News – March 3, 2018
Ruby O'Malley, student of Ann Ogilvie from Kaiser High School in Honolulu achieved first place at the English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition Hawaii Branch tournament on March 3, 2018. The repeat win for Kaiser High School, whose Makana Richter won first place in 2017, is the first such back-to-back public school win since Mililani High School won in 1998 and 1999. Ms. O'Malley will travel to New York City along with more than 50 other contestants from around the country to participate in the ESU National Shakespeare Competition at Lincoln Center Theater in New York on April 23, 2018.
Kylie E. Shaieb of Punahou School earned second place, and Mariko Jurcsak of Iolani School was awarded third place in the Hawaii Branch competition. Each student performed a Shakespearean monologue of their choice and recited a sonnet. Competitors were judged on their understanding of their selected texts and on their ability to communicate their interpretation to the audience. Judges for the Branch Competition included Betty Burdick, Taurie Kinoshita, and Nicolas Logue.
"The field of competitors this year was simply outstanding, and all three judges noted that the point tallies for the student participants were very close," observed ESU Hawaii Competition Coordinator and President of ESU Hawaii Professor Mark Lawhorn. "Only one student can be selected ultimately to receive the first place award, and Ruby O'Malley, despite being the last performer to take the stage, did so with impressive poise, energy, and articulation.
The English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition is a performance-based education program in which high school students nationwide read, analyze, perform, and recite Shakespeare's works. Through the program, students develop communication skills and an appreciation of the power of language and literature. In the Competition's three progressive levels, students perform in their own schools, at ESU Branch community competitions, and at the National Shakespeare Competition at Lincoln Center Theater in New York City. Since 1983, more than 300,000 young Americans of all backgrounds have taken advantage of this opportunity to bring the timeless works of Shakespeare to life and learn to express his words with understanding, feeling, and clarity.
Ms.O'Malley, as the winner of the ESU Hawaii Branch competition, will travel to New York City to represent the Branch in the ESU National Shakespeare Competition at the world-renowned Lincoln Center Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater on Shakespeare's birthday, April 23, competing with more than 50 other winners from Branch competitions nationwide. On stage, each will perform a monologue and sonnets before a panel of distinguished judges as well as their fellow contestants. Based on their performances, seven to ten students will advance to a final round. Those finalists, performing their selections along with a cold reading of a monologue, compete for the first place award, which is an all-expenses-paid scholarship to attend the Young Actors' Summer School for two weeks at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. For additional information regarding the English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition, please visit www.shakespearecompetition.org
Founded in 1920, The English-Speaking Union is a non-profit, non-political educational organization that employs English as a catalyst to foster global understanding and good will through educational and cultural exchange programs. The ESU carries out its work through a network of 58 Branches nationwide along with affiliates in the United Kingdom and 60 other countries. For additional information about the English-Speaking Union, please visit www.esuus.org. For details about the ESU Hawaii Branch or to join the Branch please visit https://www.esuus.org/hawaii/.
The ESU celebrates English as a shared language to foster global understanding and good will by providing educational and cultural opportunities for students, educators, and members.
To find out more about our programs click here.