The English-Speaking Union

Education Programs

The English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition

Welcome to the 2022 ESU National Shakespeare Competition!  


NEW! Excited to see the 2021 ESU National Shakespeare Competition Yearbook? 

Click here to experience the 2020 Yearbook 


2022 COMPETITION RESOURCES COMING SOON!
CHECK OUR DOCUMENTS AND FORMS SECTION FOR UPDATED HANDBOOKS AND PACKETS!
 

 COMING SOON! THE 2022 SCHOOL WINNER FORM!

NEW! Resource for Teachers! Free Competition Tool Kit. Includes Turnkey Strategies from Shakespeare's Globe! Tools to help you make your remote competition engaging and fun!

As the competition enters its 39th year, and the ESU enters its second century, we remain resolute in our commitment to the vision of our founder, Sir Evelyn Wrench.

These uncertain times require more flexibility, resiliency, creativity, and cooperation than ever before. In order to accommodate our students and teachers and to better serve our branches, several changes and improvements have been instituted and are detailed below. We thank you for your commitment to the competition, and to the communities it serves. 

 2022 NATIONAL FINALS COMPETITION DATES AND TIMES: 

9/17/21: Please note that dates, times and format have been revised. Please check this space for the most recent and accurate information as we plan the 2022 competition. 

Please note that ALL DATES ARE TENTATIVE. We will work with our branches to accommodate communities who have difficulties with any dates due to COVID 19.

Tentative deadline to hold branch competitions: March 5, 2022.

Branch Winner Forms must be received by March 8, 2022

ESU National will send Branch Champions The 2022 ESU National Shakespeare Competition Winner Packets directly. They must be returned by March 13, 2022.

The competition finals are tentatively scheduled for Monday, April 25th, 2022. Location and times to be decided.

2022 Prizes are expected to be as follows (there is a possibility of delayed/substituted prizes)

1st place: British American Drama Academy Mid-Summer Conservatory Program

2nd place: American Shakespeare Center Theatre Camp

3rd place: $1000




 

About the Competition

The ESU National Shakespeare Competition is a performance-based educational program serving grades 9-12. Since 1983, the competition has engaged more than 360,000 young people. Approximately 2,500 teachers and 20,000 students in nearly 60 ESU Branch communities participate each year.

The ESU National Shakespeare Competition is aligned with modern educational practices. Participating students:

  • practice essential skills such as critical thinking, close reading and public speaking
  • work through all 6 levels of Bloom's taxonomy, from recall to creation, increasing self-confidence through reading, analysis and performance of Shakespeare
  • have multiple points of entry to explore universal themes and are challenged to decode for themselves the complex beauty of Shakespeare's language 
  • work with teachers and peers in a student-centered program of experiential and cross-curriculum learning
  • meet local, state and national standards in English Language Arts and Drama.

The ESU National Shakespeare Competition has been recognized by the Globe Center (USA), the Children's Theatre Foundation of America and the American Academy of Achievement. 

Please click on the appropriate link at left for our handbooks and learn more about the ESU National Shakespeare Competition. 

 ESU NATIONAL SHAKESPEARE COMPETITION: E-BRANCH (FORMERLY KNOWN AS ONLINE)

No branch? We can help!

The ESU is using technology to reach every high school, every teacher, and every student across the United States!

The ESU National Shakespeare competition is now open to all students, nationwide, regardless of location. Using readily available technology like cell phone cameras, schools without a participating local branch of the ESU can join the fun and be eligible to compete in a live finals round via video streaming. Winners of the E-Branch Finals will  compete in the national competition against all our branch competition winners.

Click here to learn more!