2021 Syracuse Branch National Shakespeare Competition
Meet our Syracuse branch Shakespeare Competition winner Anka Chiorini...if you can find her under her mask! She's pictured above with our Shakespeare Committee Co-chair Susan Jarosz, her Jamesville-DeWitt High School Principal Paul Gasparini, her teacher Matthew Phillips, and the plaque awarded her by our branch. The plaque now includes her name and that of her school and will hang in the school for the coming year.
This year was her second as a high school student and as a participant in ESU's Shakespeare Competition. Her selections were a monologue by the character Pucelle from Henry VI, Part I, and Sonnet 134. Her performance became especially significant in that her school had never before had a winner who was eligible to compete in the national ESU competition in NYC with students from throughout the country. It was special, too, in that in this virtual world, her presentation was live, thanks to Zoom made possible by our own ESU member Dianne Emmick.
For many students, participating in the Shakespeare Competition would suffice as an extra effort for the year, especially if the year was during a pandemic that brought with it additional pressures and challenges. But Anka goes for more, and this year turned to play-writing for Syracuse Stage's Young Playwrights. The result? Two of her efforts were chosen to be among the eight winners chosen from the 200 total plays submitted! The eight winning plays were performed (via Zoom) by Syracuse University Drama Department students.
And summer vacation? Anka will be involved in a literature course offered by Mount Holyoke College for which she received a scholarship.
(If you wish to view the winning Syracuse Stage plays, you can access them -- if you are a Facebook member -- by Googling "young playwrights 2021 Syracuse Stage").
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