The Utah Shakespearean Festival has closed for the 1990 season, but this week the festival staff is gearing up for its annual High School Shakespeare Competition to be held Friday and Saturday, Sept. 28-29, on the campus of Southern Utah State College.

"More and more schools join us every year," said R. Scott Phillips, USF marketing director.Participants will perform Shakespearean scenes in both the Randall L. Jones Theatre and in the Adams Shakespearean Theatre, an authentic replica of an Elizabethan-style theater.

"Because of the success of this two-day event, we have three divisions in which students will compete," said Phillips. They are the Westminster Division for small schools, the Cambridge Division for midsize schools, and the Oxford Division for schools with the largest enrollment.

"The emphasis is on learning rather than winning. The three divisions enable us to work with all students on a personal level," said Phillips.

In addition to acting competition, students will participate in workshops on acting, stage combat, voice and diction.

Theater professionals with strong literary and performance backgrounds judge the competition. Judges must also relate comfortably to young people in order to maximize the event's benefit as a learning experience.

USF and SUSC will award scholarships to winning participants for best monologues, two-character scenes and ensemble performances.

Last year, 41 schools from four states attended, and more are expected this year.

"We welcome every high school student who wants an opportunity to perform Shakespeare," said Phillips.

For further information, including registration forms, call 586-7880. Entry deadline is Thursday, Sept. 27.