Winners have been announced for the 19th annual Utah Shakespearean Festival/Southern Utah University Shakespeare Competition, held Oct. 4-5 on the festival's three stages.
"This is the most successful competition - and the largest - we have ever had," said Gary Armagnac, festival director of education. "The quality of student actors was superb. They are all to be congratulated on the level of their craft."Students from 64 schools participated in the annual event, with others observing. Schools from Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada and Idaho were represented.
The competition was divided into four divisions: Westminster, for schools with enrollment up to 800; Cambridge (801 to 1,700); Oxford (1,701 and over) and Stratford, for all seventh- and eighth-graders. Students competed in mono-acts, duo/trio scenes and ensembles.
For the mono-act competition, students presented a three- to four-minute monologue from a Shakespearean play. In the duo/-trio category, two or three actors presented a scene or partial scene, and the ensemble competition is for groups of four to 15 students. In addition, judges recognized the best actors individually in the ensemble competition, picking three to receive the annual Lawrence Lott Acting Award (named in honor of one of the Utah Shakespearean Festival's finest actors, who often judged the Shakespeare competitions) and sweepstakes awards for schools accumulating the most total points.
First-place winners were awarded in the following categories (with divisions indicated in parentheses):
Monologues: Amanda Buist, Hurricane Middle School, Hurricane, Utah (Stratford); Lance Davis, Lincoln County H.S., Panaca, Nev. (Westminster); Katie Ackerman, Logan H.S., Logan, Utah (Cambridge), and Joe McClean, Paradise Valley H.S., Phoenix, Ariz. (Oxford).
Duos/trios: David Levine, Adam Beech and Brent Baumayr, Sunrise Middle School, Scottsdale, Ariz. (Stratford); Amber Maldonado and Sean Bayles, Green River H.S., Green River, Utah (Westminster); Chad Huckaby and Kassie Norman, Bear River H.S., Garland (Cambridge), and Adam Lawson and Nathan Stubbs, Orem H.S., Orem (Oxford).
Ensembles: Parowan H.S., Parowan (Westminster); Logan H.S. (Cambridge) and West H.S., Bakersfield, Calif. (Oxford).
Lawrence Lott Acting Award: Renae Ott, Boulder H.S., Boulder City, Nev. (Westminster); Russ Fisher, Spanish Fork H.S. (Cambridge), and Susan Greenwood, American Fork H.S. (Oxford). This award is limited to graduating seniors.
Sweepstakes awards: Sunrise Middle School, Scottsdale (Stratford); Lincoln County H.S., Panaca (Westminster) and Hurricane H.S. (Cambridge). There was a four-way tie in the Oxford division between four Utah high schools: American Fork, Cottonwood, Orem and West Jordan.
Second place sweepstakes awards went to Hurricane Middle School (Stratford), Bear River H.S. (Cambridge) and a tie between Parowan and Green River high schools in the Westminster division.
Third place sweepstakes winners were Greenway Middle School, Phoenix (Stratford) and Spanish Fork H.S. (Cambridge).
The annual competition was organized in 1977 by Fred C. Adams, founder and executive producer of the 35-year-old Utah Shakespearean Festival, and Ray Jones of Provo High School.
According to R. Scott Phillips, the USF's managing director, "The purpose of the competition is to expose high school students and teachers to the value and qualities of Shakespeare in a positive and artistic manner, giving them the opportunity to apply the basic dramatic skills they are learning to Shakespeare's literature."
Added Armagnac: "The Utah Shakespearean Festival has a deep and ongoing commitment to education. Participants in this competition learn a great deal from the process and have a lot of fun at the same time."