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Junior at Paseo Academy Wins First Place in Kansas City Regional Shakespeare Competition

Makenna Lockhart to Compete in ESU National Shakespeare Competition in New York City, May 5, 2014

Makenna Lockhart, winner of the ESU Kansas City Regional Shakespeare Competition
Makenna Lockhart, winner of the ESU Kansas City Regional Shakespeare Competition
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Feb. 21, 2014 - PRLog -- Makenna Lockhart, a Junior at Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts High School in Kansas City, Mo., won First Place in the English-Speaking Union’s, regional Shakespeare Competition held in Kansas City. Her sponsoring teacher was David Luby, Director of Technical Theatre at Paseo Academy.  This was the 30th anniversary of the Shakespeare Competition for the ESU Kansas City Branch.  The event was part of the 2014 English-Speaking Union's National Shakespeare Competition.

Over 165 students participated in preliminary competitions in Kansas City area high schools as well as a competition for homeschool students sponsored by the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival.  The ESU Kansas City Branch Competition was held on February 16, 2014, at the Coterie Theatre in Kansas City, Mo.  Thirteen school winners from the Kansas City area schools participated.  Makenna impressed the judges and captivated the audience with her performance of Phoebe from Shakespeare’s As You Like It and her recitation of Sonnet 24.  She will go on to represent ESU's Kansas Branch as a semi-finalist at the National Shakespeare Competition held at Lincoln Center in New York City on May 5, 2014.

The Second Place winner in the ESU Kansas City Branch finals was Ahafia Jurkiewicz-Miles, a homeschool Junior in Kansas City, Mo., sponsored by the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival Homeschool Competition.  The Third Place winner was Lacee Stanley, a Junior at Center High School, Kansas City, Mo.

Makenna's First Place prize package from the ESU Kansas City Branch included a check for $150, a full scholarship to the Shakespeare Exploration Camp offered by the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, a Certificate of Appreciation and an engraved First Place Medallion.

Makenna will be awarded an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City for the final stage of the Competition.  She also receives two full days of educational and cultural activities, including an exclusive acting workshop at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and a visit to the William Shakespeare statue in Central Park.  Perhaps best of all for Makenna will be the opportunity to spend a weekend with other ESU Branch winners from across the country who share her love of the Bard and his works.

Makenna will be competing for amazing opportunities this summer.  The First Place National Shakespeare Competition winner receives a full scholarship to study acting in Shakespeare’s homeland, England (also includes transportation, housing and food).  Last year the national winner attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art’s Young Actors Summer School in London.  The second place winner received an all-expenses-paid scholarship to attend the American Shakespeare Centre’s Theater Camp in Staunton, VA.  The third place winner received $500 from The Shakespeare Society.

In addition, the top three national winners’ teachers receive a full tuition scholarship to a 2014 Shakespeare Set Free Institute including transportation, accommodations and food expenses, in total up to $900.  Additional national finalists’ teachers receive a Shakespeare Set Free toolkit (or the equivalent value in teaching materials) from The Folger Shakespeare Library.

Two previous Kansas City winners have won First Place in the National Shakespeare Competition in New York and one Kansas City winner won Second Place in the National Competition.  The ESU Kansas City Branch is one of 58 Branches competing in the National Shakespeare Competition in New York on May 5, 2014.

The judging panel at the National Competition consists of actors, directors, Shakespeare scholars and educators.  Past judges have included Andre Braugher, Kate Burton, Maurice Charney, Blythe Danner, Barry Edelstein, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Edward Herrmann, Dana Ivey, Kristin Linklater, Peter MacNicol, Jesse L. Martin, Cynthia Nixon, Tina Packer, Sarah Jessica Parker, Nancy Piccione, Phylicia Rashad, Christopher Reeve, Louis Scheeder, Richard Thomas, Courtney B. Vance, Sam Waterston, Dianne Wiest, Gene Wilder and Irene Worth.

The English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition is a performance-based education program in which high school students nationwide read, analyze, perform and recite Shakespearean monologues and sonnets.  Through the program, students develop communication skills and an appreciation of the power of language and literature.  In three progressive competition levels, students present the Bard’s works in their own schools, at ESU Branch sponsored community competitions and at the National Shakespeare Competition.  Since 1983, the program has given more than 250,000 young people of all backgrounds the opportunity to bring the timeless works of Shakespeare to life and learn to express his words with understanding, feeling and clarity.

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, teachers and its members.  The ESU carries out its work through a network of 68 branches and affiliates in the United Kingdom and 60 other countries, sponsoring a variety of language and international education programs.  For more information about the ESU Kansas City Branch, go to www.esuus.org/kansascity.  Also follow the ESU at www.facebook.com/esukansascity.

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Source:English-Speaking Union
Location:Kansas City - Missouri - United States
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