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2016 ESU Kansas City Shakespeare Competition Part of a Global Celebration

18 Kansas City Area High School Students Prepare for the 32nd Annual Shakespeare Competition—Part of a Year-Long Celebration of Shakespeare's Extraordinary Legacy 400 Years Ago

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Feb. 19, 2016 - Rezul -- The Kansas City Branch of the English-Speaking Union will hold its 32nd annual Shakespeare Competition on Sunday, February 28, 2016, at 2:30 pm at the Kansas City Public Library, Plaza Branch, Kansas City, MO. The Competition is a free event and the public is invited.

2016 marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death. Around the globe, libraries, theaters, universities, museums and schools will celebrate his plays, sonnets and poems and their impact from Renaissance England to the entire world today. The English-Speaking Union, Kansas City Branch brings our annual Shakespeare Competition to Kansas City once again as part of this exciting year-long celebration.

190 students participated in preliminary competitions at seventeen area high schools as well as a competition for home school students sponsored by the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival. The eighteen students who won those preliminary competitions will be competing at the Kansas City Branch finals in this annual event which is designed to develop students' speaking and critical thinking skills and their appreciation of literature as they explore the beauty of the language and the timeless themes in Shakespeare's works.

The Competition is open to students in grades 9 through 12. Each student selects, memorizes, and presents a Shakespeare monologue and sonnet. All monologues are limited to 20 lines of verse or prose. By preparing a monologue and sonnet for public presentation, students bring Shakespeare to life in their own way and learn to express his works with understanding, clarity and feeling.
The First Place winner of the ESU Kansas City Branch Competition receives $150, a full scholarship to Shakespeare Exploration, a conservatory-styled camp for teens offered by the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, an all-expense-paid round-trip to New York City to compete in the ESU National Shakespeare Competition on May 2, 2016 at Lincoln Center, as well as other group activities in New York City.

The First Place winner of the ESU National Shakespeare Competition receives a full tuition scholarship to attend the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts' Young Actors Summer School in London (includes tuition, accommodation, food expenses and travel to and from London).

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 City at Lincoln Center on May 2, 2016.

Students from the following Kansas City area schools will be participating in the local ESU KC Branch Competition:

Blue Valley High School
Center High School
Chilhowee R-IV High School
Heart of America Shakespeare Festival
Home School Student Competition
North Kansas City High School
Oak Park High School
Olathe Northwest High School
Olathe South High School
Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts
Pembroke Hill School
Rockhurst High School
Shawnee Mission Northwest High School
Shawnee Mission South High School
Spring Hill High School
Saint Thomas Aquinas High School
St. James Academy
St. Teresa's Academy
Summit Christian Academy

Daniel Bukovac, ESU Kansas City Branch's Shakespeare Competition Coordinator, commented, "Our Kansas City ESU Branch is excited and honored to be part of the many tributes to William Shakespeare as we celebrate the 400th anniversary of his death. With 190 students participating in preliminary competitions at area high schools — the greatest number in the last decade — our competition continues to offer more and more students the opportunity to develop better communication skills and an appreciation of the power of language and literature."
The ESU Kansas City Branch invites all area students, teachers, scholars and the public to this 32nd Annual Shakespeare Competition. The ESU is co-sponsoring many other programs in Kansas City to celebrate the legacy of Shakespeare. Go to: www.esuus.org/kansascity to learn more about these special upcoming programs.

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 goodwill by providing educational and cultural opportunities for students, teachers and its members.   Headquartered in New York City, the ESU implements programs through a network of 68 Branches across the United States. ESU members nationwide participate in cultural and social events and provide financial support to sustain our educational programs at the Branch and National levels. Members attend Branch events, host visiting speakers and scholars in their communities, volunteer to coordinate Branch participation in our National Shakespeare Competition and scholarship and exchange programs and serve as English in Action tutors. For more information about the ESU Kansas City Branch, go to www.esuus.org/kansascity. Also follow the ESU at www.facebook.com/esukansascity.

Media Contact
English-Speaking Union, Kansas City Branch
***@esuus.org


Source: English-Speaking Union, Kansas City Branch

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