Angelle Alexander as Othello, 1st Place Winner
The Tulsa Branch of the English-Speaking Union sponsored the ESU Oklahoma ShakeFest 22 March 1st at Bixby High School. It combined the ESU National Shakespeare Competition and the Oklahoma ESU Shakespeare Festival. Paul Stevenson coordinated the event.
After a virtual event last year, students and teachers were excited to "go live". Because of Coved it was postponed a month and the number of students attending from each school was limited. After they were checked in by Paul Westbrook, students and teachers from 11 schools enjoyed a joyful, day of Shakespeare. Students performed a Monologue and Sonnet judged by three college professors. Nancy Stevenson served as prompter.
1st Angelle Alexander – Edison Preparatory School
2nd place - Rebecca Smith – Mount St. Mary Catholic High School
3rd place - Christopher Flippo – Union High School
Honorable Mention – Makasi Boykin – Charles Page High School
Honorable Mention – Jill Mohn – Edison Preparatory High School
Honorable Mention – Avery Miller – Charles Page High School
Angelle Alexander, the 1st place winner, will receive an extended all-expense paid trip to New York City to perform at Lincoln Center if she is in the top 10 in the virtual National preliminaries. If not, she will receive a $500 scholarship. Scholarships were awarded to the 2nd and 3rd place winners. All contestants received a certificate.
Nationally, more than 250,000 young people have participated in the Competition since its inception in 1983. Approximately 2,500 teachers and 20,000 students in nearly 60 ESU Branch communities participate each year.
Also part of the day was the non-competitive ESU Oklahoma Shakespeare Festival. Bixby Middle School students performed a Shakespeare Tableau featuring more than a dozen Shakespear's plays.
ShakeFest is supported by ESU members' contributions to the Patron's Fund.
Working with classmates to explore Shakespeare's language, and then sharing that experience with an auditorium full of enthusiastic students from different schools and backgrounds is a great educational experience. These performances are a means to an end: making Shakespeare's language come alive in Oklahoma!
Bixby Middle School Hamlet Tableau
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