for our students and educators in Moore County.

For more information on the Sandhills Branch of the ESU, please contact:

Brian Burns, ESU Sandhills President


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The ESU National Shakespeare Competition Starts Now!

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We are pleased to announce the kick-off of the ESU's National Shakespeare Competition! Schools in our region may enter now, giving students the opportunity to compete in the Sandhills Branch Competition.  The winner of the branch competition will travel to NYC to compete in the national finals at Lincoln Center!  


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2022 National Shakespeare Competition

The 39th Annual English Speaking Union's Shakespeare competition was held at the Village Chapel of Pinehurst on Saturday, February 19. 11 students from local high schools performed a sonnet and monologue from the 16th-century collection. Our judges were Rev. John Jacobs of the Village Chapel, Carolanne Marano, and Jonathan Drahos of Shakespeare in the Pines and Uprising Theater Company. 
It was great to see the students perform live this year. We had a repeat winner in Kara Sparks of Pinecrest. The first runner-up was Jillian Mann of Pinecrest and third place went to Leah Jones of STARS. 
Kara will perform virtually in the ESU National semi-final, along with 55 students from across the country.  If chosen as one of the 10 finalists, she will have the opportunity to compete in NYC at the Lincoln Center. 
Our congratulations to all of these fine students, and all the best to Kara as she moves on in the competition.
If you'd like to watch the competition, please use the link below. Our thanks to Steve McKenzie of the Village Chapel for recording the event. 

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