E-SU, Syracuse Branch's 2020 Shakespeare Competition's winner Emilee Edick stands proud at her high school Christian Brothers Academy. She holds our Branch's Shakespeare's winner plaque where her name and that of her school are engraved and join those of others in the past who share her honor. By tradition, the plaque will hang in CBA for the school year.
Everyone notices Emilee's mask that adds much to the story of her participation and ultimate win. Only a few days before our March 21 scheduled Shakespeare Competition did she and sixteen other students learn that area schools were closing. So, too, was Syracuse Stage's Archbold Theatre, our venue for both our student workshop and competition. Baldwinsville Library offered us space, but we realized quickly that we were headed for a virtual path.
Mr. Matthew Phillips, an English teacher at Jamesville-DeWitt High School, came to our rescue, collecting individual videos made by the students and forwarding them to our judges (Frank Fuimano, Robert Hupp, and Sharee Pierce) to determine the winner.
Even the story ending has its twists. Yes, in the mail there was the usual check, a certificate, and a volume of Shakespeare's Complete Works sent to her home by our Branch. But there was no typical trip to New York City or overnight in a hostel, no city tour or seat at a Broadway play. Most of all, there would be no competition with forty-eight other student winners from throughout the country. But, alas, also in the mail a few weeks later…from E-SU New York…came a fabulous momento, a gorgeous book picturing all forty-nine young thespians and memorably celebrating ESU's centennial!
Emily has offered to share with you the video of her competition presentations. The first is "Sonnet 11." The second, a monologue by Phoebe in the comedy As You Like It. Phoebe isa shepherdess talking to a shepherd Silvius (who loves her), claiming that she loves him when she really is using him to help her win over someone else (who turns out to be a girl)...familiar Shakespearean ploy!
Shakespeare Committee co-chair
E-SU Syracuse Branch
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