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Press Release

Kansas City Teen Wins Third Place in National Shakespeare Competition

English-Speaking Union Holds 34th Annual National Shakespeare Competition in New York City

May 3, 2017 / PRZen / KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- With a performance of a sonnet and monologue from Shakespeare, Trevon Wainwright from Kansas City, MO, a student of David Luby at Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts in Kansas City, won third place in the 34th annual English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition.

Paseo Academy in Kansas City, Missouri has had a remarkable history of winners in the ESU National Shakespeare Competition. In 2014, Makenna Lockhart from Paseo Academy won first place in the Kansas City Branch Shakespeare Competition. Shakita Miller from Paseo won the Kansas City Branch Competition in 2002. And Dannye Thompson from Paseo won first place in the ESU National Competition in 1994.

This year's Competition took place on May 1, 2017, on the Mitzi Newhouse Theater stage at Lincoln Center in New York City with 54 semi-finalists from as many ESU Branch competitions nationwide. Trevon previously won the ESU Kansas City Branch competition.

More than 20,000 high school students nationwide participated in the 2017 English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition at the local, regional, and national levels.

As the third place winner of the 34th English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition, Trevon Wainwright, representing the Kansas City Branch of the ESU received a $500 cash prize provided by The Shakespeare Society. Ogechi Egonu, representing the ESU San Francisco Branch, received a full scholarship to attend the American Shakespeare Center Theatre Camp in Staunton, VA, this summer. Second place winner, Brandon Burk, from the ESU Kentucky Branch won a $1,000 award from The English-Speaking Union.

This year, actors Kate Burton and Dana Ivey served as judges, joining a roster of former judges that includes such luminaries as Sarah Jessica Parker, Sam Waterston, Phylicia Rashad, Blythe Danner, Jesse L. Martin, Cynthia Nixon, Richard Thomas, Courtney B. Vance, Dianne Wiest, and Helen Hayes.

The English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition is a school-based program designed to help develop their speaking and critical thinking skills and their appreciation of literature as they explore the beauty of the language and timeless themes in Shakespeare's works. In three progressive competition levels, students memorize, interpret, and perform monologues and sonnets in their own schools, at ESU Branch-sponsored community competitions and at the English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition.

Citing its 34th season this year, the Honorable Bill De Blasio, Mayor of the City of New York, proclaimed May 1, 2017, as William Shakespeare Day in New York City. Laura Hickey, the British Deputy Consul-General in New York, read the proclamation, and Dr. Paul Beresford-Hill, CBE, KSt.J, Chairman of the English-Speaking Union, awarded certificates to the competitors.

The ESU provided the semi-finalists with two days of educational and cultural activities in New York City, including an exclusive acting workshop by the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University faculty. Perhaps best of all for these teenagers was the opportunity to spend time with other students from across the country who share a love of the English language and, particularly, Shakespeare.

Founded in 1920, The English-Speaking Union is a nonprofit, nonpolitical organization that promotes English as a shared language to foster global understanding and good will by providing educational and cultural opportunities for students, educators and members.

To learn more about the ESU Kansas City Branch, go to: http://www.esuus.org/kansascity.

Follow the full story here: https://przen.com/pr/32065307

Source: English-Speaking Union