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Rincon Student Places as Semi-Finalist in National Shakespeare Competition

Posted April 27, 2012

Captivating audiences with a performance of a Shakespeare sonnet and monologue, Lucas Murray, a student of Maryann Green at Rincon High School, placed as a semi-finalist at the 29th annual English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition. The competition was held on April 23, 2012, at Lincoln Center in New York City for 58 winners of ESU Branch competitions nationwide. Lucas had won the ESU Tucson Branch regional competition.

As the winner of a local English-Speaking Union Branch Competition, Lucas was awarded the trip to New York City for the final stage of the Competition. Branch finalists enjoyed two full days of activities, including an acting workshop at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and tours of New York City. Perhaps best of all for these teenagers was the opportunity to spend a weekend in New York City with other students from across the country who share their love of theater, language and, particularly, Shakespeare.

Among the distinguished judges for this year's Competition were Shakespeare scholar and Rutgers University Distinguished Professor of English Maurice Charney; Director of Mission and Co-Founder of the American Shakespeare Center Ralph Alan Cohen; New York University Tisch School of the Arts Classical Studio Director Louis Scheeder; Artistic Director of The Shakespeare Society Michael Sexton; Program Director of the Poetry Foundation Stephen Young; Casting Director at the Public Theater Heidi Griffiths and Peter Francis James, an actor who just finished his role as Oscar in Edward Albee's The Lady from Dubuque. The judges were asked to evaluate three components of the students' performances: understanding of the material, ability to effectively communicate to the audience and artistic expression.

The English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition is a school-based program to help students develop their speaking and critical thinking skills and their appreciation of literature as they explore the language and timeless themes in Shakespeare's works. In three progressive competition levels, students memorize, interpret, and perform monologues and sonnets in their own schools, at ESU Branch sponsored community competitions, and at the National Shakespeare Competition. Inaugurated in 1983, the program has engaged more than 250,000 young people.

The English-Speaking Union of the United States is a non-profit, non-political educational organization whose mission is to celebrate English as a shared language to foster global understanding and good will by providing educational and cultural opportunities for students, educators and members. The ESU carries out its work through a network of 70 Branches, sponsoring a variety of language and international education programs. For more information on the ESU, visit http://www.esuus.org/esu/.

Photo of Lucas Murray
Lucas Murray, Semi-Finalist