Cedar City, UT – Last weekend the 36th annual Shakespeare Competition, hosted by the Utah Shakespeare Festival and Southern Utah University, gave out dozens of awards and scholarships to drama, dance and music students. The competition is the largest scholastic Shakespeare competition in the country, and this was a record-breaking year with over 2,800 students from 103 schools. Students came from junior high and high schools in Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Wisconsin, Idaho, and California.
From October 4 through 6 students competed before numerous adjudicators on the Festival's stages and at several other venues on the SUU campus. Judges consisted of arts professionals with strong literary and performance backgrounds. The judges came to Cedar City from across the country, including New York and Los Angeles, and not only judged the competition, but provided critiques of performances and gave feedback to the young artists. Judges also offered numerous workshops on topics such as stage combat, improvisation, folio exploration, movement, modern dance techniques, and choral performance.
"There really is nothing like the Shakespeare Competition, said Michael Bahr, education director for the Festival. "For thirty-six years the competition has provided young people an outlet to share their passion and excitement for the arts, while also cultivating the future generation of arts professionals."
Providing wonderful opportunities, the competition recognizes and educates students in five areas: acting, dance/choreography, music, art, and technical theatre. At the conclusion of the competition selected students received trophies and scholarships to study with professionals at Southern Utah University and the Utah Shakespeare Festival.
As part of the total experience, students were able to attend the Festival's fall productions of Hamlet, Stones in His Pockets, and Les Misérables for a special school price.