Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival’s 8th Annual Shakespeare Competition: 15 high schools, 71 students and $15,000 in renewable college scholarships

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Lisa Higgins • 610.282.WILL, ext. 4
March 7, 2016

Center Valley, PA – Shakespeare’s kings and clowns, queens and maidens strut and fret upon the stage in the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival’s 8th Annual Shakespeare Competition held Saturday on the Center Valley campus of DeSales University.

With monologues and scenes performed by 71 high school students from 15 schools, the competition was adjudicated by six professional actors and teaching artists from New York and Philadelphia.

The students selected their performance pieces from a wide range of Shakespeare’s plays—from the tragedies of Othello and King Lear to Twelfth Night and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The competition provides multiple performance opportunities for students, direct evaluation of each performance by professionals, and observation of peer and university performances. Participants could also engage in workshops and panel discussions with the professional artists.

Prizes of $1,000 or $2,000 in renewable scholarships were awarded for recipients to major in the Division of Performing Arts at DeSales University.

The adjudicators also selected candidates to present pieces of outstanding merit in a showcase performance at the conclusion of the event. “We are always impressed by the students who compete in the Shakespeare Competition, and this year the work was especially strong,” says PSF Education Director Jill Arington.

All high school-aged students in public, private, or home school are eligible to participate. Participating schools included:

Abington Friends School- Jenkintown, PA
Academy of Notre Dame de Namur- Villanova, PA
AIM Academy- Conshohocken, PA
Bethlehem Catholic High School- Bethlehem, PA
Camden Catholic High School- Cherry Hill, NJ
Hereford High School- Monkton, MD
Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts- Bethlehem, PA
North Penn High School- Lansdale, PA
Parkland High School- Allentown, PA
Pottsville Area High School- Pottsville, PA
Schuylkill High School- Leesport, PA
Seneca High School- Erie, PA
Souderton High School- Souderton, PA
Wilson High School- West Lawn, PA

Competition winners are:

Team Awards
First Place
North Penn High School
Second Place
Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts
Third Place
Wilson High School

Monologue Awards
First Place
Ahkira Hamilton as Portia from Julius Caesar
Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts
Second Place
Hannah Hakim as Portia from The Merchant of Venice
Parkland High School
Third Place
Samuel Boelens as Berowne from Love’s Labour’s Lost
Hereford High School
Scene Awards
First Place
Abriel Smith & Catherine Winner as Celia & Rosalind
from As You Like It, North Penn High School
Second Place
Gabriel Moses & Ciara Alvarado as Othello & Desdemona
from Othello, Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts
Third Place
Kylie Brown & Kevin Cook as Isabella & Claudio
from Measure for Measure, Schuylkill High School

Scholarship Recipients
Ciara Alvarado, Kylie Brown, Kevin Cook, Ahkira Hamilton, Gabriel Moses, Mackenzie Moyer, Abriel Smith, Catherine Winner, and Crystal Ye.

Next year’s competition is Saturday, March 4, 2017. All high school-aged students in public, private, or home school are eligible to participate.

The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival hosts the Shakespeare Competition with the support of DeSales University as a part of PSF’s Linny Fowler WillPower Education Programs, made possible by a generous gift from the late philanthropist Marlene “Linny” Fowler.

PSF is a constituent of the Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for the American theatre, and a member of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, the Shakespeare Theatre Association, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council, and Discover Lehigh Valley.

The Festival’s upcoming 25th anniversary season sponsors are Kathleen Kund Nolan and Timothy E. Nolan. Associate season sponsors are the Harry C. Trexler Trust, Linda Lapos and Paul Wirth, Dr. James and Penny Pantano and the Szarko Family.

The season schedule is:

Main Stage Theatre
West Side Story • June 15 – July 3
The Taming of the Shrew • July 13 – August 7
Blithe Spirit • July 21 – August 7
Shakespeare for Kids • July 27 – August 6

Schubert Theatre
Julius Caesar • June 22 – July 17
Love’s Labour’s Lost • July 27 – August 7
The Little Mermaid • June 3 – August 6

Media representatives: Photos available. Please contact: Lisa Higgins, 610.282.WILL [9455] or