CEDAR CITY — The 39th 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 from six states and 110 schools.
The competition is the largest scholastic Shakespeare competition in the country, and this was a record-breaking year with over 3,200 students attending.
“There really is nothing like the Shakespeare Competition,” festival Education Director Michael Bahr said. “For 39 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.”
From Oct. 1-3, 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, movement, modern dance techniques and choral performance.
The competition recognizes and educates students in four areas: acting, dance/choreography, music and technical theater, providing wonderful opportunities. At the conclusion of the competition, selected students received trophies and scholarships to study with professionals at SUU and the Utah Shakespeare Festival.
As part of the total experience, students were able to attend the festival’s fall productions of “Dracula,” “The Two Gentleman of Verona” and “Charley’s Aunt,” as well as an SUU production of “Hamlet.”
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